Every two weeks Accessible Media's Kelly MacDonald and Ramya Amuthan of the Kelly and Company welcome me on the show and give me the opportunity to talk about my favourite topic - FOOD! Today's discussion was all about Holiday Baking. Tips to make it enjoyable and stress free while snacking on a few of my popular holiday cookie recipes. If you missed it, or can't remember which Wednesday my segment airs, don't worry I've included everything in this post OR you can always listen to the segment here on the AMI Kelly and Company podcast.
The Check List
Let's begin with a check list of, how to make sure your holiday baking enjoyable and successful.
- decide what cookie recipes you want to make and keep them handy.
- most important thing is read the recipe from beginning to end
- take inventory of what you have in your pantry
- create a shopping list
- check your appliances and make sure all is in working order. And you have enough pans, cookie sheets and storage containers.
- For best results, let your cookie sheet cool completely before reusing it. If time is limited, you can get away with letting it cool for as little as 5 minutes. Never reuse a sheet straight from the oven, as its high heat will cause the dough to spread and the cookies to fuse together.
- use good quality ingredients.
- Like cooking with wine. If you won’t drink it don’t cook with it.
- Don’t use leftover chocolate from 2 Christmas’ past that were tucked inside a packaged mug that someone re-gifted to you.
Popular Holiday Cookie Recipes
- Whipped Shortbread Cookies
- Sugar Cookies (often confused for shortbread cookies)
- Sugar cookies often have many ingredients
- Traditional shortbread has four ingredients at most: sugar, butter, flour and sometimes vanilla.
- Only similarity is the dough is chilled for both
- Thumbprint Cookies
- Gingerbread Cookies or Ginger Crackle Cookies
- Chocolate Bark
- Amaretti Cookies (traditional Italian Almond Cookies)
- Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside
The Healthy-ISH Holiday Breakfast
If cookies aren't YOUr thing, make your holiday morning a little sweeter with this make ahead quick and easy Greek Yogurt Chocolate Mousse for a healthy-ISH Holiday Breakfast.
Its simple, protein packed (without the meat), and decadent
- Gently heat the milk and chocolate together on low heat until the chocolate melts, being careful not to let it boil.
- Remove the warm milk from heat and let it rest for 3-5 minutes
- Add vanilla extract and honey
- Spoon the greek yogurt into a large bowl
- Pour the chocolate mixture on top. Mix together well before transferring to individual bowls or glasses.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to help develop the flavours.
- The chocolate mousse will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.
- Just before serving top each glass with granola and a few chocolate chips.
Something for the kiddies
Looking for something to make with the kids? Look no further. Try a three ingredient bark recipe.
- Chocolate, dried Cranberries and Roasted Almonds
- add chocolate to a microwave safe dish
- Melt chocolate in the microwave (stirring every 30 seconds),
- remove from microwave, stir, and keep doing this until it is about 75% melted and stir to melt the rest
- Dip your finger in and smear it on a piece of parchment paper. It should set up and get hard in a couple minutes.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
- Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper, top with roasted almonds and cranberries
- refrigerate to set and chop into pieces.
- the bark should set in 10-15 minutes. If in a rush use the freezer.
- Store it in a cool dry place in an air tight container.
- The bark can last for months unto a year. But in my home this won’t last a week!
Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours, and good baking Karma to you all!
- xo's Mary