Holidays Mean Baking
And I love to bake! This year Mark and I are doing three different cookie swaps — family, and both our work swaps. This equals a lot of cookies (and candy because that’s more fun to make!).
I must confess that Christmas is my least favorite holiday. It can be stressful and expensive. But I’m trying hard to like it because it’s Mark’s favorite holiday. I’m working to make it really fun for him and letting him guide all our holiday stuff. Baking is fun, so I decided this is how I’ll have fun with Christmas. We decided to make all our cookies last Saturday while we set up our Christmas tree.
The dough is super sticky. The cookies rose and are really soft. The frosting is delicious but it doesn’t look really pretty. I ended up smashing the frosted cookies into a pile of sprinkles for most of them. I’m definitely going to use the frosting recipe for other things because it’s the best buttercream I’ve tried making. We added egg nog instead of the milk to give it a holiday flavor.
Bark Cookies (Ritz + PB + Almond Bark)
My absolute favorite holiday cookie (candy?) is a bark cookie — at least that’s what my family calls them. These are Ritz Cracker sandwiches with peanut butter, dipped in chocolate or almond bark. This year I got fancy and bought colored Candy Melts and fun sprinkles. There really is no recipe for this … it’s just Ritz + peanut butter + dipping in chocolate or almond bark. Not that hard! I made 9 dozen of these, accidentally, because I bought two boxes of Ritz and decided to go until I ran out of peanut butter or crackers. One box would probably be sufficient. These are great if you’re planning to give away a lot of cookies because they’re super easy and fun to decorate.
There are a few tricks for easily making these.
- A little dab will do you. Only put about a bit more than a half teaspoon of peanut butter on the sandwich. Too much will squish out, making them hard to dip.
- Do the twist. Instead of trying to spread the peanut butter on the crackers (can cause the cracker to break), put a little in the middle and twist the crackers together to close. This evenly spreads the peanut butter.
- Follow the package directions for melting! Chocolate can overheat and become impossible to work with. Follow the package directions on your chocolate, almond bark, or candy melts for melting. I’ve found Tollhouse Semisweet Chocolate Chips the easiest to work with, followed by almond bark, and then the candy melts. I’ve tried using organic chocolate and it weirdly didn’t set up.
- Be a little nutty. Add a little coconut oil to your chocolate if you aren’t getting a smooth dip. Do a test dip first. The candy melts required the most coconut oil, followed by almond bark, and then the chocolate chips.
- Go dutch. That is, only dip half of the sandwich at a time to make these less messy. Drop them on wax paper and wait for the first half to set up, and then dip the second half. This also makes your cookies look extra fancy if you use multiple colors of dips.
Super Fancy Glitter Bark
When making the bark cookies, I had some leftover and I didn’t want to waste it. So I spread the leftover on some waxed paper and kept adding to it as I made my cookies. The result is really pretty (and yummy).
Have you tried any Pinterest recipes lately? Are you participating in a cookie swap this holiday season?
This is NOT a sponsored post. I was not compensated in any way for my opinion. For more tried-and-loved Pinterest recipes, follow EAT // Pinterest Wins.