12 Days of Christmas Cookies (The Past)

Why hello there December 1st!  I could have sworn Thanksgiving was a mere three days ago.  Time to put those pumpkin pie pans away and get ready for some Christmas baking!  We are so excited to kick-off our 3rd year of our annual 12 Days of Christmas Cookies.  Before we start our series for 2013, I wanted to highlight our 24 Christmas cookies from the past two years.

12 Days of Christmas Cookies {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES 2012

 

12 days of Christmas cookies- 2011 {from 2 Sisters 2 Cities}

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES 2011

Happy Baking!

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet PotatoYam Casserole

Speaking of classic Thanksgiving recipes, this is the classic baked sweet potatoes or yam casserole recipe.  I know there are a lot of new moderns versions of this side, but I love this original marshmallow-covered one too much to give it up.  When we were younger my mom made the mistake of trying to update the sweet potato recipe to a more modern version which was topped with candied walnuts or pecans.  I am sure it would have been delicious, but my sisters and I threw such a fuss that she ended up having to put marshmallows on half.

What can I say?  To me it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without marshmallow-covered candied yams/ sweet potatoes or canned jelled cranberry sauce (sliced at the can ring lines…. Not mashed up!) I call this sweet potatoes, but really I use yams because they are cheaper.  Preparing this dish is so easy, you will never use yams out of a can again!

Yams!

Sweet Potato Casserole
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2-3 pounds of yams or sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2-3 cups marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes up into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10-12 minutes until sweets potatoes are tender.
  2. Drain sweet potatoes
  3. In a large bowl add cooked sweet potatoes, butter, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Mix together until combined and smooth.
  4. Spread out sweet potatoes in casserole dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees until sides are bubbling. Add marshmallows on the top during the last 5 minutes. To get the toasted marshmallow effect, turn broiler on for the last 2 minutes. Be careful because they can burn easily!
  5. These yams can be made ahead, up until the baking step and then refrigerated or frozen. You will need to add extra time to the baking to make sure they heat thoroughly.

Baked Yams with Marshmallowssisterk (2)

Eight Kolacky

Kolacky

K and I are once again on the same wavelength this week…my cookie for today as part of our 12 Days of Christmas Cookies is also a jam-filled one.  If you are looking for a jam cookie in addition to K’s raspberry linzer cookies, try this recipe for kolacky.  This has been a traditional Christmas cookie that we have had at our home growing up.  I believe it has Polish origins.

kolacky

These cookies can be customized to your taste by using any type of jam or fruit preserves that you want.  I usually prefer to make it with apricot jam, but you could do another type or even a variety of jam flavors.  I love how this cookie puffs up while baking to create light flaky layers- it’s perfect with a cup of tea.

Eight Kolacky
Author: 
Recipe type: cookie
Cuisine: Polish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Thick jam, such as apricot
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix butter and cream cheese together in a medium bowl until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to butter and cream cheese mixture in fourths, blending well after each addition. Chill dough until easy to handle.
  4. Once dough is chilled, roll dough to ⅜th inch thickness on floured surface. Cut out 2-inch circles (or other shapes). Place on ungreased baking sheets. Make a “thumbprint” about ¼ inch deep in each cookie (I just use my thumb, but the back of a spoon would also work.) Fill each cookie thumbprint with jam.
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until delicately browned on edges.

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Three Easy Edible Stocking Stuffers

Still looking for some stocking stuffers or gift ideas for Christmas?  Check out these 3 holiday gifts you can whip up in your own kitchen:

1. Caramel corn- Check out this recipe for caramel corn from Annie’s Eats.  It will change your world.  I’ve already made it several time and this stuff goes fast!  I packaged some up in holiday Chinese take-out containers for an easy holiday gift:

2. Spice rub- There are some great spice rub mixtures to make in bulk and split out into small glass spice jars.  Personalize it by using a printable label that lists out the ingredients and recommended uses for the spice rub.  Top it off with a festive ribbon!  For recipe ideas, try Martha’s All Purpose Spice Rub or one of the many at Simple Mom.

3. Spiced nut mix- For this stocking stuffer, you just need a slightly larger glass jar (perhaps a Mason jar?)   Feel free to be creative and name your concoction with a fun name!  I’ve made this recipe from Cooking Light for a few parties and it has been a hit- Peanuts with Indian Spices.

What edible gifts do you like to give (or receive!) during the holiday season?  Check out The Naptime Chef for more homemade gift recipes!

-m

Merry Christmas from K & M!

We just wanted to wish all our readers a very merry Christmas this year! It has been a great year and are both so excited to have the whole family together at our parents’ home- along with their 10 foot tree! We hope you are having a wonderful holiday as well. Thanks for following us this past year…we hope to have many more posts in the upcoming year!

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