11/26/21

Hundreds of Christmas Cookie Recipes - lists and photos and links... oh my!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, so traditionally, in our home, this weekend starts the holiday baking for me.  When you bake (literally) over a thousand cookies, you clear out space in the deep freezer, start early and take it step by step to have everything done by the goal date. 

Years (and years and years) ago I started off simply enough by making about 3-4 different Christmas goodies for my husband and I, and soon after, our new baby daughter.  Every year it seemed I was adding "one" more recipe (and adding "one" more baby... ha!).  

Each year the family members had a favorite I "had" to make and couldn't leave out, but I also had new recipes I wanted to try, or 'old' recipes I wanted to make from my own family traditions growing up.

The list grew.

And grew.

Soon I was making on average, about 14-15 different items.

And then my husband wanted to do something special for his co-workers so we decided to send in a tray of goodies for the break-room.

We had no idea THAT little decision would impact the next 20 years of me baking for them every year but it did!

As I baked for family and extended family and friends, as well as little gifts for teachers, the mailman, etc. I was also now making up trays for between 85-125 people at my husbands companies (he switched jobs a few times through the next 20 years but somehow I always ended up baking for them).

For the past 12 years or so I think the average number of recipes is somewhere around 24-26.  I don't let it go higher - so if I'm adding something new that year, I typically take off a different recipe from the list.  Sometimes I try a new recipe and it's fine - or even great - but I don't add it to the 'permanent' recipe list.  

I change things up every year based on what I feel like making, what people request, what ingredients I can find... some are more difficult than others some years - and depending on where in the United States we live at the time. 

Even the trays or boxes or ways I package of the goodies change each year.

Since I answer to no one but myself (and I don't sell them) I can do what I want, when I want and how I want.  So it stays "FUN" instead of a drudgery. 

 

 OVER THE YEARS on  An American Housewife
I've posted "25 days til Christmas" and "A Cookie a Day" until Christmas lists, etc. with lists of ideas and recipes to make...

Meh.

I've been doing this for SO LONG that I don't really care to re-invent the lists and posts yet AGAIN. Seriously... I think this particular version of my site goes back to 2006.

Instead... I'll just cut and paste of the many lists I've made at some point in the past,

as well a few random photos of goodies and links - no particular order or reason.

IF YOU WANT TO SEE MORE JUST USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION ON THE PAGE OR CLICK ON THE CHRISTMAS OR COOKIE OR CAKE OR DESSERT LABELS.

 

I will update with whatever NEW cookies I make this year for 2021 but there is no sense of me taking new photos and making new links of all the 'old' goodies I still make.

 

 RANDOM LINKS FROM OVER THE YEARS......... 2006 - 2020

 

 


 A Cookie A Day 'Til Christmas Link HERE.

 

 


December 1st:  Molasses Cookies
December 2nd:  Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints
December 3rd:  Peppermint Pinwheels
December 4th:  Candy Striped Cookie Sticks
December 5th:  Peppermint Teacakes
December 6th:  Peanut Butter Patties
December 7th:  Peanut Butter Fudge
December 8th:  Sugar Cookies:  Snowflakes with Edible Glitter
December 9th:  Swedish Rosettes
December 10th:  Cream Wafer Cookies
December 11th:  Cherry Poppy Seed Winks
December 12th:  Peppermint Pretzels
December 13th:  Candy Pretzels
December 14th:  Homemade Truffles
December 15th:  Cream Horns
December 16th:  The Best Brownies
December 17th:  Red Velvet Cake Balls
December 18th:  Glazed Sugar Cookies
December 19th:  Gateau Bon Bons
December 20th:  No Bake Chocolate Bars
December 21st:  Peppermint Meltaways
December 22nd:  Melted Snowman Cookies
December 23rd: No Bake Fruitcake Bars
December 24th:  Mini Peanut Blossom Muffin Cookies









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11/19/21

It's that time of year again! MINI THANKSGIVING DINNER CUPCAKES - it looks like turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and more but it's all candy!

One of the most posted recipes on the site year after year... mini Thanksgiving Dinner Cupcakes.

I can't even count the number of times I've posted this awesome little Thanksgiving day dessert - seven? Eight?  They look like little plates of tiny turkey with gravy, green beans or peas (depending on what I use that year), cranberries and mashed potatoes with butter but it's really all candy!

It was probably almost twenty years ago that I started to make these... wow, time flies.

When I started to make these little Thanksgiving Cupcakes, the internet didn't really exist in any 'real' way yet.  It was invented, yet not everyone had a computer, and those that did, didn't necessarily have internet.  Even if you did have internet, there weren't that many retail stores online and buying anything online wasn't a thing yet either. 

You still had to search for ingredients locally at your grocery stores and if you were lucky, you may live in city large enough to have a cake decorating supply store.  We didn't at the time.  I went from store to store to look for things I could use and tracked down a cookie with a fancy edge here... little red sugar crystals there... Brach's Maple Nut Candies somewhere else.

I recall the year I tracked down the long green jimmie sprinkles.  I had to convince the bakery department of our local grocery store to please sell me some sprinkles as I couldn't find anything and had been to literally every store in town.  She filled a little Ziplock baggie with green jimmies, debated a few minutes on what price and sku to put on it for the cashier, and then charged me what I believe came to about $1.60 at the time.  I was so thrilled to have those sprinkles that I hoarded them for THIS and ONLY THIS baked goodie for the next few years - no one in the house was allowed to use them as I had to work so hard to track them down.

Now of course, we could (and do) order everything we need online in less than 3 minutes and delivered straight to our door.

Needed:
24 baked and cooled cupcakes of your choice
Brach's Maple Nut Candies
2 cans white frosting (or homemade)
Yellow decorating gel or yellow food color gel (in a little tube)
Tiny round nonpareils - red for cranberries and green for peas (I used red sugar crystals for cranberries many years or use the long skinny green sprinkles and call them green beans)
chocolate chips or butterscotch chips to melt for 'gravy'
A package of cookies of your choice (or homemade) to look like a plate (a pretty edge on the cookie is a nice touch)
Yellow frosting or other color besides white for the 'plate' (use some yellow food color to tint a bit of the white frosting yellow).

Bake and cool your favorite cupcake recipe. Frost each cupcake with white or tinted frosting of your choice and top each with a cookie while the frosting is soft to 'adhere' the cookie-plate to the cupcake.

Carefully frost a circle on each cookie to be your plate. 

Be sure not to frost more than 2 or 3 'plates' at  a time as you want the frosting to be soft enough to press the candy 'food' into.  

Slice the maple nut candies thin and place them on the cookie plate to be 'turkey'. 

Dab some white frosting next to it for 'mashed potatoes' followed with a little dab of yellow gel food color as 'butter'.  

Add the 'cranberries' (red colored sugar or nonpereils) and little green 'peas' or 'beans' depending on the sprinkles you use. 

Melt your butterscotch or chocolate chips and thin with a little vegetable oil. Drizzle over the 'turkey' as gravy.

FLASHBACK... almost 20 years ago (I don't have photos of all the years, but I found a few random years I'll put here!)


 2004

  

 

2006


2008

2009


2010

Old photos from years ago of making the mini Thanksgiving Dinner Cupcakes one year.... 

 Starting out with the sugar 'cranberries' and sprinkle 'green beans' 

You can see how I slice the top off some of the cupcakes' peaks to give me a flat surface to lay the cookie 'plate'


Long gone are the days of running from store to store to try to find the items needed to make these!  You still can if you wish, but you can also find everything on the internet.   If you are an Amazon shopper, you may wish to use my Amazon affiliate links:


Brachs Maple Nut Goodies Roasted Peanuts in Crunchy Toffee with Real Maple Coating, 4 Oz Pack (3 Packs)

 

 

Pillsbury Creamy Supreme White Frosting, 16-Ounce (Pack of 8)

 

 

Wilton Gel Tube.75 oz, LEMON

 

 

CK Products 3.8 Ounce Non Pareils Bottle, Red

 

 

CK Products 4 Ounce Non Pareils Bottle, Green

 

Use any cookie for the base that has a decorative edge.  Most years I ended up using the very affordable vanilla sandwich cookies sold at any grocery store; one year I used tiny lemon tartlets as it's all I could find at the time.  Here are Walkers Shortbread Rounds... 

Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread, Rounds, 5.3 oz

 

 

 

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Fall: Pumpkin Time... this one is another pumpkin cake with streusel topping

  

 

 

Crumb Topping:

1/2  c almond flour 
1 T good quality coconut flour
1/4 c Swerve Brown
1/4 c butter, soft
1/4 t cinnamon

Pumpkin Cake: 
 
1 c almond flour 
1/2 c natural sweetener(s) - I use Erythritol, monk fruit and some allulose mixed
1/4 c vanilla or unflavored whey protein powder (I use Isopure)
2 T coconut flour
2 t baking powder 
1/2 t cinnamon, ginger
dash of cloves and nutmeg
1/4 t salt 
2/3 cup pumpkin puree 
2 eggs
3 T butter, melted
1 t vanilla extract 
 
Glaze
1/4 - 1/3 cup powdered sweetener(s) - I use a mixture of 2-3 I keep in a container in the pantry
1 T cream cheese (optional)
2 tablespoon cream 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Put the eggs, pumpkin, butter and vanilla in another large bowl and mix until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Grease a small cake, bundt or springform pan that fits inside your instant pot.  
 
Pour the batter into the pan.  To make it easier to pull your pan out of the instant pot, use a long piece of aluminum foil, folded over a few times and set the pan in the middle of it, pulling the sides up and over the pan so you can 'lift' it out easily when it's done. (Or if you are lucky enough to use a 'sling' now made for lifting pans out of your instant pot, use that! I don't have one though...)
 
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the batter.  Set a trivet in a 6-quart Instant Pot and pour in 1 cup of water. Place the pan on the trivet, seal the lid, press manual cook, and set the timer for 35 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. 
 
Open lid and let cool in the instant pot for 10 minutes before removing.

Mix the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl or processor. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake.

 

 Making the crumb topping up

  

I might add about 1/4 c chopped pecans to this next time.... 

  

In the pan...

 


Sprinkled the crumb topping on - but also you can see the foil I use as a 'handle' to lower and raise the pan into the instant cooker.  I think some people cover the whole top with foil as well - I assume to keep the excess condensation from running back onto the cake?  If you are using a springform pan, you'll want to wrap the outside of the pan with foil for sure so no water seeps in through the seams of it.

In the instant pot (or in my case, the Cosori)

  Here is a photo of it 'done' and out of the instant pot, cooling on the stove.


 

 Ready for the glaze

  

You wouldn't have to put a glaze on it if you didn't want to.

 

It's just a basic glaze - sweeteners, a little cream cheese, a bit of cream and a dash of vanilla. 

Was great with coffee - and it freezes well.









I happened to already have a small, tall cake pan with a removable bottom that fit perfectly inside my Instant Pot when I tried it.  I would test the pans you have to see if you have a small round pan, a bundt pan or any style pan that works.  A 7" round pan will usually fit inside a 6 qt. instant pot pressure cooker.  

Here are the cake pans with removable bottoms similar to the one I happened to already have on hand:


  Various sized cake pans with removable bottoms for easy 'out' and cleaning.

 

 

You can see in the photo above, I used a tiny food processor to mix my glaze.  It's part of a Cuisinart stick blender (immersion blender) set I got years ago, similar to this one that comes with other attachments.

 

Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender 



I'm fairly sure that 'way back when' I learned I could cook a cake in my instant pot from this cookbook;  Keto Instant Pot: 130+ Healthy Low-Carb Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker. I'm not completely positive as I don't have this book in my kitchen any longer so I can't check.

I had bought a few of her books when they first came out, but realized that her style of cooking and the foods her family likes are not ones my family or I really like or would use, so I gave my copies of her books to a family member who eats more of her style food than we do.   

 

 

When I made the cake the first time I think I had 3 or 4 different pumpkin cake recipes in front of me and I just mixed them up willy-nilly as every keto or low carb pumpkin cake basically has the same ingredients. It's also how I make almost any recipe; I have at minimum, three versions and I make my version based on how I 'feel' about each ingredient and the amounts. 

I thought perhaps the pumpkin cake recipe was in this one, but I just flipped through it quickly and didn't see it.  Still - it's a great baking book so I'm putting it here anyway!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking: Master All the Best Tricks for Low-Carb Baking Success

 

 

 

 

 

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