FTC Disclosure: I partnered with Bed Bath & Beyond to throw this fabulous cookie party and received compensation and product for writing this post!
Sometimes, I swear, I am the luckiest girl ever.
Take, for instance, a few weeks ago, when I got the most wonderful offer to partner with Bed Bath & Beyond to throw a holiday cookie party! A bunch of my friends have young kids or have just recently had babies, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to have them over for a fun, low key holiday celebration!
And man, I’m pretty sure this is going to be a new holiday tradition! I love making Christmas cookies — it doesn’t feel like the holiday season without them! — and this was WAY more fun than just baking them by myself! I made peanut butter bars ahead of time (so we could have something to nibble on during the party!) and we baked sugar cookies, white chocolate and cranberry cookies, and of course, lots and lots of sugary icing to decorate with! It was such a blast, and I was so grateful for this awesome opportunity!
And even better — Bed Bath & Beyond gave me the chance to upgrade some of my kitchen tools! I went with some workhorses that have seen better days — my cookie pans, Silipat, measuring cups and spoons, ingredient bowls, and lots more! And I couldn’t resist picking out some of their beautiful holiday decorations — I couldn’t decide between traditional red and green rectangle placemats and their beautiful holiday wreath ones — so I got both!
I wanted the party to be extra special for my guests, so I decided to do little gift bags that people could use to take home our baked cookies! I included the recipes we used in each one, in the hope that they’ll become holiday traditions all around! And I added a special cookie cutter and pretty colored spatulas from Bed Bath & Beyond — to inspire all my guests to do some delicious holiday cookie-baking at home!
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.