This year I did all of my holiday baking extra early. Normally I wait until the week before Christmas, so we can enjoy the treats during Christmas, but this year my goal is to do absolutely NOTHING the week of Christmas. Well, perhaps I'll open a few presents, add on a few pounds, and go to family events, but my services are done for the year as of December 20th.
- My decorated sugar cookies. At the man's request I made literally 80+ of these.
- Chocolate sugar cookies
- Red velvet crinkles
- Fudge -- both candy cane and good ole chocolate
- Chocolate-dipped shortbreads, decorated with crushed candy cane, MnM's and whatever else I could find
- Caramel/Chocolate popcorn (recipe below)
- Hot chocolate popcorn (recipe below)
My Caramel Chocolate Popcorn Recipe
1 c. Kernels popped
1 c. Unsalted butter
2 c. Light, packed brown sugar
1 t. Salt
1/2 c. Honey
1 t. Baking soda
*Holiday chocolate candies of your choice
Heat the butter, brown sugar, honey and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes. Don't stir, don't touch just let it boil! Remove from the heat and add your baking soda. Then slowly pour over your popped popcorn and stir it really well (good luck not making a mess here). Place it in a preheated 200 degree Fahrenheit oven and bake. Stir every 15 - 20 minutes to get the gooey stuff from the bottom onto the top. Bake until the caramel gets hard (its different every time. Usually takes anywhere from 1 hour t 2 hours).
Remove from the oven and pour in your chocolate candies. Stir. Its important you do it right at this point while the caramel is slightly tacky -- so the candies stick a little. Then pour out onto wax paper to cool. If it lasts long enough, store in an airtight container -- usually 1/3 of mine is gone before it ever reaches a container.
Delicious Hot Chocolate Popcorn Recipe
2 Pkgs instant hot cocoa with mini marshmallows
1/2 c. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pop your popcorn using whatever method you like (I have a popper, because I'm too lazy to watch it on the stove), immediately add the hot chocolate mix and toss to coat. Do this while the popcorn is fresh and hot so the cocoa sticks! Melt the chocolate and drizzle over your popcorn -- add sprinkles to finish. Once the chocolate hardens bag up and enjoy. It's delicious...and addicting.
When Christmas time rolls around, I look forward to the Christmas coffee creamers and Keurig k-cups. Is it just me or did there used to be a gingerbread flavor from Coffeemate? This year I can't find any.
Luckily Coffeemate's Natural Bliss line has a cinnamon cream. I paired that with Starbuck's holiday blend and ahhhhhh Christmas. I love these Natural Bliss ones, because they don't have that nasty artificial taste like the non-dairy creamers. Of course, they cost a fortune.
It might sound silly -- drinking coffee and baking -- how I get into the holiday spirit, it seems to work every year.
So, how do you get into the spirit?