Growing up, my parents always made the holidays special. They always made an extra effort to create traditions, traditions I still cherish today. I want to give that to my kids.
Baking Christmas cookies has always been a cherished memory, and I wanted to pass along this special tradition. Every year, we go shopping for ingredients, make hot chocolate, turn on the Christmas music and enjoy a nice day of baking!
For us, this year is different. The year has been somber for us, with the extreme racist attacks. Of course, the kids know what’s going on, so I wanted to make this year nice. Our family can still grow, develop and move forward despite a cruel and uncertain world. This family is united, and for me, I think that’s the Christmas spirit is this year. It’s a strong cohesive family unit that moves forward despite all odds.
Giant is our One Stop Shop for Holiday Memories
I g0t everything I need to make the holidays fun for the kids, healthy for me, and also spread the joy!
The kids wanted to make soft and chewy Chocolate chip cookies, make and decorate gingerbread cookies, and I wanted to make a healthy treat for myself. Make sure to check out the recipes below!
Giant has a Limited Time Holiday collection! We got this cute gingerbread tin that comes with a gingerbread man cookie cutter and a recipe! We thought it was the perfect homemade gift for our surrogate grandmother!
I have never decorated gingerbread cookies but saw a 4-color Betty Crocker icing set, that I thought would work really well. The icing sets within 30 minutes, so no problem stacking our special creations!
It was so easy to get everything I need to make our holiday special!
Before heading out, download this $5 coupon (for new registrants only), that can save you money on your holiday necessities!
Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Honestly, this is kind of a tricky recipe. If you have 4-year olds like me, it’s better to let them do all the measuring and mixing, but make the cookie balls yourself (I learned from a very big mess).
- Due to the consistency of the dough, the fewer chocolate chips, the better. Start at 1/2 cup, and increase slowly. The cookie is rich, and in my opinion, doesn’t need a lot of chocolate.
- Don’t beat the batter too much. It will make it stiff and sacrifice texture.
- Do not over bake.
- 1/2 cup of butter (I use salted because I don’t salt my food). Don’t use margarine or any imitation. Yuck.
- 1/2 cup raw sugar
- 1/4 cup organic light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (yes, I use real flour)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Barely melt the butter, microwave only 30 seconds if out of the freezer, less if you warmed it first.
- I always beat the butter and sugars until creamy.
- Add the egg and vanilla only until incorporated. 15 seconds at most.
- Add dry ingredients and pulse (if you have that feature). You only want to beat until incorporated. The dough will be crumbly but moist.
- Add the chocolate chips and incorporate with your hands (do not use a mixer). If the batter sticks to your hands and is annoying, add more flour!
- Roll the dough into 12 balls, place them on a cookie sheet covered with a Silpat or parchment paper. Bake only for 9-11 minutes.
Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
- I love making gingerbread cookies because they are easy to roll out and cut!
- 1 cup butter – melted and cooled.
- 6 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp ginger
- 1 tsp each of Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Place the dry ingredients together and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. When mixed, add egg, molasses, water and vanilla.
- slowly stir in dry ingredients until incorporated.
- Break into 3 equally sized balls. Pat down to about 1/2 inch in thickness, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight (or for at least 3-hours).
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Take dough out of the refrigerator and allow to warm to room temperature (about 2 hours).
- Roll the dough on a floured board and cut.
- Cook for about 9 minutes.
- Decorate at will!
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (homemade see recipe below)
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
- 1 apple
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp honey
- Whey protein isolates (chocolate or chocolate and peanut butter)
- Melting chocolate
Directions – Homemade apple sauce
- Peel one apple
- add it to a pot with 1/4 cup water.
- Add cinnamon
- Cover pot and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes (or until the apple mashes.)
- Place sauces in a food processor to blend further.
Directions protein bars
- Chop nuts in food processor
- In a separate bowl (not using a food processor) add the following: applesauce, honey, chopped nuts, 1 scoop of whey protein isolates and mix.
- line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. spread mixture.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler. When melted pour over bars.
- Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Cut into 24 equal pieces.
Make sure you download the $5 coupon so that you can save money on all of your holiday essentials (for new registrations only)!