Cookie Decorating Party
Once your cookies are made, you'll need to get them decorated. What better way than to have a cookie decorating party? Invite friends and family to bring or make their cookies for decorating. While everyone decorates cookies, Christmas music should be playing. Be sure to have a variety of Christmas music, so everyone can enjoy it. Singing along should be encouraged. Sipping on hot cocoa with candy canes on the side for dipping and stirring is a must.
Homemade Hot Cocoa
Heat 6 cups milk to simmering in a saucepan. Pour in 2 cups of powdered cocoa slowly, stirring it as you add it. Also add ½ cup of sugar. Stir all ingredients until blended well. Remove from heat and serve. This serves about 6 people.
Christmas Sugar Cookies
What's Christmas without the cookies? Here's a fun sugar cookie recipe that can be rolled out for use with Christmas cookie cutters.
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 tsp Natural Vanilla Extract (no imitations)
- ½ tsp Natural Almond Extract (no imitations)
Some people mix the dry ingredients first, but not me. I just throw all the ingredients in together and mix it up. So, put all of the above ingredients together into a large mixing bowl. Stir them together and then once you have a shape that starts to lump together, take it out and set a pre-floured surface. Knead it a few times.
If your dough seems to be sticky, add more flour by kneading it in until the dough is firm and not sticky. Next, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thickness. Now you may start using your cookie cutters and cutting out the shapes. Once you make the shapes, place them onto pre-floured non stick baking sheets. These cookies should cook at 350 F for about 8-12 minutes. Different ovens vary in time. Once the cookies have cooled, you may decorate them with candies, icing, sprinkles, or whatever you choose
Family Baking Time
Our family enjoys baking every day of the year, but Christmas is our favorite of all. We enjoy baking breads, pretzels, and cookies. Above, you saw how we enjoyed having a party with the cookies. However, with the bread and pretzels, we prefer to just do this with close family members. Much like the cookie party, we still sip hot cocoa. However, we also talk, laugh, and play and possibly watch a good Christmas movie. Here's how to make your very own Christmas Pretzels and Christmas bread.
Homemade pretzels are a cinch to make. Did you ever think about making them Christmas style? Well, now you can. It's quite simple actually. First, you'll need to make this pretzel dough.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 pkg dry active yeast
- 1 beaten egg
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- coarse salt
- red and green food coloring
Get a large mixing bowl. Pour in the warm water first. Next slowly stir in the yeast until it dissolves. Next, add the flour and a couple drops of either red or green food coloring, whichever you want. If you'd like both, you can make two batches. Knead the dough until it's smooth. Cover with a towel or cheesecloth and let it rise (usually 30 minutes to an hour).
While you're waiting for that, add the brown sugar and a drop of the same food color you used for your dough to the beaten egg. Once the dough has risen, you are ready to make the pretzel shapes. Flour the bottom of a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350 F. Take out some of the dough, forming a ball that is about 4 inches in diameter. Now, roll the ball on the table until you get something long, resembling a fat worm. Shape that into the pretzel shape. Repeat this until you have used all your dough.
Now, with the unbaked pretzel shapes on the baking sheet, lightly brush them with the egg/sugar mixture. Bake them for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven. When they are done you might wish to add salt. That's it. Enjoy your Christmas-colored pretzels.
Sugar N' Spice Christmas Dinner Bread
We love baking bread together and the fresh taste and smell of homemade bread brings back many warm memories. Present this tasty bread topped with cinnamon sticks and crushed red hot candies.
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 pkg active dry yeast
- 1 tsp Salt (optional)
- ¼ cup Milk
- ¼ cup warm water
- ½ cup Butter
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Maple Syrup
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- ¼ cup crushed Red Hot Candies
Get a large mixing bowl. First, put in the warm water. Slowly stir in the yeast until blended. Next, put in all of the ingredients except for the Maple Syrup, Cinnamon sticks and Red Hot candies. Once stirred well, knead the dough until you have a solid ball that is neither too sticky nor too dry. You want something like the consistency of play dough. Now, cover the dough in the bowl with a towel or cheesecloth. Give it about an hour to rise.
Once it has done that, place it into a floured bread pan and bake it at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Once the bread is done, butter the top and let it cool to warm. Cover the top with a thin layer of maple syrup. Then, sprinkle the crushed Red Hot cinnamon candies over the top. For garnishing, place the cinnamon sticks atop the bread neatly in a criss-cross design.
Don't Leave Santa Out
Ever wonder if Santa's tired of eating the same type of goodies at every house? To give Santa some variety, simply arrange one or two each of the treats from above onto Santa's Christmas platter. Be sure that you arrange them nicely. For extra measure to be sure Santa's treats stay fresh, wrap the platter in cellophane and top it with a pretty bow and some cinnamon sticks. Be sure that the kids do much of preparing Santa's treat. This is generally their favorite part.