Bake Your Way into Holiday Heaven: 5 Delicious Holiday Treats

Christmas _cookie _stack
Holiday baking is something so many of us look forward to as the season rolls around, whether someone else is doing it for us or whether we do it ourselves! Grandma’s pies are always to die for and the baker at the office always makes brings in those spectacular sugar cookies. Some of us were born with incredible baking talent, and some of us botch every recipe we’ve ever tried. Thankfully, the following 5 recipes are super easy – simply mix the dry and wet ingredients (except for the raspberry oatmeal bars which have separate instructions) and follow the simple directions. You simply can’t mess these up, and when your neighbor, family, or co-workers try these recipes and you watch them melt with pleasure, you will feel like Betty Crocker herself!
1. Sugar Cookies
Sugar _cookies

Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 ¾ C. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ C. evaporated cane sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking powder

Wet Ingredients:
  • ½ C. butter or non-hydrogenated, non-dairy butter, softened
  • 1 egg or flax egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

This makes 24 cookies. Once mixed together, refrigerated the dough for 1 hour. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the pan to prevent sticking. Roll dough out onto a floured surface so that it is ¼ inch thick to make shapes with cookie cutters. Place the shapes on the cookie sheets and bake for 12 – 14 minutes and let cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a cookie sheet. Ice the cookies or use sprinkles for decoration.

2. Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread Cookies

Dry Ingredients:
  • 2 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ C. evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients:
  • 1/4 C. butter or non-hydrogenated, non-dairy butter, softened
  • 1 egg or flax egg
  • ½ C. unsulphured molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

This makes 24 cookies. Once mixed together, refrigerated the dough for 1 hour. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the pan to prevent sticking. Roll dough out onto a floured surface so that it is ¼ inch thick to make shapes with cookie cutters. Place the shapes on the cookie sheets and bake for 10 – 12 minutes and let cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a cookie sheet. Ice the cookies or use sprinkles for decoration.  

3. Chocolate Gingerbread
Chocolate Gingerbread

Dry Ingredients:
  • ¾ C. all-purpose flour
  • ½ C. dark brown sugar
  • ¼ C. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ C. dark chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients:
  • 4 T. butter or non-hydrogenated, non-dairy butter
  • ¼ C. unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg or flax egg
  • ¼ C. sour cream or non-dairy sour cream

This makes a 8 x 8 pan of 16 squares. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the pan with butter and dust with cocoa powder to prevent sticking. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

4. Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 C. quick-cooking oats
  • ½ C. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients:
  • ½ C. butter, or non-hydrogenated, non-dairy butter, softened
  • ¾ C. raspberry (or any other fruit) preserves

This makes 1 8 x 8 square pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the pan to prevent sticking. Mix all except the preserves together until well combined. Press two-thirds of the dough into the pan equally. Spread the preserves also equally over the top of the pressed down dough, and then sprinkle the remaining dough in a crumbly fashion over the top of the preserves. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

5. Pumpkin Spice Bread
Pumpkin Spice Bread

Dry Ingredients:
  • 3 C. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 C. evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ C. unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 large egg or flax eggs
  • 1 (14 oz) can pumpkin puree

This makes 2 8-inch loaf pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the pan to prevent sticking. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the breads cool for at least 15 minutes before removing them from the pans.

Styling these pastries is easy – use a cute cookie tin or gift bag with wax paper, and use ribbons of choice with a little card attached with your own words of thanks, congratuations, holiday greetings, or whatever the occasion calls for.

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