Christmas Cookies 2016

Happy Christmas Eve Day everyone!  I can’t believe this year is almost over!  I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate to the blog lately (school, work, work, school) but I took a little time off last week and was able to get in some baking!

Here, in no particular order, are this year’s Christmas cookies!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and a Happy New Year!  See you in 2017!

Gingerbread Man Decorated Cookie

Christmas Tree Decorated Cookie

Ugly Sweater Cookies - Shake Bake and Party

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Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Hello all!  It’s that time of year – cookie baking madness has taken over many a household.  I heard from someone who baked 15 dozen cookies on Saturday, and another friend made 8 different types of cookies!  My Facebook newsfeed was filled with pictures of thumbprints, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies and all kinds of other tasty goodies!  I LOVE IT!

I too was was bitten by the cookie baking bug and of course, I made more cake mix cookies.  It’s been… well, it’s only been a few days since my last cake mix cookie post, but that’s long enough – right?!

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

I also took the opportunity to get out my Snoopy cookie jar!  Isn’t it cute?

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

In case you haven’t read any of my posts raving about cake mix cookies before, I’ll give you a quick run-down.  They are simple, customizable and delicious!  If you have never made them before, you must try them and if you have made them before then you are probably making some more right now because they are THAT GOOD!

These ones are dark chocolatey, chewy, minty Christmas cookie happiness.  If you have any mint fans in your household these are a must bake!

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies
(adapted from Funfetti Cheesecake Cookies by Kitchen Meets Girl)

Ingredients

1 box devil’s food cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/3 and 1/4 cup Nestle® Toll House® Winter Dark Chocolate and Mint Morsels, divided

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2.  Combine cake mix, oil and eggs in a medium bowl until a dough forms.  Mix in 1/3 cup of the morsels.
3.  Roll dough into small balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.  Flatten the cookie balls slightly and then press a few of the remaining morsels onto the top of each cookie.
4.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from oven, cool for 2 minutes and then move to a wire rack.

Makes about 18 cookies.

It’s a Major Award!

One of my favorite Christmas movies (who am I kidding – they are ALL my favorite!) is A Christmas Story.  Every Christmas day, the 24 hour marathon is on all day in my house and I never get tired of hearing “Bumpuses!  Sons of bitches!”  So last year when I came across a leg lamp cookie cutter online, I knew I had to have it! Fra-gee-lay!

Last year’s cookie was kind of sloppy looking if you ask me.

Leg Lamp v1

I was just starting out with the cookie decorating, so it was understandable.  I had had a very bad experience making my own black royal icing so I used stuff from a tube, which was kind of gloppy and didn’t dry with the nice smooth finish of royal. In addition, I just didn’t have the steady hand that I have developed over the last year, so everything was kind of wobbly.  More like the glued together version of the leg lamp after it was “accidentally” broken!

Nonetheless, someone liked them enough to order a dozen from me this Christmas! (Thanks Nicki!)  Since she is going to be giving them to coworkers as gifts, I wanted to make sure they looked REALLY good.

I have solved the black icing issue, thanks to Americolor Super Black and learning that I should try starting out by tinting the icing brown first and THEN adding the black.  I decided to outline the whole cookie in black first.

Leg Lamp Outline

After that, I filled in the sections.

Leg Lamp Filled

I let this dry overnight before adding the fringe and the fishnet stocking detail.  For the fringe I used royal icing, but for the fishnet I went with a food safe, fine tip black marker.  I think the result is a big improvement over my first attempt!

Leg Lamp Cookie

Like I said, I wanted to go above and beyond with this order and I knew the finishing touch I needed to do just that. My friend over at Scrapsecrets makes the nicest greeting cards, gift card holders, gift tags, etc., so I emailed her and asked if she would be able to make some tags for me to use when I wrapped up the cookies.  I wanted a tag that looked like wood grain, with the word “FRAGILE” stamped on it.  Michele was just as excited as I was for the chance to do a little blog collaboration and of course, she delivered an amazing product!

Leg Lamps

The tags were EXACTLY what I had pictured in my head!  They came with a hole already punched for the ribbon, and I found some red ribbon in the $1 bin at A.C. Moore to use to attach the tags to the cookie bags.

Leg Lamp Cookies

I just love it when an idea comes together, and I want to thank Michele at Scrapsecrets for making the “FRAGILE” tags for me!  They were the perfect finishing touch that took the leg lamp from cute cookie, to awesome gift!  If you need a cute custom card, or perhaps some cookie tags don’t hesitate to check out her Etsy shop – she’s happy to do custom orders like mine!

If you are interested in making your own leg lamp cookies, you can buy the cookie cutter here.  If you are making these, be sure to add a healthy dusting of flour to your rolled out cookie dough before using the cutter to prevent the dough from getting all stuck in it.  I seem to recall digging dough out of the cutter with a butter knife the first time I tried to make these.

Lastly, I want to use this post as a little pep talk for any of you out there who may be starting out making your own decorated sugar cookies.  If your first few attempts don’t exactly come out the way you are hoping – you WILL get better with practice!  Just look at my last year’s cookie compared to the one I made this year.  I’d say my improvement is worthy of a major award!

Fra-gee-lay!