Holiday Baking

Now that Megan’s home for her winter break, she & I decided to do some baking in the kitchen today.  Last night we ran to the store and got our cookie supplies so we could get a good start right away today.  Our first treat was going to be a new cookie called, “Christmas Crinkles”.   Loved the name and best of all, they are pretty low-fat, so we can eat many of them and not feel guilty.  Their secret ingredient…Cool Whip!  I was thrilled to find this recipe because I still have six tubs of Cool Whip in my freezer from Megan’s graduation party!  We kind of over bought a bit on the salad ingredients.  ugh~

The hardest part of making these cookies, was getting the colors we wanted.  Megan worked on the green and I did the red.  We called our colors…Grinch Green and Rudolph Red.  That’s the holidays coming out of us.

I have to say…doing the red was kind of gross.  It looked like I had a bloody mess at first and I sure needed a lot of coloring to get my rudolph red, but patience was needed and I finally got there.  Megan was already putting her dough onto the trays and getting the first batch ready for the oven.  She took a scoop out and rolled it into powdered sugar and then onto the tray.  This dough was super sticky, so using one finger was a good plan.  Now if I had made these when they were little kids, it probably would’ve been more of a mess.  ha~

Into the oven they went and we crossed our fingers that they would come out looking like the picture.  Always nervous when trying a new recipe.  Yes, we peeked a few times and all was looking good.    The timer went off, we took them out and yippee, they were perfect!

Best of all, they taste good too.  Score one for the Solberg girls!

Our next treat was Raspberry Shortbread bars.  Megan pretty much made the bulk of this recipe while I did the dishes (hmm, doesn’t seem fair, but okay…).  She whipped together the shortbread so quickly, that I was highly impressed.  Instead of adding the butter and using a pastry cutter, she threw it all into my Kitchen-Aid mixer and away it went.  I wasn’t sure it would work, but Megan is good about making shortcuts and yep, it was a success in half the time.  Wow, I will remember this for next time.  Once she had the crust laid out, I spread the raspberry jam over it (again, I have the bloody part), then Megan topped it with more crust and we popped it into the oven.  Jazz was there to observe and hoping something would fall to the floor.

Okay, fingers crossed again because it’s another first time recipe.  More peeking required and out it came…perfectly bubbly and browned on top as it was suppose to be.  Another success for the Megs and I.   We enjoyed this for dessert tonight.

Our last  treat for the day were the peanut butter cutout cookies.  We origianlly wanted to make gingerbread cookies, but the store was out of the pre-made dough, so we thought we’d try peanut butter.  We love our peanut butter in this house, so unless we burn them, they should turn out okay and be edible.


We rolled out this pre-made dough (sorry to those grandma’s reading this…we know its cheating) and grabbed our christmas tree & gingerbread cutters, and got to it.

Cutting the shapes was the easy part, getting them out and onto the baking sheet…not so much.  The dough was getting warm and they were falling apart because they were mushy and hard to transfer over.  I had to do a little operation on a few of our gingerbreads and put back arms and legs that had either fallen off or cracked in places.  Nate called them our “tray of misfit cookies.”   Megan and I had so many laughs at our misfits.  Some were pretty ugly.


We’re hoping he looks better after he’s baked.

Once the trays were loaded it was time to get everyone involved in our fun and help decorate them.  Nate put his artistic ability to work while Kelly and Zach preferred to just sprinkle.   Both ways were fine with us…we don’t judge.

Our house was feeling so christmassy now and smelled like the holidays.  The festive music was playing and it even began to snow.  What a perfect day to spend indoors with the family.   While the cookies baked, Kelly got the urge to do more decorating.  Decorating the house, that is.   She and Zach took out the bins and started glitzing up the house and really making it look & feel like Christmas time.  Ooooh, what a mess it was…but in a good way.

These two make the cutest elves and we are loving the decorations.  Thank you Kelly & Zach!  I just hope they feel the same excitement when it comes to taking it all down.

The cookie timer went off, and we carefully placed them on the cooling rack and happily no limbs came off in the transfer.  I have to say, they came out better looking than when they went into the oven.  Always a good thing.

Gingy on the left and tree on the right came from the first batch of “misfit tray”, we got the hang of it on the second round.   In the end, it didn’t matter what tray they came from, they tasted delicious!


As I finish writing this tonight, my stomach is saying….why so many sweets!  It was a great day spent with the family, hanging out in the house, and feeling the holiday mood.  Happy to have Megan home for awhile and bake together.  We had lots of laughs, made yummy treats, and made some more memories in the kitchen.  Thanks Megs for spending the day with me in our happy place.img_3037


  1. Super pretty blog!!!!! The cookies look wonderful and yummy and the family togetherness is the best.

  2. What a wonderful way to spend the day with Megan, I bet the house smelt fabulous
    Both new recipes look fun to make ,please send them my way and as I don’t need to make the color purple I think I will give it a whirl.
    This is your happy place and having Megan there was a perfect day

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