• Nicole Walker

2020 Holiday Treat Recipe Drop

Lucina used to be very shy when around people other than immediate family but she loved to give people things so we started by having her give treats to the neighbors and friends to help her out of her shell and to become more comfortable with people. She loved it and was disappointed the first year when we ran out of treat trays to hand out. It's now become a yearly tradition. Recipes come and go each year as I tire of one thing and decide to try something new (although I think there would be protests from both inside and outside of this household if I ever dropped the Pistachio Brittle, haha). Here is this years treat selection -- we even added some treats for the 4-legged side of the families. Enjoy!

  • · Snowflake Sugar Cookies

  • · Gingerbread Men

  • · Raspberry Thumbprints

  • · Dark Brown Sugar Shortbread

  • · Whoville Swirly Cookies

  • · Dark Chocolate Covered Pistachio Brittle

  • · Brownie Christmas Trees

  • · Meringues

  • · Oreo Truffles

  • · Pumpkin Bread

  • · Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Cookies

Dark Chocolate covered Pistachio Brittle

Makes 1.5 pounds (read all instructions before starting.)


1.5 cups sugar

3/4 cups light corn syrup

3/4 cups water

2 cups salted pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped

2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 bag dark chocolate Hershey Kisses


Cover baking sheet with Reynolds non-stick foil.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until sugar dissolves.

Uncover, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 295 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.

Stir in 1.5 cups pistachios, butter, vanilla, and baking soda (you’ll want to do this very quickly and take caution as adding the room temperature ingredients can cause bubbling and slight splashing.)

Return to heat, and stir constantly until the mixture reaches 300 degrees.

Remove from heat, and pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet.

Working very quickly, spread mixture until about 1/4 inch-thick. Set aside to cool. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Pour one-half of the chocolate over the brittle and spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of the remaining pistachios. Transfer to refrigerator until set, about 20 minutes. Remove from refrigerator. Turn and coat other side with chocolate and sprinkle with remaining pistachios. Chill until set. When chocolate is completely set, break into irregular pieces.

Sugar Cookie Cutouts


1 cup butter at room temerature

2⁄3 cup sugar

1 egg large

1 tsp Vanilla

2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour

1⁄4 tsp salt


In a large blow, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until blended, then beat on high speed until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well blended.

Add four and salt; beat on low speed until combined, then on medium speed until well blended.

chill until dough is firm at least 15 minutes. or up to 2 days.

Bake cookies in a 350 degree oven (325 degree for convection) until golden around edges, 7 to 9 minutes.

Brown Sugar Shortbread


5.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups)

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

7 tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons ice water

2 1/2 Tbsp (30g) nonpareils sprinkles


1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

2. Place brown sugar and butter in a medium bowl; mix with hands until combined. Add flour mixture, and mix with hands until combined. Sprinkle dough with 1 1/2 teaspoons ice water; knead dough lightly 4 times or just until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 325°.

4. Place dough on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; press dough into an 8 x 5–inch rectangle about 3/8-inch thick. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or just until set and edges are golden. Cut shortbread into 24 pieces. Cool completely.

Gingerbread Men Cookies


½ cup butter, room temperature

¾ cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup molasses

1 large egg

2 tbsp water

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground all-spice

Frosting of your choice


  1. Sift together all the dry ingredients

  2. In Ventray Stand Mixer cream butter, brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg and water

  3. Add in dry ingredients, mix until fully combined. Divide cookie dough In half, roll into disk shape, cover and refrigerate dough for at least 30-45 minutes

  4. Use cookie cutter to shape and cut the cookie, place on baking sheet 2’ apart

  5. Preheat oven to 350F, line baking sheet with parchment paper

  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, cool on wire rack completely before decorating

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints


· For the dough:

· 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

· ⅔ cup granulated sugar

· ½ teaspoon almond extract

· 2 cups all-purpose flour

· ½ cup seedless raspberry jam

· pinch of salt

· For the glaze:

· 1 cup powdered sugar

· 2-3 teaspoons water (more or less as needed for drizzling consistency)

· 1½ teaspoons almond extract


1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon almond extract. Beat at medium speed until the butter mixture is creamy. Scrape sides of mixing bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour and a pinch of salt. Mix until well blended. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared pan. Make an indentation in the center of each cookie with your smallest finger (or thumb if you want a larger pocket). The edges of the dough may crack slightly. Fill each with a heaping ¼ teaspoon jam.

3. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let the cookies stand 1 minute before removing to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

4. Combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cookies and allow them to set.


Ingredients (halve)

  • 4 egg whites

  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

  • 1/2 C granulated white sugar

  • 1 C powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees

  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or a brown paper bag

  3. Beat egg whites until foamy.

  4. Add in cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form

  5. Slowly add in granulated sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

  6. Fold in powdered sugar.

  7. Place meringue in a piping bag with a large star tip and pipe on to baking sheet.

  8. Bake for 2 hours or bake for 1 hour and turn off oven and leave in oven overnight

Swirly Cookies

Whoville Cookies Ingredients

The recipe makes 4 dozen cookies.

Whoville Cookies Directions

  • In a large bowl, Cream sugar and butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

  • Add eggs and vanilla.

  • Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to butter mixture, mix well.

  • Separate the dough in half and color one part red and one part green.

  • Put one of the freshly made dough in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll 11 x 9 inches and 1/4 inch thick.

  • Repeat with the other color dough.

  • Put the rolled dough including the parchment paper, on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.

  • Take the top layer off both dough’s and lightly wet the tops. Sandwich the two colors together, using a paring knife trim the edges to make straight edges.

  • Remove the top layer of paper and start rolling up and use the bottom layer of paper to pull it tight. If the dough tears you can just pinch it together.

  • Poor the sprinkles onto a large platter and roll the log in the sprinkles and press them in. Place the dough into the fridge for 15 minutes or longer.

  • Slice the dough into 1/4 inch slices and bake on parchment lined sheets.

  • Bake at 325° F for 10 -15 minutes. Let cool.

  • 1 cup holiday sprinkles

Wilton Buttercream

1 teaspoon Imitation Clear Vanilla Extract - 8 oz.

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine (softened)

4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)

2 tablespoons milk

  1. In large bowl, beat shortening and butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.

  2. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.

  3. Gradually add milk or water; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.

Royal Icing


1⁄4 cup meringue powder or powdered egg whites

1⁄2 cup lukewarm water

1 lb powdered sugar

1 tsp extract of your choice Optional


1.In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the meringue powder/powdered egg whites and lukewarm water. In this context, “lukewarm” means just slightly warm to the touch.

2.Use a whip attachment to whip the mixture on high until frothy. Scrap down the sides as you go to make sure there’s no residual powder.

3.Pro tip: Use a water bottle to lightly spray the sides before scraping them. This will help ensure that the powder dissolves and your royal icing is lump free.

4.Sift the powdered sugar and add it to bowl. Continue whipping the icing, this time on medium speed. Stop the machine every 2-3 minutes to spray and scrape down the sides.

5.If you’re adding additional flavoring to your royal icing, you can add it during one of the stops to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

6.Whip the royal icing until you’ve reached the desired consistency.

7.If you need more than one consistency, whip your royal icing to the stiffest consistency and add a few drops of water at a time to the remaining icing to water it down to the desired consistency.

Homemade Dog Treats with Pumpkin


2 1⁄2 cups whole wheat flour

2 eggs

1⁄2 cup canned pumpkin

2 tbsp peanut butter

1⁄2 tsp salt

1⁄2 tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. After initially mixed all ingredients together I then used my hands to really mix everything well. You may also need to add a little bit of water.

Roll the dough into a ball. Then flour a hard surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out, which should be about 1/2 inch thick.

Use a cookie cutter to make a cute shape.

Bake in over for about 30 minutes, or until hard.

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