holiday baking Archives - A Crafty Spoonful

The Best No Flour Monster Cookie Bars + A Cookie Bar Mix Gift Idea

We’ve whipped up these deliciously satisfying No-Flour Monster Cookie Bars and are sharing how you can create your own Monster Cookie Bar Mix to gift to friends this holiday season. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, LLC. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplySweetness #CollectiveBias

Holiday baking season has arrived! And you know what that means? Lots and lots and LOTS of dishes in our home. Because when we bake, we bake. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but the kids LOVE to help out in the kitchen. And when Christmas rolls around, we stock up on all of our baking necessities (like the big Red & Green Holiday 52 oz. Bag of M&M’S® from Sam’s Club). We wouldn’t want to run out mid-holiday baking. 

One thing I love about baking during the holidays is that it’s an inexpensive way to share our love with others. We don’t necessarily have the budget to purchase a gift for everyone we know so we can make fun little platters filled with goodies for others to enjoy. And one of my new favorite gifts to make are these fun cookie bar mixes so others can make our favorite recipes at home. That way we can whip up a batch to share with them now and provide them with a mix to make them later. Hey, who knows? Maybe they’ll even use the kit to make some holiday goodies for their loved ones! 

Red & Green Holiday 52oz. Bag of M&M’S® are a festive and colorful treat to bring into your baking, decorating and every aspect of your holiday celebrations. The Stand-Up Pack will keep your M&M’S® fresh and ready-to-go in an easy resealable package. Heck, if I wasn’t baking with them, I’d probably give these bags as gifts! What says, “I love you,” better than a big bag of M&M’S®, right? 

But for now we’ll stick with gifting some delicious cookie bars and mixes.

No Flour Monster Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups Old Fashioned oats
  • 1 cup M&M'S®
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13×9-inch metal baking pan with foil.

  2. Add all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,

  3. Cover bowl with dish towel and mix on lowest setting. Once mixed up a bit, increase speed and mix until all of the ingredients are combined. 

  4. Spread mixture onto prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

  5. Take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes then transfer foil and bars to a cooling rack. Cut into squares and enjoy! 

Remember how I said you could GIFT these bad boys to your friends and family in a fun mix? Well here’s how! 

Monster Cookie Bars Mix

What you’ll need: 

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup M&M’S®
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 32 oz jar with lid
  • ribbon
  • hole punch

What you do: 

Layer each ingredient in the order it’s shown above into a 32oz plastic or glass jar with lid

Place lid on jar and close tight. 

Print out Monster Cookie Bar Mix printable and cut out and attach to jar with ribbon.

Gift to the ones you love! 

Click on image to download printable

You can find the big Red & Green Holiday 52 oz. Bag of M&M’S® in the candy aisle of your local Sam’s Club. And while you’re there, stock up on the rest of your holiday baking items! That’ll save you a few trips in the long run. 

And right now you can sign up for a free Ibotta account and earn $2 off with the purchase of a 52 oz bag of Red and Green M&M’S®. Offer valid from 11/1/17 until 12/25/17. 

Don’t forget to check out more awesome ideas you can make with M&M’S® by checking them out on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter

Love this recipe? Check out these delicious bites: 

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9 Amazingly Delectable Gingerbread Recipes for the Holidays

9 Amazingly Delectable Gingerbread Recipes

I have a confession to make. I’m a bit obsessed right now. Obsessed about gingerbread! And not just the classic cookies and houses (although I have a recipe for those that I share below). I’m talking gingerbread cakes, gingerbread casseroles, and gingerbread bread puddings!

Have a piqued your interest yet? If so, read below to find some deliciously tasty gingerbread recipes from some of my favorite bloggers!

9 Amazingly Delectable Gingerbread Recipes for the Holidays

Soft-and-Chewy-Gingerbread-cookies

1. As I mentioned previously, I have a stellar gingerbread cookie recipe that can be used any time of the year. And you don’t just have to make gingerbread men (and women) if you don’t like! This is great for ornament cookies, various shapes, etc. And the results are a fabulously soft and chewy cookie that’s amazing. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself!

2. Sometimes the classic recipes are the ones we start to crave. Grandma’s cookies. This old fashioned gingerbread recipe from Vintage Recipe Project is definitely one of those. You can find it by visiting their site here

3. But enough about the classics. Bring on some new, innovating gingerbread! That’s exactly what Betsy of BetsyLife did in this gingerbread pineapple upside down cake recipe. OMG! Seriously… how good does this sound? I cannot wait to make it this weekend for the family.

mini-gingerbread-cakes

4. And then there are the cute, mini gingerbread cakes from Made With Happy. Just thinking of them makes me happy! So festive and perfect for parties. The drizzle of icing makes them even more irresistible.

5. What isn’t better with banana? Living Sweet Moments paired it up with gingerbread wonderfully in this banana gingerbread recipe with brown butter glaze. Sounds just as good as it looks!

6. I love a recipe that can also serve as decor as well. And who wouldn’t want these cookies perched on the edge of a mug or added to a place card. These olive oil gingerbread cookies from Family Spice are a bit different than the traditional gingerbread recipe but the results? Well… they’re worth it!

gingerbread-french-toast-casserole-recipe

7. One of my favorite things to make for guests when they come to visit for brunch is french toast casserole. Not only is it super simple to make, but it uses up the leftover bread I might have around that won’t get eaten. How awesome is that? Now this gingerbread french toast casserole from BetsyLife is the perfect spin on this classic crowd pleaser for the holidays. Great for Christmas breakfast! 

8. I can honestly say that I’ve never had gingerbread pudding. But Texas Type A Mom makes it look so good in this pumpkin gingerbread pudding recipe. What kid would say no to that? 

9. To round out our 9 delectable gingerbread recipes is my favorite one of all. My gingerbread cake recipe. Not only is this amazing cake easy to make, it’s also perfect for breakfast OR dessert and pairs well with coffee, ice cream, or a dollop of whipped cream. Now it isn’t overly sweet, so if you prefer something on the sweet side, I suggest whipping up some cream cheese frosting.

gingerbread-cake

What’s your favorite way to incorporate gingerbread into the holidays?

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Men Cookies

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies

While everyone was slaving away on Thanksgiving making beautiful turkeys, preparing casseroles, and baking bread, my family was baking something else… gingerbread men and women! My husband is slightly obsessed with the holidays and asked the kids if they wanted to make some soft and chewy gingerbread men to take with us to Thanksgiving dinner. You know, to get in the holiday spirit!

After they baked them up they turned the reigns over to me and had me make the royal icing and decorate the men and women. We threw in some turkeys and fall leaves (not pictured) to round out the merging of the holidays but most purists around the dinner table grabbed for the gingerbread men and women.

Now that we’ve found an awesome recipe for the cookies it’s time to start planning what recipe we’ll be using for the houses we construct!
Soft and Chewy Gingerbread cookies platter

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Men Cookies

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground roasted ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Royal Icing

  • 1/4 cup meringue powder or egg white powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 3/4 cup cool water
  1. In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, and beat in the egg.
  3. Whisk the baking powder and soda into the flour, and then stir these dry ingredients into the molasses mixture.
  4. Divide the dough in half, and wrap well. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Get out several baking sheets and line with parchment.
  6. Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface, and the dough. Roll it out as thin or thick as you like; for slightly less crisp cookies, roll it out more thickly. We go for 1/4 inch for a soft and chewy gingerbread man.
  7. Place the dough on parchment, and put a sheet of plastic wrap over it as you roll, pulling the plastic to eliminate wrinkles as necessary when rolling; this will keep dough from sticking without the need for additional flour.
  8. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste.
  9. Transfer the cookies to un-greased cookie sheets (or, if you’ve rolled right onto the parchment, remove the dough scraps between the cookies). Bake the cookies just until they’re slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm.
  10. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they’re set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  11. Decorate the cookies with Royal Icing.

For the Royal Icing:

  1. In a stand mixer or large bowl with electric mixer, add dry ingredients. Start the mixer and slowly pour in the cool water.
  2. Mix on low speed at first, increasing to high speed over several minutes. Beat until the icing is fluffy.
  3. Keep the frosting covered with a damp towel and some plastic wrap until you are ready to use it.
  4. Divide the frosting into smaller containers and mix with food coloring for several colors.

Soft and Chewy Gingerbread Men Cookies

What’s your favorite holiday cookie?

This recipe originally appeared on this site on December 1st, 2013

Holiday Baking with Land o’ Lakes Butter {Gingerbread Cake Recipe}

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This Land o’ Lakes butter shop and gingerbread recipe have been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and its client.

Gingerbread cake - This gingerbread cake is not only full of spices and yum, it's also not overly sweet. It goes great with a nice cup of coffee or a scoop of ice cream.The holidays are here and my kitchen is in full gear for all of the holiday baking that’s going to be done over the next two months. Luckily I stocked up on butter and the rest of my needed pantry staples so that I can whip up whatever I need when the time comes.

Since I’ve been hosting quite a few playdates I wanted to test out a great cake recipe that wasn’t too sweet. My husband and I love baking and the number one rule in our home (and a little inside joke with the husband) is that our fridge can never be without butter.

While we were at Walmart picking up a few crafting items for my daughter’s upcoming birthday I jokingly asked my husband if he was sure we had butter in the house. He sighed, rolled his eyes, and ran to go grab a 4-pack.  [Read more…]



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