Whenever I do an Open House I always have something Home Baked on the counter.
I may even sometimes ask the homeowner if I can bake a batch of cookies in the oven prior to the Open House to get that fresh bakes smell.
After all, who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked cookie when you enter a home.
My oldest grandson Shane told me one day as he walked in the door, ” I love coming to your house, It always smells like Christmas” Ahhh there goes my heart!!!
So every year around October I start thinking maybe I should lose a few pounds to get ready for the Holiday Season fast approaching!
I’m kidding sort of! I know I’m weird!!
Anyhow ..so let’s get started
~I LOVE TO BAKE AT CHRISTMAS~
Yep, I love to bake and try out new recipes! I pull out my Holiday Cook Books and start baking.
One of my favorite memories as a child was going to my grandparents house and finding amazing baked desserts on the kitchen table.
We were not allowed to touch!! I was determined I would have my own table or island now full of desserts and not only let the kids dig in but teach them some easy fun recipes throughout November and December!
We are all so busy I thought how fun would it be to share our favorite Christmas recipes… Through my blog !!
It’s like an online cookie exchange in a way!
Here’s a few of my favorites…Let’s get started!
Faux Christmas Hand Pies
I admit, I use store bought pie crust and Puff Pastry! Yes I said it! That’s why I call it Faux Hand Pies…It’s OK. I just gave you permission to do the same…See how that works!
- Pepperidge Farm Pastry Puff Sheets
- Dark Melting Chocolate wafers
- Assorted Pie Filling
- Your Favorite Cookie Cutter
- Sea Salt
- Sugar for Dusting
- Large egg, lightly beaten
Ok, so this is the easiest recipe ever. Each box of Pepperidge Farm Pastry Puff has two sheets. Depending on the size of your cookie cutters you can get at least two pies per sheet with some extra for smaller cookie cutters. I usually get two boxes.
With each cookie cutter, cut out 2 pastries. If you make Chocolate pie, you can put in around 7 wavers per pie. Put the second cut out pastry on top. Then whisk the egg and with a cooking brush dampen the edges to get a good seal and use a fork to crimp the edges.. Brush the top with Egg and Sprinkle Sea Salt. That’s it!!
Bake until golden brown.
Apple/ Berry Pie:
You can make your own fresh fruit filling with berries or apple or you can just get store bought pie filling…. Especially if you need a quick dessert that looks impressive.
This will make 8-10 pies depending how full you fill your pie and the size of your cookie cutter
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 containers fresh blackberries…
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 7 minutes.
Strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl to catch all the juice. Shake the colander to get as much liquid as possible. Return the juices to the skillet, and simmer over medium heat until thickened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the berries. Stir gently so you do not break down the berries completely.
Hand Pie: *Pepperidge Farm Pastry Puff Sheets
If you don’t want to use a cookie cutter, cut each sheet into 4 parts. Cut inn half and then half again. Fill and fold into a kite shape. You will actually get more pies out of each sheet that way. Actually 4 per sheet. Use a fork to crimp the edges to seal.
My grand kids like to make multiple flavors. Chocolate, apple, cherry …combinations of all three…they turn out really yummy! Pierce to let the steam out!
Give them a wash of Egg to make golden brown.
Same Recipe for filling… but now using Pillsbury Pie Crust. Nothing wrong with cheating and Pillsbury is great if don’t have time to make your own crust. ( That’s another day)
Decorating is fun using the pre made crusts. I have to admit…yes home made is better but in a pinch, this is fine.
(If you have a recipe for great pie crust ,send it to me and I’ll blast it out!!!)
Decorating your Pie
This is so easy!!! Us your Cookie cutters and overlay your cutout using egg wash to keep them from separating.. sprinkle with sugar…that’s it!
If you don’t have a cookie cutter, make a template using a paper bag. This Holly Leaf was made with a template I made. Outline with a knife and cut it out. I added little balls of dough for the berries.
You can do the same thing making a Christmas Tree outline or a Deer…
Have fun, and send me pictures!!
With this Cookie Dough Bar you are not running the risk of that icky tummy ache you get from the raw eggs in regular batter, and are rewarded with the most incredible treat that has ever hit your mouth. Add to that a nice little shot glass of milk and you are in for a real treat!
You NEED to make these in advance…they are not like a traditional cookie that is baked and ready in 30 minutes. Also, you will need to make sure you have a few good pieces of equipment to get the best turnout (and not have them stick to the pan). You will need:
- Parchment Paper (this is always good to have on hand for any baking you do, leaving your pans clean and your cookies will never stick)
- 8×8 Baking Pan (you can use a glass one or your traditional baking pan as you will be lining it with the parchment paper)
- Offset Spatula (this is a MUST HAVE to make this square, you need it for the chocolate on top to ensure it spreads nicely over the base, and quickly!)
- Stand Mixer (another must have, for any kind of baking really, but it works wonders with this one as you need a nice creamy texture for the batter. You do not want any lumps or granulated sugar left as it doesn’t get cooked away like a traditional cookie)
- ½ c (1 stick) butter, softened
- ¾ c packed light brown sugar
- 2 c all purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 c chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup m&m’s
- ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
- ½ cup milk
- chocolate chips
- Line an 8×8 inch pan with your parchment paper and set aside.
- In stand mixer (or lg bowl), mix together softened butter and brown sugar until fluffy for (2-3 minutes)
- Add in vanilla until combined. Alternate adding flour and sweetened condensed milk until well combined (will become creamy and smooth).
- Mix in the chocolate chips and M&M’s.
- Press the cookie dough into the bottom of a parchment paper lined 8×8 pan and cover. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, overnight is fine.
- Flip the cookie dough out onto a cutting board or plate and carefully peel back the parchment paper. Place back in the fridge while you make the “icing”.
All Blessings~ Oise