The big guy in red came a little earlier this year than normal but that means our guests have no excuses for not getting their holiday cards out on time! It was a fun filled day with lots of crafts and treats. A couple tips if you’re going to be hosting a Christmas party, a very simple craft for the kids is to make a card/write a letter to dear ol’ St.Nick. Another easy decorating tip that will take your cupcakes to the next level, use a doily as the wrapper. We used wrapping paper for the backdrop for our sweet table – which would work for any dessert or appetizer station.
Our Santa event was this past Sunday and personally, my favorite part was the sweet table (I may be slightly biased towards sugar though, we have a sort of love/hate relationship). If you’re wondering how to create your very own sweet table, please see our previous post. For this one, I adamantly stuck to the red and white theme. I also chose to reduce my work load by making easy sweets, like cupcakes and gingerbread. I found these amazing printables on Etsy and used them all throughout the event – this helped with consistency and presentation, plus a bonus is how cute they are!
Sometimes you just have to turn your edibles into display items only – I hot glued the gingerbread men to the skewer sticks. I also made the lollipops using red and white felt. I cut strips and then round them around each other. I glued the lollipop to a skewer stick and then wrapped them up in cellophane.
I absolutely love Linzer cookies, they have that perfect hint of lemon and nutty flavor all rolled into one cookie. They are slightly time consuming but they’re definitely worth it, not only are they pretty, but they make a fabulous holiday gift. Follow the recipe below to make these delicious cookies.
Makes approximately 36 cookies
2/3 cup almonds
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the work surface
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
zest from one lemon
1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 12-ounce jar raspberry jam
Linzer Holiday Cookies
Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool.
In a food processor, process the almonds and ¼ cup of the brown sugar until the almonds are finely ground.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, add lemon zest and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the almond mixture, then the flour mixture, mixing until just combined (do not overmix).
Divide the dough in half, shape into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
Heat oven to 350° F. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to a ⅛-inch thickness. Using a 2- to 2 ½-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. Using a ¾- to 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut out the centers from half of the cookies. Reroll and cut the scraps as necessary.
Place cookie trays in fridge for about 10 minutes, this helps them to keep their shape, bake in oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Sprinkle the confectioners’ sugar on the cookies with the holes. Spread 1 teaspoon jam on the remaining cookies and top with the sugared cookies. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Gingerbread Cookies are a staple at Christmas time as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been using the same recipe for years and it always gets rave reviews. I usually double the recipe so I can get twice as many cookies out of it. The best part about gingerbread is that it keeps for a while and thus can be made ahead of time. This year I made a ton of cookies for our Santa event, I particularly liked the mini gingerbread men because they can be used in so many different ways. You could string them for garland on your tree or use them as cupcake toppers.