Christmas treats for Saint Nick

Emma LehtoHoliday Desert 1 EL

Staff Writer

Some years it is difficult to get into the Christmas spirit with all the work that has piled up for the end of the year, but a fantastic way is baking. Getting busy with fun deserts for family and friends is a super entertaining task and is enjoyed by everyone who gets to taste the delicious treats. To help get the ideas flowing, here are some wonderful and easy holiday desserts that anyone can try.

Thumbprint Cookies

The first and easiest recipe is thumbprint cookies. The ingredients needed are 3 sticks of unsalted butter, 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, 3 ½ cups of all purpose flour, ¼  teaspoon of kosher salt, 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water for egg wash, 7 ounces of sweetened flaked coconut, and raspberry and apricot jam. First, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Then mix the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until combined; then add vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and salt; then slowly add this mixture to the butter and sugar on a low speed. When it becomes dough, roll it out into a thin disk with a pizza roller and wrap the disk of dough with plastic. Chill this for 30 minutes. After it is chilled, roll the dough into 1 ¼ inch balls and dip them into the egg wash. Then sprinkle the shaved coconut on top of all of them. Place them on a cookie sheet and press lightly into the tops with your thumb. Fill the indentions with the jam of your choice, and bake the cookies for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool, and then they are ready for serving. Junior Michaela Thomas says, “Thumbprints are my favorite because they are easy and not very overpowering cookies.”

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Another favorite is of snickerdoodle cookies. The ingredients necessary for these include ½ cup of salted butter that is softened, ½ cup vegetable shortening, 1 ½ cups of sugar, 2 more tablespoons of sugar put to the side, 2 medium-sized eggs, 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, ¼ teaspoon of fine salt, and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. To begin, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Next, combine the butter, shortening, 1 ½ cups of sugar and eggs in an electric mixer. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. When both are combined, separately, slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture with the mixer on a low speed. In another small bowl mix together the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon. Roll the balls of dough from the mixer into 1 ½ inch balls. Roll the balls in the sugar- cinnamon mixture. Place the balls on a cookie sheet and bake them for 8-10 minutes or until the center is still slightly soft. Junior Jacob Yoder shares, “Snickerdoodles are my favorite because I love the cinnamon taste.”

Peppermint Pie

Another simple Christmas dessert is peppermint pie. The ingredients needed are 1 envelope plain gelatin, ¼ cup of cold water, ½ cup of whipping cream plus 1 ½ cups of whipping cream, 8 ounces peppermint candies, and 1 chocolate cookie crust. To make this recipe, soften the gelatin in water and set it aside. Put a half cup of whipping cream in a small sauce pan with the peppermint candy and cook on low heat until the candies are melted. Add the gelatin and mix well. Next, fold in the rest of the whipping cream. Pour it into the crust, and let it cool.

Hot Apple Cider

The last holiday recipe is hot apple cider. The ingredients needed are 2 teaspoons of clove, 2 cardamom pods, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 orange peel, 1 (64) ounce bottle of apple cider, and 2 cups of orange juice. To begin, wrap the clove, cardamom, and cinnamon in a dish cloth and tie with a string. Next, combine the orange juice and apple cider in a pot, and put the bundle of cardamom, cinnamon, and orange peel in the juice. Heat the mixture at medium for 30-45 minutes. Remove the bundle and let it cool slightly before serving.

Being surrounded by numerous fun holiday desserts and snacks is a sure-fire way of helping getting into the holiday spirit. Junior Emma Shaw says, “I know it is time to break out the decorations when my mom starts to bake.” Break out those oven mitts and get jolly!

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