Christmas Cookie Recap

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     It always seems like the Holidays fly by, here we are already halfway through January!  I enjoyed the time off with my family and did lots of baking.  Since I was off the grid for the majority of the time I thought I'd use this time to do a little recap of the cookies I made so you don't miss out on any of the yumminess. 
  
     This was the first year EVER that I've made the majority of the Holiday cookies on my own since my mom had to work during the days before Christmas.  When I say "Holiday cookies", I use the term very loosely because these can honestly be made for any occasion and are so dang easy to do!  Hence why this post was necessary even if the baking season seems to be over.  



     So to start, there are six types of desserts I'm going to cover and link the recipes  They are all simple enough to be made in a few hours or less and would make an amazing addition to any dinner or event.  One of them is also healthy, yes you heard that right, so get your grocery list out and keep reading!   

     1. Magic Bars- My family has these every Christmas since as far back as I can remember and they are so good.  You can easily modify them to have nuts, butterscotch, or just stick with the basics.  These are a great go-to if you need some chocolate in your life.  

     2. Cranberry Cheesecake Bars- Making these this year was a little odd for me considering I've gone years thinking they were made with raspberry jelly, not cranberry sauce...But even after that revelation they are still my favorite dessert.  The oat crust and cheesecake layer are AMAZING, plus the cranberry could be swapped for another fruit (raspberry for real now??) to fit any time of year.  

     3. Bourbon Caramel Cheesecake Bites- I can't vouch for the flavor of these too much since I really don't like caramel, but I can say that the leftover cheesecake part I scooped out of the bowl was absolutely delicious.  Using fresh vanilla bean was intimidating at first, but actually way easier than I expected, and you can definitely taste it in the batter.  

     4. Chocolate Dipped Pretzels- If you don't make anything else on this whole list, make these.  They take less than an hour, if that, and can be changed up for any occasion.  I like to use sprinkles, crushed nuts, and some melted white & dark chocolate drizzled with a spoon to decorate the Christmas ones, but think white chocolate with pink sprinkles for Valentine's Day too!  (Tip: use this slow cooker idea to make it super easy to keep the chocolate warm!)
  
     5. Sugar Cookies- These are classic and there's so many recipes to make them.  I use the basic one from The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, along with their powdered sugar icing recipe.  The most fun part of these for me is the cookie cutters, my family's traditional shapes include a burro, a cowboy hat, chili peppers, and a cowboy.  If you need some to start your own shape tradition check out this little star tree you can make from stacking different sized star cutouts!


  
     6. Avocado Key Lime Pie Bites (aka "Grinch Poop")- This is the one you've been waiting for I'm sure, the healthy one with only about 100 calories in each tart!  These little green tarts are made with actual avocados, but you would never know it.  They are sweet, yet refreshing, making them perfect for the Holidays or the middle of summer.  I really can't think of a reason not to make them, besides the fact I eat four at a time.  



XOXO, Cierra
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