Christmas is my favourite holiday, and my favourite time of year. There’s nothing like looking forward to the first weekend of December to have that fam-jam sesh to classic Christmas songs while putting up the tree.
There’s just so much to look forward to during the month of December! Although I love it all, my favourites are baking and the snow. It officially feels like the holiday season after that first snowfall. But yes, unfortunately this year we’ve yet to have any “stay-on-the-ground-snow”. For those of you who just aren’t feeling the Christmas spirit yet, I highly recommend investing in a stylish, festive shirt, playing some Christmas tunes, and screening some Christmas films.
I spent this past Sunday baking and watching Christmas movies, while sporting my exceptionally fashionable Kermit Santa tee. I chose two timeless holiday treats: peanut brittle, and sugar cookies. These make great gifts or are always welcomed when brought to another festive shindig. Check out the recipes for yourselves and give these great treats a try!
Unsalted butter, softened, for baking sheet
2 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups salted peanut, 7 ounces
Vegetable oil, for spatula
1. Butter a rimmed backing sheet; set aside. Stir together sugar, 1/2 cup water, and the salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over high heat, without stirring, until sugar begins to melt and turn golden, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar has melted and mixture turns golden amber, about 10 minutes.
2. Remove pan from heat. Stir in peanuts. Immediately pour peanut mixture onto buttered baking sheet. Quickly spread mixture to 1/2 inch thick using an oiled metal spatula. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes. Break brittle into pieces
Note: Instead of buttering a baking sheet, I placed a piece of parchment paper on the baking sheet. Less mess, and easier to break apart.
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment paper and cutters
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer to medium, and beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla. Reduce mixer to low, and beat in flour and salt until soft dough forms. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and pat each into a disk. Wrap each disk tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. Roll out each disk between 2 sheets of well-floured parchment to a 1/8″ thickness. Transfer to a baking pan, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
3. Remove and unwrap 2 dough disks. Use a well-floured 3″ round cutter to cut out 12 cookies. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking pan, spacing cookies about 1″ apart. To make each resembled a button: Using the blunt side of a 2 3/4″ round cutter, indent a circle on the cookie’s surface. Then, using a straw, poke 2 holes near the centre of each cookie. Repeat with 2 remaining dough disks.
4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, refrigerate pans with cookies until chilled, about 15 minutes. Bake until cookies are golden around edges and firm, about 5 minutes. (If necessary, use a skewer to reopen buttonholes.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
5. To package, string a ribbon through a stack of 4-6 button cookies and tie.
These treats will put a smile on everyone’s face. Share them with family and friends, from us to you.