It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas! Anyone else there yet? The calendar clicking over to December is always a trigger, but we also got a huge dump of snow this past weekend, so it’s even looking festive outside. Edmonton winters are not always my favourite, but I do love a white Christmas and come on, how pretty goes this look!
Another thing that puts me in the spirit is Christmas baking. I may hate cooking, but I sure do love me some Christmas baking. There’s measuring and shit, it’s way more methodical than ‘whipping together something for dinner.’ I am not someone who can whip up a meal. I need directions. And measurements.
I also love giving baking away as gifts. It’s economical, customizable, and the perfect small gesture to pass on to co-workers, friends, and neighbours. This year I’ve got my eye on the following recipes to pass on the cheer through delicious, buttery, sugar-packed goodies. Because we all know calories don’t count at Christmas!
A true classic. Not those hard as rock gingerbread men you can poke holes through and hang on the tree. These are the soft, chewy, spicy gingerbread cookies you’ll actually want to eat. They’re also a good option if you need to pack your cookie tins with nut-free options.
I am not an avid cookie decorator. I always find the fancier the cookie, the worse it actually tastes and sugar cookies can often fall into that mix. Like the gingerbread above, these are also soft and chewy. Just the way I like it. If you want to go all out you can get your decorating on, but I promise, they taste just as good with a sprinkle of sugar.
We have made this for Christmas for almost a decade and it the one item that we can never change-up because people love it. Like request it in August love it. Usually, we make two double batches and top one with nuts and the other with broken up candy canes for our friends with nut allergies.
The toffee can be a bit fussy. I’ve definitely had more than one batch crystallize. In my experience, salted butter works better and keep the temperature at medium throughout cooking. If you need more guidance on making toffee, then this post is super helpful. A thermometer will also be your BFF.
This is a new recipe for me, but I’m excited to give it a shot this year. I’m a lover of all things chocolate orange — definitely one of my favourite flavour combinations. Biscotti are also a good option for Christmas baking because they last and are easy to package up as gifts.
If you like hazelnuts, then let me introduce you to your new favourite cookies. These are basically a peanut butter cookie but with hazelnut butter instead of peanut. We made a batch of these for the first time last year and promptly devoured them and had to run out and buy more hazelnuts.
They aren’t the cheapest option because hazelnuts can be hella expensive but they are worth it.
First things first, butter tarts should never have raisins in them. Pecans are ok, but my ideal butter tart has no additions. The problem with any sort of tart is that making pastry can be a pain the butt and store-bought often doesn’t taste as good. This recipe solves that by turning butter tarts into squares and putting them on a shortbread base. Yes, please.
I also JUST found out that butter tarts are a Canadian thing, so if you’re from the States and have no idea what I’m talking about, do yourself a favour and find a butter tart. Or make these.
Remember when I said chocolate and orange were my favourite combo. I think I lied. Peanut butter and chocolate is right up there. These are simple to make and look so darn cute with that little chocolate kiss on top.
Confession: I am hopeless at making shortbread. I have no idea what it is because it’s pretty much the simplest recipe in the world. Three ingredients!
The best luck I’ve had with shortbread is actually from a pre-mixed box that came from Superstore. They were delicious, but I’ve never been able to find the mix again. Apparently, no one else has this issue. Every year I try a new recipe though because I love shortbread so much. Maybe this one will be the gem!
Another Canadian classic. Nanaimo bars are named after the town of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island (where I’ll be spending Christmas this year). They are a three-layered square with a layer of chocolate, custard, and a coconut base. I wouldn’t say they are exactly Christmassy, but I’d also say there’s never a bad time for a Nanaimo bar.
If you’re in need of a vegan (and gluten-free depending on the chocolate you use), then these coconut macaroons are a great option. Chocolate and coconut are another one of those flavour pairings that just work. You’ll notice all my favourite pairings are chocolate and ____________.
These are quick to make if you need a last minute gift for anyone this Christmas.
I have never actually made poppycock, but I sure do love it. We used to always get a big tin from our old neighbour, but then we moved, and they moved farther, so this year we’re out of luck.
I had a hard time finding a recipe that replicated our neighbour’s recipe. Is this another thing that’s very location specific? This one comes close though, so I’m going to try a batch this year.
This recipe is a bit different because it’s less of a gifting item and more for when you need to bring a dessert to Christmas dinner. The individual portions in mini mason jars make it easy to transport, the white chocolate with cranberry is festive, and cheesecake is always a winner in my book.
Are you a baker, or a baking eater? Share your favourite Christmas baking recipes in the comments!
This post was proofread by Grammarly.