I've gathered together a wonderful sampler of festive holiday baking for you.
I'm getting into the Christmas spirit! It's been a little late this year, with my busy life and crazy schedule, but today I have Christmas carols playing, I'm hauling out boxes of decorations, and the house is warm and spicy with the smells of Christmas baking. Join me and let's get into the delicious swing of the holiday season. There are recipes for traditional Christmas baking recipes and international delicacies, as well as some great ideas for simple last minute treats to add to your cookie platter or holiday menu.
WINNING CHRISTMAS BAKING IDEAS
Scroll the list for a few of our favourite Christmas baking recipes to give you some ideas (and they're all gluten-free or have a gluten-free option):
If you haven't made a fruitcake yet, this one is wonderful, even if it only has a week or two to age: Gumdrop Fruitcake
The traditional flavours of German Lebkuchen in a delicious tender loaf. Slather a slice with butter for a taste of an Old World German Christmas. (The post includes a recipe for homemade Lebkuchen spice mix.)
Shiny little Zimtsterne are a traditional German Christmas cookie. They’re sweet and chewy and nutty – naturally gluten free – and baked in a most unusual way.
These crisp chewy little cookies will be sure to delight on your cookie platter this holiday season. Marrying the fresh tang of lemon, the floral whiff of cardamom, and the sweetness of almonds, Scandinavian kransekake cookies are a unique and delicious little bite.
Or maybe you want to go Italian with these Sicilian Almond Cookies; Pasticcini di mandorle are the perfect chewy, nutty, not-too-sweet treat to grace your cookie platter. Almond flour, honey, and egg whites transform into fantastic flavour bombs.
Apricot Harlequin Cookies; crisp, melting little morsels that are a delight to bake and eat, kinda like shortbread with chewy, fruity bits in them (and they're eggless, too).
For a decadent, smooth, rich Chocolate Truffle (yet dairy-free and gluten-free), look no further than this easy recipe. Take a few as your next hostess gift:
If you're looking for a healthier option to traditional truffles, why not try these luscious Chocolate Walnut Cookie Dough Balls?
Or these holiday-spice inspired Gingerbread Cookie Dough Balls? Both are healthy refined-sugar-free options.
Or maybe you'd like these Choco-Crisps, an easy rice krisp cookie that looks very elegant:
These Ginger Molasses Cookies are full of warm wintry spices - perfect for a treat after being out in the snow on a chilly afternoon:
These Gingerbread Rice Krispie Squares are especially festive with the Cinnamon Ganache Topping:
The squares can also be turned into these decorative spiced Spiced Rice Krispie Holiday Trees, or iced with colourful gel frosting ornaments for a kids' project (see the post for kid pictures):
Another fun and delicious kids' holiday project would be Cookie Painting. These lovely rich rolled cookies are coated with icing and decorated with hand painted designs. You and your kids can have a lot of fun painting them with holiday themed artwork, like bells, holly, trees, or ornaments:
Mendiants: these little chocolate coins take chocolate bark to new gourmet heights by adding a wide array of tempting toppings, from fun and spunky, to healthy hippy, to irresistibly exotic (plus ideas for other versions of chocolate bark toppings)
For another easy, no-bake treat - try simple Chocolate-Dipped Apricots. Sweet like a kiss:
Or how about that old Christmas cookie platter staple, Peanut Brittle? It never fails to please (and this easy, no-fail microwave recipe will please the cook, too). Try it with other nuts and seeds for fun variations:
For a simple candy treat that's light and luscious, how about Old Fashioned Homemade Marshmallows made from my mother-in-law's old prairie recipe (it's so simple - no need for a candy thermometer). Try rolling them in toasted coconut for a festive variation:
Or try this simple, no-bake Pumpkin Freezer Fudge for an addictive treat. It's a healthy alternative made with pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, and coconut oil for a silky texture studded with crunchy nuts:
Hello Dolly Squares are a fun old-fashioned bar that you make all in one pan. You can whip them up as unexpected guests roll into the driveway. They have a most rich and decadent flavour and will be gobbled up in no time!
Or how about that other old classic, no-bake Rocky Road Bars?
This Brownie Brittle is the answer to those chocolate cookie cravings!
If you're looking for something more along the cake or dessert lines, here are some of my favourites:
You can't beat this simple, light, and luscious Lemon, Almond Flour, and Olive Oil Cake for an afternoon tea treat when friends drop by or for a light dessert after a heavy meal:
And if you're looking for chocolate elegance after a special meal, here's the lovely French Moelleux au Chocolat with Praline Cream - a cross between deep dark chocolate cake and moist fluffy fudge - so decadent:
Feuerwehrkuchen, (German Fire Brigade Cake) - is much more festive than it sounds. This traditional German recipe gives you a cake with a nutty bottom layer encasing a silky tart cherry or raspberry layer, topped with a hazelnut crumble and then slathered in whipped cream. Decadent.
There's always the beloved pumpkin pie. In the post you'll find the link to the classic pumpkin pie recipe, as well as a recipe for an allergy friendly egg-free, dairy-free pumpkin pie to please all your guests. There's also a link to a pumpkin slab pie in case you need to feed a crowd.
For a fun and quick to make last-minute, kid-friendly cake, why not try a Caramel Popcorn Cake:
And I always like to have the ingredients for this simple, yet so quick to whip up and utterly rich and luscious, fudgy, Mississipi Mud Sauce on hand for a lovely topping for ice cream when I need a last minute dessert:
And for a savoury treat, why not whip up a big pan (I use a roaster!) of this irresistible snack, All Dressed Popcorn Party Mix? Holiday nibbles for all!
I like having a bottle of Chai Latte Concentrate on hand, either for myself or as a gift - a wonderful winter tea latte to sip on:
And if you're looking for that perfect Christmas drink for sipping and toasting, throughout the holiday season - you must try the Poinsettia Cocktail. It is light, bubbly and very special. It's our favourite!
Check out this post for a whole host of other fantastic holiday drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, to get your festivities going:
I hope you are all having a ton of fun preparing for the coming festivities! And if the stress gets to you. . . stop . . . put on a beautiful Christmas song, sip a steamy cup of tea or a bubbly Poinsettia cocktail, and count your blessings while you remember what the real reason for the season is.
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