So, I don’t want to sound all melodramatic or anything, but here is the deal.
These are the BEST. HOLIDAY. COOKIE. EVER.
Seriously, I kid you not. When it comes to baking, I love the classics. There’s nothing better than those recipes that you make year after year, party after party, because they’re just so delicious that you can’t imagine the holidays without them. Which is exactly these: the perfect, gooey sugar cookie, topped with some melty, chocolatey M&Ms.
And even cuter: these custom holiday MY M&M’s designs! You can create your own custom designs on MyMMs.com — in keeping with the classic theme of these cookies, I went with the quintessential holiday picks, red, green and white, with little snowmen and Happy Holidays messages! But I’ll be repeating this recipe with little blue and white ones when the new baby comes along (you can order those too)!
MY M&M’s Holiday Cookies
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cups personalized MY M&M’s
In a large bowl, mix the sugar, eggs, shortening, and vanilla. Add flour, salt, and baking soda to the creamed mixture and blend until smooth.
Drop dough by teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silipat. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 9 minutes. When the cookies are out of the oven, but before they’ve cooled, gently press three M&Ms into the top of each cookie. Serve!
And now, a little break from all things pregnancy-related, for you all to meet my new best friend:
Homemade. Caramel. Sauce.
Are you drooling yet? Because you should be.
I have weird taste in desserts — my favorite candy is always the stuff that nobody buys. Chad makes fun of me for it — this Halloween, when I came home with a huge bag of Dots, the first words out of his mouth were, “you have the worst taste in candy.” Seriously, the kind that I pick most often, hands down: Good & Plenty. Inevitably, they’re always stale (I think convenience stores restock it once every seven to nine years). But I love them.
So after that ringing endorsement, are you ready to take my word for it on a dessert recommendation?
You should be. Of the non-candy desserts, caramel is my absolute favorite flavor, and I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur. And homemade caramel sauce? A thousand times better than anything you’ve been served from an ice cream shop or a bottle. This tastes completely pure and absolutely delicious.
So, go ahead. Whip up a batch and spoon it over some ice cream. You can even top it with some Good & Plentys — I swear, they’re actually really good!
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, salt, vanilla and water. Cook over medium heat until sugar is amber-colored, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in heavy cream; add butter, and stir until combined. Let cool to room temperature or slightly warmer, and serve.
Some of you have been around long enough to remember that before I was a fashion blogger, I was a food blogger. For the first year and a half of its existence, Sugarlaws was a place where I posted original recipes as I created them — and at the time, that’s how I thought it would stay.
It’s funny to remember those early days now, because obviously this blog has changed a lot since then. But what I remember most is what a small community that food-blogger world was. I remember reading a handful of blogs whose writers became my virtual friends — this was before the days of events and fashion week and my blogger friends becoming real-life friends, back when an online “friend” was someone you tweeted with every once in a while and maybe exchanged and email or two. And, above all, we commented on each other’s blogs. It was a small world back then, and I’m pretty sure my first hundred or so comments were from other food bloggers, encouraging me and sharing in my successes and failures (of which there were many).
Some days, I kind of miss that. The internet has gotten so vast and expansive that it’s easy to forget there are real people behind each website, and I find myself gravitating to the bloggers who don’t mind reminding you that they’re normal people with normal lives every now and again. I always appreciate when bloggers are open and honest about their real lives — the good, the bad, and the ugly — and I’m making an effort to become one of them.
Which is a long way of saying: this cake came into my head back in those days, in 2007 when I saw it for the first time on Smitten Kitchen. I remember thinking it was so beautiful (it is) and Deb was so talented (she is), and that someday, I’d try one of my own. And look: it only took me six years!
White Chocolate Icebox Cake
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
6 ounces white chocolate discs (you could also use chips)
1 box (9 ounces) ginger wafer cookies (chocolate would be great too)
Raspberries, for decorating
Whip 1 1/2 cups cream with sugar until soft peaks form. Melt chocolate over simmering water until smooth and creamy; whisk in 1/2 cup cream. Fold white chocolate mixture into whipped cream until incorporated.
Spread a small amount of the whipped cream onto the bottom of six cookies, and arrange them in a circle on a cake dish. Place one additional cookie in the middle of the circle. Spread the whipped cream mixture over the entire layer of cookies, spreading outwards to cover them up to the edges. Layer another set of cookies on top of the whipped cream mixture in the same pattern, and repeat with another layer of whipped cream. Repeat until you have reached the desired height, ending with a layer of whipped cream. Top with a few raspberries or white chocolate shavings.
Refrigerate cake at least 6 hours (or up to overnight) before serving.