25 Fabulous Christmas Treats

25 Fabulous Christmas TreatsMerry Christmas y’all!

Well, almost Christmas :)

I don’t know about you, but I am SO EXCITED. Every year I get majorly excited/nervous for the big day because I’m desperate for my family to open their gifts. I’m just a big gift-giving weirdo and want everyone to open everything rightthissecond. So it’s no surprise that I am TERRIBLE about keeping secrets. I practically have to threaten myself with terrible self-inflicted pain to keep quiet and not spoil everyone’s gifts for them.

That said, I do love giving homemade gifts whenever possible, especially to family, friends, and neighbors. My neighbors are so great (well, except one lady, but we won’t talk about her) and this is the perfect time of year to celebrate them putting up with barking dogs and my dad’s perpetual drum playing.

So I decided to put together a roundup of TWENTY-FIVE different Christmas treats that are perfect for giving as gifts. Most of these treats keep well for up to a week, which means good things if you’re going to be shipping these treats across the country to faraway friends and fam.

I like to make a big batch of about 4-6 different treats and package it up in cute cellophane bags, then tuck the bags into a larger tin or gift bag with a hand-written card for each neighbor and family friend. I also made little boxes for my mom’s coworkers with a variety of treats inside each one. Variety is the spice of life they say, so make a few different things for a spectacular presentation.

Now without further adieu, let’s get baking!!

RED VELVET PEPPERMINT THUMBPRINTSRed Velvet Peppermint Thumbprints

These Gingerbread Molasses Cookies are SO SIMPLE. Supremely soft, ultra chewy, and perfectly spiced. Perfect for the holidays!Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Molasses Cookies

This Easy Toffee is SO SIMPLE and is made entirely WITHOUT a candy thermometer! Crunchy, sweet, buttery and decadent, it's great to give as gifts too!No-Thermometer-Needed Easy Toffee

These No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies are ultra fudgy, super chewy and loaded with rich chocolate, espresso and peppermint flavors. They're EASY, taste delicious, and save you oven space!No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies

These truly are the BEST Cut-Out Sugar Cookies EVER! Super easy, really quick, no-chilling required and makes a nicely-sized batch. Perfect for decorating and giving as gifts!The Best No-Chilling-Required Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

These classic, all-butter Peanut Butter Blossoms are the PERFECT cookie! Soft, chewy, thick and buttery and filled with a delectable chocolate center. This dough is so foolproof and doesn't require chilling!Classic, All-Butter Peanut Butter Blossoms

This Butter Toffee Pecan Shortbread is SO easy to whip up and tastes amazing! Tender, buttery, crisp and loaded with caramel toffee and pecans, it's the perfect cookie!Butter Toffee Pecan Shortbread

This Homemade Quick & Easy Salted Caramel Sauce is to die for! Rich, creamy, sweet and buttery, it comes together in minutes and is totally foolproof!The Best Salted Caramel Sauce

These are the EASIEST Coconut Macaroons you'll ever make! Only 5 simple ingredients you probably have on hand produces the chewiest, sweetest cookies!The Easiest Coconut Macaroons

NO BAKE BROWNIE BOMBSNo-Bake Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs *(sprinkle the tops with festive holiday sprinkles!)

Cranberry White Chip CookiesThe Best Soft & Chewy Cranberry White Chip Cookies

Snowball CookiesSnowball Cookies

Peppermint Crunch PretzelsPeppermint Crunch Pretzels (no-bake!)

Slow Cooker Candied NutsSlow-Cooker Candied Nuts *(makes a big batch!)

Salted Caramel Butter BarsSalted Caramel Butter Bars

These Copycat Levain Bakery Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies are INCREDIBLE! Thick, chewy, soft and bursting with walnut pieces and chocolate chips, they're so easy to make and taste just like Levain's from NYC!Copycat Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Frosting are to-die for! Moist, soft and topped with a pillow of sweet frosting, they're the perfect holiday food!Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Frosting

Maple Caramel Bacon CrackMaple Caramel Bacon Crack

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup FudgeReese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge

2 Ingredient Turtles2-Ingredient Turtles

Chocolate Cherry Seven Layer BarsChocolate Cherry Seven Layer Bars

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Gooey BarsChocolate Chocolate Chip Gooey Bars

buttercream fudgeButtercream Fudge

These Gingerbread Macarons are surprisingly simple to make and taste amazing! Sweet, spicy, crisp and chewy and filled with a creamy Biscoff center, they're the perfect holiday treat!Gingerbread Macarons

These No-Bake Texas Sheetcake Bites are perfect for when the chocolate craving strikes! Impossibly easy, totally foolproof and they taste super fudgy and amazing!No-Bake Texas Sheetcake Bites

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Gingerbread Macarons

These Gingerbread Macarons are surprisingly simple to make and taste amazing! Sweet, spicy, crisp and chewy and filled with a creamy Biscoff center, they're the perfect holiday treat!These are, quite possibly, my favorite macarons I’ve made!

And I know what you’re thinking – there’s no way in hell I’d be able to make homemade French macarons at home. But you totally can do it – it’s surprisingly simple, if not a little labor intensive. And if you’re already in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies anyway, what’s another cookie for your cookie tray? :)

SO. I’ve got news.

I adopted another dog (!!!!)

I know I always said Mannie would be my one and only. I’ve been so good at resisting forlorn pups at adoption events in the past. I didn’t even want another dog. But then I saw him.

My mom and I had to go to the pet store for some more food, and right as we parked, I spotted him from across the parking lot being packed up in his crate in the back of a van. I ran – I mean bolted – over to the van and demanded to know this dog’s story and name. One look and I was in, hook, line and sinker. I had to rescue this dog.

And to be honest? I didn’t even feel that same feeling when I adopted Mannie. Granted, it was my then-boyfriend at the time who fell in love with Mannie first, and it took me a couple days to fall in love. But this dog? I was head over heels in seconds.

So then all day I waffled around with the idea of adopting him. Mannie would hate me for it and probably murder me in my sleep. But it was a risk I was willing to take, and once Mannie established his dominance and showed this little guy he was king of the castle, everything would be fine in time. So I did it. I adopted him.

And isn’t he the CUTEST THING?!

jackI mean, there’s no way I’m saying no to those eyeballs. He knows how to work ’em too.

I’m in trouble.

Anyway, the dogs are doing fine and I’m trying to navigate the waters of having a brand new dog. So naturally, I made a labor intensive cookie – ha. But seriously you guys, these cookies rock. They have a crisp ginger spiced meringue shell and a Biscoff (cookie butter) filling that’s to die for.

These Gingerbread Macarons are surprisingly simple to make and taste amazing! Sweet, spicy, crisp and chewy and filled with a creamy Biscoff center, they're the perfect holiday treat!Before you make them, may I strongly suggest checking out my comprehensive tutorial on making macarons at home? It has step-by-step photos, LOTS of information, tips, tricks and more! I strongly suggest checking it out before (and as) you proceed with this recipe.

Now off you go to make macarons!

These Gingerbread Macarons are surprisingly simple to make and taste amazing! Sweet, spicy, crisp and chewy and filled with a creamy Biscoff center, they're the perfect holiday treat!*adapted from my Nutter Butter Macarons recipe 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gingerbread Macarons
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 27
 
These Gingerbread Macarons are sweet, spicy, crunchy and delicious!
Ingredients
  • 2 & ⅓ cups powdered sugar
  • 3.5 oz almond meal (like by Bob's Red Mill)
  • 3.5 oz (about 10) gingersnap cookies, pulverized into a fine crumb
  • 4 egg whites
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • ⅛ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • FOR FILLING:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup Biscoff (cookie butter) spread
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • About 2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. First, measure your ingredients out properly. On a kitchen food scale, measure out 3.5 oz of almond meal and 3.5 oz of pulverized gingersnaps. Pour both into a bowl with the powdered sugar. Place a large handheld sifter over a separate bowl and begin sifting the dry ingredients together until blended and sifted.
  2. If you have harder "pebbles" leftover, either push them through the sifter with your spatula, or remove them to re-pulse through your food processor, then try resifting them. If there's a teaspoon or less of the harder "pebbles", you may discard. Set sifted ingredients aside.
  3. Bring a large pot filled with 1-2" of water to a simmer. Place your stand mixer bowl over the pot of water and immediately add in the egg whites and white sugar. Whisk quickly for about 30 seconds or until the mixture is frothy and bubbly. Do NOT overmix. Immediately remove from the heat, wipe off the bottom of the bowl, and attach to your stand mixer base. Using the whisk attachment, begin whipping the egg white mixture on HIGH for about 5-7 minutes or until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  4. Remove the whisk attachment and gently stir in the spices and HALF of the sifted mixture. Do not fully stir this mixture in; just fold it in maybe 4 or so times and then add the rest. Turn your wrist clockwise around the bowl, folding the mixture around and in on itself to incorporate the dry, sifted ingredients. The mixture should look like a little thick and chunky when it's done. If you draw an invisible line through the mixture with your spatula, the line should disappear within the mixture in a couple of seconds.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, making the parchment the same dimensions as your baking sheets. Conversely, you may use silicone macaron mats if you have them. Do not grease the mats, the parchment, or the sheets.
  6. Scoop the macaron mixture into a large disposable piping bag affixed with a large open-circle tip (I used Atecco 807). Hold the bag straight down and gently squeeze to release the batter, counting to four. Flick your wrist to stop the flow. This should translate to a macaron roughly the size of an American quarter. Repeat with remaining macarons. Macarons may have slight lumps on top; either use a lightly wet finger to gently pat it down, or follow the recipe accordingly. Once macarons are all piped on, gently tap each sheet a couple of times on the counter to release air bubbles and help those lumps fall. Allow the macarons to sit on the counter for 20 minutes prior to baking. During this time, preheat your oven 275* degrees F.
  7. Bake the macarons for approx. 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking. Mine bake at EXACTLY 13 minutes. Remove the macarons gently and allow them to cool on the baking sheets. Macarons should come right up or peel off with little resistance.
  8. To make the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter, Biscoff spread and vanilla until creamy and light. Add in the powdered sugar until a soft, spreadable filling has formed.
  9. To assemble, spread or pipe the filling onto the flat side of the macaron and sandwich it together with another like-sized macaron. Serve immediately.

These Gingerbread Macarons are surprisingly simple to make and taste amazing! Sweet, spicy, crisp and chewy and filled with a creamy Biscoff center, they're the perfect holiday treat! Sweet, spicy, crisp and chewy, these Gingerbread Macarons are hard to beat! Can’t wait to hear what you think of them!

Want more macaron goodness? Check out my other macaron recipes!

Oreo MacaronsOreo Macarons

Nutter Butter MacaronsNutter Butter Macarons + A Macaron Tutorial

These Cookie Dough Macarons are petite French-style cookies filled with egg-free cookie dough! Surprisingly easy and positively irresistible!Cookie Dough Macarons

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprints

These Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprints are chewy, cakey and delicious! Perfect for the holidays and SO EASY!! It’s no secret around here that Christmas is my favorite season.

I was practically on my hands and knees begging my family to let me decorate for Christmas on Thanksgiving. Thankfully, they lost their battle and the tinsel was hung before they could say ‘hell no.’

And Christmas music? Honey, it’s been playing nonstop since Thanksgiving. If it were up to me, I’d have ‘Jingle Bells’ by Frank Sinatra as my ringtone and would be belting out Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ in July. I’m that person.

And I know it’s hard to say how you’ll be when you’re older, but I foresee myself as being the crazy Christmas grandma who has those little Christmas villages set up all over the house, a year-round tree in my living room and a collection of ugly Christmas sweaters worn throughout the year for a little zip of spirit.

I’d be kind of like Oprah, handing random wrapped gifts out to friends and family throughout the year, and I’d perpetually leave Christmas lights up outside because they’re gorgeous and why is it not socially acceptable to do so? I mean, just because we had that one weird neighbor who had a glider aircraft in his front yard sitting on a bed of weeds had his Christmas lights up year-round, doesn’t mean I’ll be like him. No aircrafts on my front lawn, I promise!

And can we talk about Christmas food? Why in the living hell are we not making Christmas cookies any other time of year? I don’t know about you, but Sugar Cookies and Snowballs have no place only being served in December. It’s a travesty, really.

So let’s make a pact right here, right now, that we’ll forever serve Christmas cookies year-round. Because these Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprints cannot and should not be limited to the Christmas season, you hear me?

These guys are so good and…I don’t even like red velvet. Maybe it’s because they’re ultra buttery and tender, with just the right amount of cocoa to add a depth of flavor. And they’re smooshed (that’s the technical term) with a peppermint kiss candy for an extra touch of glamour and sophistication… and because red velvet and peppermint are BFFs.

Plus, this cookie dough doesn’t require chilling, rolling, or anything fancy. Simply whip up the dough, portion into rounded Tablespoon-sized balls and bake. Once they’ve cooled for about 5 minutes, press in a kiss candy and you’re done. Enjoy them gooey and warm, or let ’em set up so they’re prettier for presentations. Just…make them, promise?

These Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprints are chewy, cakey and delicious! Perfect for the holidays and SO EASY!! *adapted from this recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprints
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
These Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprints are amazing! Soft, chewy, a little cakey and topped with a peppermint candy kiss for a festive and delicious touch.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • About 24 peppermint Kisses candies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or mist the sheets lightly with baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the egg, food coloring and vanilla and beat to combine. Lastly, add in the cocoa, baking powder and flour until a soft dough forms.
  3. Roll rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough in a ball and place about 1" apart on the baking sheets. Bake for approx. 9-11 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even cooking. Cool on the pans for about 5-7 minutes, then gently press a peppermint kiss candy into the center of each cookie. Either serve immediately, or allow to set (about 2 hours) before packaging and serving.

These Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprints are chewy, cakey and delicious! Perfect for the holidays and SO EASY!! If you’re a red velvet lover, you ought to make these cookies! They’re so good! Don’t like peppermint? Substitute any other flavored Kiss candy instead!

Love Red Velvet? Try my other Red Velvet recipes!

Red Velvet Seven Layer BarsRed Velvet Seven Layer Bars

RedVelvetSconesRed Velvet Scones

Skinny Red Velvet Poke CakeSkinny Red Velvet Poke Cake

Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Molasses Cookies

These Gingerbread Molasses Cookies are SO SIMPLE. Supremely soft, ultra chewy, and perfectly spiced. Perfect for the holidays! A couple of days ago, I went on a shopping spree.

But none of the stuff was for me. Or my family. It was for the Placer SPCA, our local shelter. And let me just say, I never had more fun on a shopping spree than I did this time.

And who would have thought picking out different sized KONG toys and trying to pick the tastiest looking dog treats would be so much… fun. 

But it was, because I knew it was going to a good cause. Since I can’t adopt everyanimalever, I figured this was the next best thing, ya know?

And isn’t shopping for dog treats weird? I mean, you’re essentially totally judging the packaging alone on what sounds most appealing. And what about the fact that ALL dog treats smell like beef jerky? Let’s not even talk about how beef jerky disgusts me. Dogs eat dried beef. People eat dried beef. So wouldn’t it be acceptable to buy beef treats for dogs for humans? That’s one way to cut down on grocery bills – buy dog food to eat instead. Don’t mind me, just revolutionizing the way people eat beef jerky.

ANYWHO, revolutionizing aside, these cookies also made their way to the local SPCA. I figured all those humans who work there do a mighty fine job at keeping our homeless friends happy, so why not treat them too? And let’s just say, these cookies were a huge hit… not just with the SPCA folks, but with my family and my parents’ coworkers.

This recipe makes a BIG batch, so you’ll have plenty for any upcoming cookie exchange parties or swaps… or to hoard all to yourself. They’re thick, soft, chewy and bursting with ginger, cloves, cinnamon and molasses flavors… all the flavors of Christmastime. I jazzed things up by dipping them in white chocolate and giving them a festive drizzle of sprinkles for an added touch, but these were just as tasty plain and simple.

These Gingerbread Molasses Cookies are SO SIMPLE. Supremely soft, ultra chewy, and perfectly spiced. Perfect for the holidays! If you’ve been searching for an amazing gingerbread recipe, THIS IS YOUR RECIPE! No chilling required, no kneading, no rolling. Simply scoop, roll in some sugar, and bake. Easy peasy.

Just keep ’em for humans only, k?

These Gingerbread Molasses Cookies are SO SIMPLE. Supremely soft, ultra chewy, and perfectly spiced. Perfect for the holidays!

4.7 from 3 reviews
Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Molasses Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
These Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Molasses Cookies are to-die for! Super thick, loaded with ginger, cinnamon and molasses flavors and perfect for Christmastime.
Ingredients
  • 1 & ½ cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • White almond bark, for dipping (optional)
  • Sprinkles, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or mist sheets lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars for about 2 minutes, or until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and molasses. Beat in the spices, baking soda and flour until a thick dough forms.
  3. Roll rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough in some extra sugar, then place 2" apart on the baking sheets. Bake for approx. 14-15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even cooking. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheets.
  4. Once completely cooled, dip the edge of the cookie into the melted white almond bark or white chocolate. Sprinkle with sprinkles. Let set, then serve.

These Gingerbread Molasses Cookies are SO SIMPLE. Supremely soft, ultra chewy, and perfectly spiced. Perfect for the holidays! If you love the spicy flavors of ginger, cloves and cinnamon, you’ll love these cookies! So much easier than cutting out gingerbread men!

These Gingerbread Molasses Cookies are SO SIMPLE. Supremely soft, ultra chewy, and perfectly spiced. Perfect for the holidays!

Want more gingerbread flavors? Check these recipes out!

This Gingerbread Toffee Lush Dessert is a no-bake wonder! Layers of crushed Gingerbread Oreos topped with a luscious and light cinnamon vanilla pudding and topped with whipped cream and toffee, it's the perfect seasonal dessert!Gingerbread Toffee Lush Dessert

These Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Frosting are to-die for! Moist, soft and topped with a pillow of sweet frosting, they're the perfect holiday food!Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Frosting

Gingerbread Cookie Dough CupsGingerbread Cookie Dough Cups

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

 

Peppermint Shortbread Cookies

These Peppermint Shortbread Cookies could not be simpler to whip up! They start with a mix and are jazzed up with the addition of cool peppermint chips and a healthy drizzle of white chocolate.This recipe is such a cinch to whip together, you guys!

Which is awesome, since the holidays are upon us and no one has any time.

Seriously? All my time is sucked away into never never land. I wake up and it’s practically a new month already, and here we are getting ready for Christmas!? Craziness.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already dreaming up your holiday cookies to hand out to neighbors and friends, or looking for a cookie recipe to take to a party or swap. Friends, this couldn’t be an easier recipe for you and it tastes amazing. I know I say that about a lot of recipes, but this truly is and I think you’ll agree.

It starts with Krusteaz Shortbread Cookie Mix, which you can find at any grocery store (I buy mine at Walmart). Simply add butter and peppermint baking chips and you’re good to go. No dough chilling, no measuring ingredients. Simple, fast, wham bam. Bake ’em up and then when they’re cool, decorate them with melted white chocolate and a sprinkling of festive and pepperminty candy cane pieces. Not only do they add a wonderful crunch and coolness to the cookies, but they’re pretty too :)

These Peppermint Shortbread Cookies could not be simpler to whip up! They start with a mix and are jazzed up with the addition of cool peppermint chips and a healthy drizzle of white chocolate.I know you’ll love them as much as my family did, so be sure to visit the Krusteaz website to GET THE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Baking!!

xo, Hayley

No Thermometer Needed Easy Toffee

This Easy Toffee is SO SIMPLE and is made entirely WITHOUT a candy thermometer! Crunchy, sweet, buttery and decadent, it's great to give as gifts too! I am SO EXCITED about this recipe today!

If you’re anything like me, candy thermometers kinda freak you out. Honey, I get you. I’m not a fan either. They’re too official and scary and cold and hard and heartless. (Can you tell I loathe them?) So if I can avoid using one at all costs, I’m on board.

But making candy at home often requires them, and toffee is usually no exception. However, this recipe is completely made with trust, love, and good old-fashioned perfect timing. It’s made in ten minutes – five to boil the mixture, and five to let it sit before spreading the chocolate – and then it just needs a couple hours in the fridge to set.

It starts with butter – two sticks – and 1 & 1/2 cups of brown sugar. Simply bring the mixture to a boil and boil, stirring constantly, for five minutes precisely. Pour the mixture into a greased and foil-lined baking pan and top with chocolate chips. Throw that sucker into the microwave (without turning the microwave on) and let it sit undisturbed for five minutes – this will help melt the chocolate. Spread the chocolate into an even layer, and top with whatever you like – I’ve topped mine with Heath chocolate toffee bits, but this would be great with chopped almonds or pecans.

Then simply let it set in the fridge for a couple hours before snapping it into pieces. It’s really as simple as that. No thermometers, no tricks, no jokes. Five minutes boiling, five minutes sitting, a couple hours setting. Done and done!

Now who wants some?!

This Easy Toffee is SO SIMPLE and is made entirely WITHOUT a candy thermometer! Crunchy, sweet, buttery and decadent, it's great to give as gifts too!

No Thermometer Needed Easy Toffee
Author: 
Recipe type: Candy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This Easy Toffee is a delectable holiday treat that's made without a candy thermometer! So simple, fast and foolproof.
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter (I used unsalted)
  • 1 & ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • About ⅔ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • About ½ cup Heath milk chocolate toffee bits (or chopped nuts - whichever you prefer)
Instructions
  1. Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with foil, allowing the edges of the foil to hang over the pan. Grease the foil lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the butter and brown sugar together over medium heat, stirring to help melt the butter. Bring the mixture to a boil, and stirring constantly, boil the mixture for exactly five minutes. Mixture will be thicker and caramel colored.
  3. Pour the toffee into the prepared pan. Immediately sprinkle with the semi-sweet chocolate chips and place the pan in the microwave so it can sit undisturbed for five minutes. Remove from oven and spread the chocolate into an even layer; immediately top with the toffee bits or nuts, if using. Allow toffee to come to room temperature before placing in the fridge to set for about an hour or two. Break into pieces.

This Easy Toffee is SO SIMPLE and is made entirely WITHOUT a candy thermometer! Crunchy, sweet, buttery and decadent, it's great to give as gifts too! My family and I could not stop eating this delectable, decadent, crunchy toffee. I still wish we had leftovers!

Want more toffee goodness? Check out these other recipes!

Peanut Butter ToffeeSalted Peanut Butter Toffee

Toffee Tiramisu BrowniesToffee Tiramisu Brookies

Sticky Toffee Pudding CookiesSticky Toffee Pudding Cookies

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Pie with Back to Nature

This Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Pie is rich, smooth, ultra decadent and SO EASY to make! Impress all your guests this holiday season with this simple, gorgeous pie! I am sooo excited about this Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Pie, you guys.

It is divine.

Crunchy chocolate cookie base. Smooth-as-silk chocolate ganache filling. Crisp and minty peppermint pieces adorn the top. And all together? It’s pure bliss, y’all.

This Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Pie is extra special, too. It’s made with real ingredients (well, except for the candy canes) and the chocolate cookie crust is made with Back to Nature Classic Creme Cookies.

Have you heard of Back to Nature before? For over 50 years they’ve created foods with ingredients inspired by nature to create great-tasting products that are simply delicious, simply good. I know what you’re thinking – cookies? But these cookies are made without high-fructose corn syrup making them a better choice when it comes to cookies, and the perfect choice in making this crust!

Back to Nature Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Dipped Shortbread CookiesBack to Nature also has a lineup of crackers, nuts, granola and more, including these delicious Shortbread Cookies which contain no high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils and they’re made with organic wheat flour and organic butter, so you can feel good about eating them :) I decided to dip the shortbread cookies in chocolate almond bark and sprinkle them with candy cane pieces for a festive accompaniment to this ultra rich chocolate ganache pie. Cookies and pie? Always a smart choice. Hey, it’s the holidays. I’ve already busted out my fat pants and made amends with elastic waistbands until January 1.

Now can we talk about this pie?! It’s outrageous, people. Made with twelve ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, heavy cream, a splash of vanilla and some butter, it’s pure deliciousness. The candy cane pieces add such a festive pop of color and crunch to this rich and smooth pie, so don’t think about leaving them out! And if you want more peppermint flavor, feel free to add a splash of peppermint extract into the chocolate mixture before pouring it over the crust.

Now who’s hungry?!

This Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Pie is rich, smooth, ultra decadent and SO EASY to make! Impress all your guests this holiday season with this simple, gorgeous pie! *adapted from my Double Chocolate Ganache Pie recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Pie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-16
 
This Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Pie is outrageous! Smooth as silk, rich and decadent, it's the perfect holiday dessert to finish any meal.
Ingredients
  • 1 box (12 oz) Back to Nature Classic Creme Cookies
  • 5 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 12 oz (3 pkgs) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, roughly chopped into small pieces
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cubed
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • About ½ cup crushed candy cane pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray and place it on a baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. Combine the cookie crumbs and the melted butter and gently stir to combine. Press evenly into the prepared tart pan and bake for approx. 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool completely.
  3. Once tart crust has cooled, make your ganache. In a large bowl, add the chopped chocolate and butter; set aside. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat together the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla over medium heat or until mixture begins to simmer. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and set aside for about 5 minutes. Once five minutes is up, stir or whisk to combine until ganache is creamy and smooth.
  4. Spread the ganache into the prepared pan and even out the top. Sprinkle with candy cane pieces. Refrigerate for approx. 2-3 hours or until set before cutting into slices.

This Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Pie is rich, smooth, ultra decadent and SO EASY to make! Impress all your guests this holiday season with this simple, gorgeous pie! For more information about Back to Nature products, be sure to visit them on Facebook!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I was generously provided with Back to Nature products to create this recipe. All opinions are 100% my own and I was compensated for this post.

 

Gingerbread Toffee Lush Dessert

This Gingerbread Toffee Lush Dessert is a no-bake wonder! Layers of crushed Gingerbread Oreos topped with a luscious and light cinnamon vanilla pudding and topped with whipped cream and toffee, it's the perfect seasonal dessert! You guys – this Gingerbread Toffee Lush Dessert was devoured within hours at my house. Hours!

Needless to say, there were no leftovers. And I doubt there will be any at your house, either. It’s that good.

My family isn’t very experimental. They like the same things for dinner every week, and they’ve become so disillusioned to whatever I make anymore that they just ask for chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies. My fancy-dancy macarons and assorted confections are just too much for them.

And hey, that’s okay. Not everyone can eat a French macaron with their pinky up. I get it.

So when I whipped up this lush dessert, I didn’t think it’d become a huge hit. For one, we’re not big ginger eaters in this house. For two, I really can’t stand too much ginger anything – I find it to be too cloying and overpowering in most dishes where it’s present. So with this in mind, but making it anyway for you lovely gingerbread-loving readers, I didn’t think it’d be a roaring success.

But damn, I was wrong. Oh so wrong.

It’s the same concept as my other lush desserts – you may have seen the Chocolate Mint, Cake Batter, and S’mores lush desserts this past spring and summer. You start with Oreos – in this case, I’m using the seasonal Gingerbread Golden Oreos – and crush ’em up into chunky crumbs. Mix it with a little butter and compact it loosely into a greased 8-or 9-inch pan. Top it with some vanilla pudding that’s been spiced with a little cinnamon and ginger, and top that with Cool Whip and toffee bits.

Hubba, hubba, am I right?!

It’s a delicious, easy dessert that doesn’t require the oven and that tastes amazing in any season. What more could you ask for?!

So go make it… and invite my family over :)

This Gingerbread Toffee Lush Dessert is a no-bake wonder! Layers of crushed Gingerbread Oreos topped with a luscious and light cinnamon vanilla pudding and topped with whipped cream and toffee, it's the perfect seasonal dessert!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Gingerbread Toffee Lush Dessert
Author: 
Recipe type: No Bake Desserts
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
This Gingerbread Lush Dessert is a real crowd-pleaser! Made with a few simple ingredients, it's a great no-bake dessert to have in your arsenal.
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg Gingerbread Golden Oreos (if you cannot find the seasonal gingerbread flavored Oreos - I found mine at Target -substitute regular golden Oreos)
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups (2 8-oz pkgs) Cool Whip, thawed
  • About ⅔ cup milk chocolate toffee bits
Instructions
  1. Lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place the Oreos in a large gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Roll a rolling pin over them or crush them with a meat mallet until they resemble coarse chunky crumbs. Pour into a bowl with the melted butter and stir to combine. Very loosely compact it into the prepared pan in a single layer.
  3. Meanwhile, in another large bowl, whisk together the pudding mix, cinnamon, ground ginger and milk together for 2 minutes, letting stand for 5 minutes until thick. Fold in 2 cups (1 pkg) of the Cool Whip and spread over the crushed Oreo crust. Top with the remaining 2 cups Cool Whip and the toffee bits.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours or overnight if possible. Serve up!

This Gingerbread Toffee Lush Dessert is a no-bake wonder! Layers of crushed Gingerbread Oreos topped with a luscious and light cinnamon vanilla pudding and topped with whipped cream and toffee, it's the perfect seasonal dessert! Cool, perfectly spiced and totally nice, this Gingerbread Lush Dessert is our new favorite seasonal dessert!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies

These No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies are ultra fudgy, super chewy and loaded with rich chocolate, espresso and peppermint flavors. They're EASY, taste delicious, and save you oven space!I am the worst driver in all the land.

Not like the worst at driving, but the worst at driving patiently.

I am the most impatient driver in all the land is more accurate.

And patience? I have none.

Like, whenever I see someone texting and driving, I freak out. I want to scare them so bad to make them not text and drive anymore, so I’m thinking of making a gigantic dummy filled with newspaper or bubble wrap and throwing it in front of their car when they least expect it. That should give ’em a good scare, right?

And when I know they’re texting in front of me, I become a living, breathing devil woman. If the light turns green and there’s any pause no matter how small, I’ll honk at them. If I can tell they’re texting while driving because they break every 15 seconds, I’ll honk at them and flip them off. And bear in mind that none of this is done quietly, as I am usually screaming obscenities and wishing ill on them while driving too.

On a quick two mile jaunt to the store, at least five drivers are called idiots – or worse – by my mouth. I am the road rage driver, and I fully admit to it.

But my least favorite offense while driving? People not pulling up to the line, to the next car, whatever. When there’s a car’s-length space in between cars, it drives me bananas. BANANAS, PEOPLE. I’ll scream and beat my steering wheel and if possible, I’ll swoop in front of them. I want them to get mad – at themselves – for leaving such a huge space that someone swooped in front of them. I want to be that asshole. Because if it teaches someone a lesson on how to not be a crappy driver, then I am willing to be honked at and considered a jerk.

So the moral of the story is, I like driving alone because my road rage is intolerable to other people, and it worries my mom that I honk my horn so much. She thinks I’m going to piss off the wrong person and they’ll pull a gun on me and shoot me through my drivers window, but I say, bring it on, homeboy. Believe me, my road rage is much scarier than any weapon.

Oh, and it should go without saying that while my road rage may be stark-raving mad, it doesn’t mean I’m an unsafe driver. I keep my eyes on the road at all times, am hyper-aware of my surroundings, and never text and drive. I’m just vocal. And if you leave a gigantic, inconvenient-to-everyone-else-sized gap in between your car and the next, chances are I’m going to swoop in to prove you a point. So don’t shoot me :)

Anyway, let’s talk about these No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies. They’re my new favorite treat for the holiday season! Chewy, ultra fudgy and topped with a smooth-as-silk chocolate ganache, they’re the perfect accompaniment to your holiday baking tray or cookie exchange party. I couldn’t get over how fudgy they are!

Best of all, they’re no-bake, which means you can save your oven space for something else. I know how precious oven space is around this time of year 😉

They’ll make you go mad – in a good way!

These No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies are ultra fudgy, super chewy and loaded with rich chocolate, espresso and peppermint flavors. They're EASY, taste delicious, and save you oven space!*adapted from 100 Best Cookies magazine 2012

5.0 from 1 reviews
No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
These ultra fudgy, super chewy Peppermint Mocha Brownies are perfect for your holiday cookie tray! Sweet and rich, they're also no-bake, saving your oven for something else!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 Tbsp espresso or instant coffee crystals
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme
  • 1 (15.25 oz) pkg Oreo cookies, finely crushed into crumbs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • About 1 cup crushed candy cane pieces
Instructions
  1. Line an 8 or 9-inch pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Grease the foil lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the evaporated milk and espresso over medium-low heat, or until coffee is dissolved. Stir in ONE (1) cup of the semi-sweet chocolate chips and the marshmallow creme. Cook and stir until melted and smooth; remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Add the cookie crumbs and powdered sugar and stir until combined.
  3. Press into the prepared pan in an even layer, spreading to edges of pan. Set aside.
  4. In a large, microwaveable bowl, combine the remaining semi-sweet chocolate chips and heavy cream and microwave for about 1 minute, stirring until chips are melted. Pour ganache over the bars and spread in an even layer. Top with crushed candy canes and refrigerate for about 1-2 hours or until set. Cut into bars and serve. Store in the fridge up to one week, covered.

These No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies are ultra fudgy, super chewy and loaded with rich chocolate, espresso and peppermint flavors. They're EASY, taste delicious, and save you oven space!Thick, chewy, super fudgy and irresistible, these No Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies are to-die for! I think you’ll agree, too!

These No-Bake Peppermint Mocha Brownies are ultra fudgy, super chewy and loaded with rich chocolate, espresso and peppermint flavors. They're EASY, taste delicious, and save you oven space!Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

The Best No-Chilling-Required Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

These truly are the BEST Cut-Out Sugar Cookies EVER! Super easy, really quick, no-chilling required and makes a nicely-sized batch. Perfect for decorating and giving as gifts! I hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving with plenty of food!

I sure did, and we had great leftover turkey sandwiches for like, the entire weekend. It was perfection.

But now that Thanksgiving is over, all I’ve got on the brain is Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! I’ve already wrapped all my gifts (I know!), have hung up all the ornaments and decked all the halls, and I’m brainstorming what kinds of cookies I want to include in this year’s cookie tins for friends and family. And methinks these Best-Ever Cut-out Sugar Cookies are one of the top contenders!

If you should know one thing about me, it’s that I’m super impatient. I know, but patience is definitely not my virtue. I loathe waiting – it’s literally the worst part of life. That, and being broke. And the flu. And health insurance. But you know.

So when it comes to making sugar cookies from scratch, I always hated the recipes that required chilling the dough. Who has time for that?! And honestly, I *do* have some recipes on this site that do require mandatory dough chilling in order to make the cookies awesome, but sugar cookies shouldn’t be one you must chill. Sugar cookies should be no-chill, easy breezy, wham bam done. And these cookies are!

They only have five easy ingredients you probably have in your pantry – six if you count my special ingredient. I’ll tell ya all about it in a second. These cookies are such a cinch to whip up and taste amazing – they’re the perfect canvas for any icing and decorating, which was always my favorite part as a kid.

SO, secret ingredient time. Of course you know sugar cookies are made with vanilla extract, but what I add to mine to give it that extra edge and deliciousness is a Butter-Vanilla Extract which you can find at most craft stores like Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or online. It adds a richness and an amazing depth of flavor to these buttery, soft and tender cookies that straight up vanilla can’t provide (though vanilla is still in the recipe). If you can’t find the extract or would prefer a different flavor, might I suggest zesting a lemon or orange into the cookie dough for a citrus twist, or adding a hint of cocoa powder for something more sinful.

Either way you cut it out, you ought to make these cookies. They’re just dying to be a part of your Christmas cookie tray!

These truly are the BEST Cut-Out Sugar Cookies EVER! Super easy, really quick, no-chilling required and makes a nicely-sized batch. Perfect for decorating and giving as gifts!

5.0 from 1 reviews
The Best No-Chilling-Required Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18-24
 
These Cut-Out Sugar Cookies truly are the BEST! No chilling required makes them a breeze to make, too.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp butter-vanilla extract (or plain butter extract), optional but recommended
  • 2 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, and the extracts until blended. Lastly, add in the flour until a soft dough comes together.
  3. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough until it's about ¼" thick or so, or to desired thickness. Cut using floured cutters and place on the baking sheets. Bake, rotating pans halfway through baking time, for approx. 15-17 minutes, or until cookies are light golden brown. Cool completely, then ice and/or decorate as you desire.

These truly are the BEST Cut-Out Sugar Cookies EVER! Super easy, really quick, no-chilling required and makes a nicely-sized batch. Perfect for decorating and giving as gifts! Easy, fast and totally delicious, these sugar cookies will soon become a favorite in your house like they are in mine!

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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