Decadent Holiday Treats

I have a huge sweet tooth and love to bake.  I often refer to myself as a “Cookie Connoisseur” because that’s how much I love a good cookie.  The holidays are a great time for baking because the options are endless.  And I think people judge the amount of sweets you consume a bit less around the holidays because they also get to enjoy the sugary goodness 😊

Below I have four recipes I think you’ll want to try this year.

Grinch Sugar Cookie Bars

“Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day” -Dr Seuss

  • 1 – 17.5 oz. Pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, plus the ingredients needed to make the packet
  • Whipped Vanilla Frosting (or homemade)
  • Green Food Coloring
  • Red Frosting or Red Heart Sprinkles

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare the sugar cookies according to package instructions (I follow the directions for the drop cookies).
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool completely.
  4. Combine frosting with green food coloring. Spread across the entire pan.
  5. Cut into squares and add either frosting in the shape of a heart or a red heart sprinkle.

 

These bars are SUPER easy to make because you are using a store-bought mix.  If you have a homemade sugar cookie recipe you would prefer to use that is ok, I was just going for a simple option.  Same with the frosting; store-bought frosting is quick and easy, but a homemade recipe is perfectly fine as well.  I think the taste is amazing.  The bars are sugary and dense, but the frosting adds a lightness to them.  And the red heart is fun because it plays on a classic holiday film, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Gingerbread Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Bar Ingredients

  • 2 Cups + 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 ½ Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¾ Cup Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • ¼ Cup Unsulphured Molasses
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Sprinkles

 

Frosting Ingredients

  • ½ Cup Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 – 8 oz. Package Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ Tsp Vanilla Extract

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together butter, brown sugar, and molasses. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until combined.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Pour into the baking dish and spread to the edges, this is easiest to do with your hands.
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool completely.
  7. For the frosting; in the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Mix until light and fluffy.
  8. Spread over the cooled bars.
  9. Sprinkle with colorful sprinkles and cut into squares to serve.

 

These bars are life changing.  The gingerbread is rich and moist, and the cream cheese frosting is sweet and reminiscent of vanilla frosting with a slight tang to it.  I prefer these to gingerbread cookies because they are soft and chewy, and take less time to decorate.    I’m all about the end result so anything that gets me eating the sweets faster is preferred 😊

Chocolate Peppermint Trifle

 

  • Brownie Mix, plus all ingredients to make the mix
  • Hot Fudge Ice Cream Topping
  • 2 Cups Whipping Cream
  • ¼ Cup Powdered Sugar
  • Peppermint Extract
  • 6 Candy Canes, crushed

 

  1. Bake the brownie mix. Allow to cool completely and cut into bite size pieces.
  2. Add the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and a small drop of peppermint extract to a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Melt the hot fudge until runny. Add a small drop of peppermint extract and stir.
  4. Using mason jars or a trifle bowl, layer the ingredients. Start with a layer of brownies, then drizzle hot fudge, then add the whipped cream, and top with candy canes.  Repeat layers until the container is full, leaving whipped cream and candy canes at the top layer.

 

This is a dessert that you can serve family style in a trifle dish or individually in mason jars, wine glasses, little bowl, etc.  The brownies are decadent, the peppermint whipped cream is light and fluffy, the peppermint chocolate sauce adds a bit of sweetness, and the crushed candy canes are a nice garnish.  This is a rich dessert your guests will love!

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

 

  • 2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 14 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • ¼ Tsp Peppermint Extract
  • 4 Candy Canes, crushed

 

  1. Line an 8×8 baking dish with plastic wrap.
  2. Add the milk, chocolate chips, and butter to a microwave safe bowl and heat for 90 seconds. Stir to combine.  Continue to heat in 15 second increments if not completely melted.
  3. Add the peppermint extract and stir until smooth.
  4. Pour into the baking dish and spread to the side.
  5. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top.
  6. Chill until ready to serve.
  7. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to one week.

 

Who doesn’t love fudge?  It’s smooth, chocolatey, rich, melts in your mouth, and comes in every flavor you can imagine so one piece is never enough.  This fudge is a simple 5 ingredient recipe and very quick to make.  The hard part is letting the fudge set so you can cut it into little bit sized pieces.  Christmas is really the only time of year I use candy canes in my baked goods, but they just seemed too festive to pass up.

It’s hard to choose which baked goods to make this time of year.  I have an extensive list to select from, but these are some of my favorites and I hope you enjoy them.  Happy Baking and Happy Holidays!

 

 

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