25 of the Best Holiday Cookies and a $400 Cash Giveaway!

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Not only am I sharing 25 of the BEST Holiday Cookie recipes, but we’re giving away $400 cash to spend however you wish this holiday season!

Not only am I sharing 25 of the BEST Holiday Cookie recipes, but we're giving away $400 cash to spend however you wish this holiday season!

It’s the most WONDERFUL time… of the year!  Tell me you just sang that in your head just like I did while I was writing it. You did, didn’t you? I look forward to the holidays every single year. The enjoyment I get from my kids excitement. The smell of wonderful baked treats filling the house. The endless decorations and lights. The calming tradition of putting that fresh Oregon Noble Fir up in the living room and decorating it with the sentimental ornaments we’ve collected over the years. I love all of it. This will be my third year doing my 12 Days of Christmas series on my blog where I share twelve, YES 12 if you can believe it – holiday treats. If you’re curious about all the wonderful recipes I’ve made in the past, I’ll list some of them out here with links to the recipes, but I don’t want to post pictures because there are too many amazing recipes below. PLUS THE CASH!!! Read on for more details.  Okay, here are just some of my favorite holiday recipes, and have fun looking through all of my friends recipes below! Five Minute Fudge | Holiday Sugar Cookies | Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies | Peppermint Chocolate Pie | Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprints | Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows | Chewy Molasses Sugar Cookies | Easy Petite Palmiers | Triple Threat Peppermint Brownie Bites | Toasted Coconut Cookies | Walnut Spiced Rum Balls | Mexican Chocolate Truffles

This holiday season I’m excited to be joining the Real Housemoms creative team in giving away $400 Black Friday Cash! We’re helping make one lucky reader’s holiday extra special with a little spending money. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter!

This holiday season I’m excited to be joining the Real Housemoms creative team in giving away $400 Black Friday Cash! We’re helping make one lucky reader’s holiday extra special with a little spending money. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter!

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Caramel Macchiato Cookies from Home.Made.Interest.

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Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Blossoms from Real Housemoms

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Chocolate Frosted Christmas Cookies from Real Housemoms

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Chocolate Peppermint Cookies from Around My Family Table

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Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies from Real Housemoms

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Christmas Crinkle Cool Whip Cookies from Bread Booze Bacon

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Christmas Mint Cookies from Cooking on the Front Burner

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Christmas Sugar Cookies from Liz on Call

EGGNOG BISCOTTI are a crunchy, sweet cookies with a hint of nutmeg drizzled with a simple eggnog glaze!

Eggnog Biscotti from Real Housemoms

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Loaded Christmas Cowboy Cookies from Flavor Mosaic

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Melt in Your Mouth Shortbread Cookies from The Endless Meal

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Shortbread from Bread Booze Bacon

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Molasses Sugar Cookies from Real Housemoms

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Monster Cookie Bars from Dinner at the Zoo

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No Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Treats from Pink Cake Plate

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Oreo Cake Ball Christmas Tree from The Cards We Drew

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Penguin Cookies from Delightful E Made

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Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies from Self Proclaimed Foodie

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Peppermint Oreo Truffles from It Is a Keeper

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Peppermint Twist Macarons from Savory Experiments

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Red Velvet Ooey Gooey Bars from A Night Owl

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Salted Caramel & Pecan Thumbprint Cookies from Real Housemoms

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Turtle Snickerdoodles from Garnish & Glaze

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Vanilla Chai Shortbread Cookies from Sugar & Soul

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White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Shortbread Cookies from Frugal Foodie Mama

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Blood Orange Bars

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Less tart than your traditional lemon bars, Blood Orange Bars taste more like an orange flavored short bread cookie and are considered highly addictive.

Less tart than your traditional lemon bars, Blood Orange Bars taste more like an orange flavored short bread cookie and are considered highly addictive.

I’m a lucky girl in so many ways. I could probably devote this entire blog to things that I am grateful for without even mentioning food, but when you add in food-related things that I am grateful for you’ll find that I’m never at a loss for words. Today’s blessing I shall talk about?  Pasture-raised organic-fed backyard happy chicken eggs. If you’ve ever had one, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Yolks so bright orange you’ll need to squint to marvel in their beauty and you’ll mistake them for the sun. Yolks so creamy you need a spatula to scrape them from the bowl when making scrambled eggs. Yolks so large you’ll wonder how they fit into the shell. Once you get a taste of these beautiful, multi-colored, hard shelled, no-two-eggs-look-alike little gems, you’ll never be able to go back to those pale-yellow-yolk thin-shelled with a big nasty white thing in the middle grocery store eggs.

Less tart than your traditional lemon bars, Blood Orange Bars taste more like an orange flavored short bread cookie and are considered highly addictive.

Why am I going on and on about eggs and blessings, you might ask?  Well, I’m fortunate enough to have a past co-worker of mine deliver eggs like this directly to my door each and every week for half the cost of what they go for at the farmer’s market and this beautiful dozen shown above was given to me by yet another co-worker, CJ (aka super cool dude). You see, when you live in Portland, its not uncommon to know people with backyard chickens (or to see someone walking a goat or walking downtown in a batman costume for that matter), and I consider myself beyond lucky for knowing such people. I wanted to thank CJ for giving me 4 dozen of these beauties so I decided to make him some blood orange bars.  I think he is still waiting on the creme brulee I promised him though…

Less tart than your traditional lemon bars, Blood Orange Bars taste more like an orange flavored short bread cookie and are considered highly addictive.

If you’ve ever had a traditional lemon bar or a variation like strawberry rhubarb lemon bars, you’ll know that the top is a tart and sweet custard-like concoction and it sits happily on a shortbread crust. I decided to add some zest to the crust as well as the filling and I wholeheartedly agree that was a solid decision. You must do that as well. You can substitute any kind of citrus in this recipe, but I just think the blood oranges are so darn pretty. Enjoy!

Less tart than your traditional lemon bars, Blood Orange Bars taste more like an orange flavored short bread cookie and are considered highly addictive.

Blood Orange Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Less tart than your traditional lemon bars, Blood Orange Bars taste more like an orange flavored short bread cookie and are considered highly addictive.
Author:
Recipe type: dessert
Yields: 12 servings
Ingredients
crust:
  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
filling:
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup blood orange juice
  • 1/4 + 1 tablespoon cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon blood orange zest
  • powdered sugar (for dusting)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, powdered sugar, and butter until it clings together. Press evenly into a 13x9 inch pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  3. While crust is cooking, beat together the eggs, sugar, and blood orange juice. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add to the flour mixture along with the blood orange zest. Mist until combined. Pour over the cooled crust.
  4. Bake for an additional 25 minutes.
  5. Allow to fully cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into bars.

Less tart than your traditional lemon bars, Blood Orange Bars taste more like an orange flavored short bread cookie and are considered highly addictive.
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Brown Butter Banana Bars

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Brown Butter Banana Bars topped with a heavenly brown butter vanilla bean frosting make the perfect portable dessert to share with friends and family.

Brown Butter Banana Bars topped with a heavenly brown butter vanilla bean frosting make the perfect portable dessert to share with friends and family.

This is one of those recipes where you take your first bite and pause. You pause because you cannot believe how wonderfully incredible the morsel melting on your tongue tastes. I dare those few crazy people who don’t like bananas to try these banana bars and tell me they’re not some of the most delicious treats they’ve ever enjoyed. I dare them.

Brown Butter Banana Bars topped with a heavenly brown butter vanilla bean frosting make the perfect portable dessert to share with friends and family.

I found this recipe because my friend Scott told me that his favorite thing that his wife, Christine, makes are these banana bars, so right then and there I naturally demanded he give me the recipe. You can’t just tell me about something like that and not either give me the recipe or actually make them for me! Christine told me that this recipe came from her old Gold Medal Flour cookbook. Every kitchen should have a classic recipe book like that that gets passed down from generation to generation. I made one tweak to the recipe though which, in my humble opinion, set it over the top in the omg-that-tastes-good category. I browned the butter, of course!

Brown Butter Banana Bars topped with a heavenly brown butter vanilla bean frosting make the perfect portable dessert to share with friends and family.

Now, if you’re wondering what a banana bar is, its very similar to cake but its portable like a brownie. Kind of genius, right? Well, they are definitely delicious on their own, but when topped with brown butter vanilla bean frosting… heaven. These are the perfect dessert to take to potlucks or to bring into work or to freeze in order to have single serving treat at the ready whenever you want. You will love them!

Brown Butter Banana Bars topped with a heavenly brown butter vanilla bean frosting make the perfect portable dessert to share with friends and family.

This recipe uses pure vanilla extract. Did you know you can make your own homemade vanilla extract? It makes the perfect gift too. Watch how in the video below.
Brown Butter Banana Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Brown Butter Banana Bars topped with a heavenly brown butter vanilla bean frosting make the perfect portable dessert to share with friends and family.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: recipe from Gold Medal Recipe Book
Yields: 48 bars
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 cube) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 large or 4 small)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • brown butter vanilla bean frosting
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk frequently, scraping the bottom. As the butter foams, continue whisking and scraping to release any brown bits that may stick to the bottom. Once the butter has sufficiently browned (not burned) and smells heavenly, remove from heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper or grease with butter.
  3. Add browned butter, sugar, sour cream, and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for about a minute. Scrape sides, add bananas and vanilla, and continue to mix on low for another 30 seconds.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the wet. Start mixing on low speed just to combine and then flash on high speed for about 10 seconds to fully mix. Scrape sides, add nuts, and mix to combine.
  5. Spread batter in pan and bake in preheated oven until light brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Allow bars to fully cool before you frost with brown butter vanilla bean frosting and cut into individual servings.
  7. These store really well in an airtight container in the freezer.
Brown Butter Banana Bars topped with a heavenly brown butter vanilla bean frosting make the perfect portable dessert to share with friends and family.
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