4th Day of Cookie – Carrot Spice Thumbprint Cookies

While my mom and I are adamant about chocolate cakes on our birthday (and really all things chocolate), my dad and brother have always preferred carrot cake. I remember the first year I made my brother a carrot cake for his birthday all by myself. I was so proud, it was probably more than a little rough on appearance and I likely made the cream cheese icing too sweet because that’s what I thought frosting should be at 12. His birthday is the day after Christmas so making this cookie to celebrate the 4th day before Christmas reminds me of how far I have come in my baking skills from that very first carrot cake for him.

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5th Day of Cookie – Eggnog Butterscotch Stained Glass Cookies

I love when I get to go on a learning adventure about something that has happened in history. Whether it’s a large sequence of events or in this case the history of eggnog. This research project I stumbled upon on accident. I was looking up questions for a virtual Christmas trivia game for my team at work and “Where did eggnog originate?” was a suggestion. Of course, a history enthusiast will always fact check so I began digging. It’s the truth! I had no idea how old the traditional drink was though.

It originated during the medieval times as a hot wintertime drink for the aristocracy. The famous name evidently came from two words – grog, another word for rum, and noggins, a word for the small wooden mugs that it was served in. We have to go back to that wintertime drink again. Eggnog was served hot for most of its existence! Who knew? It wasn’t until around 1960 that it became a cold, non-alcoholic drink that we see at grocery stores today. Forbes has a great article on the history of eggnog, including a bit about The Eggnog Riot of 1826 (it’s true, it’s a thing that happened in the US). It definitely convinced me to make my own homemade eggnog soon, maybe George Washington’s (He loved eggnog and had his own recipe)!

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6th Day of Cookie – Pecan Pie Bars

My favorite pie during the holidays is easily a pecan pie. A cold slice of homemade pecan pie is the best leftover from Thanksgiving, am I right? I’ve even thought about asking for pecan pie for my birthday in April! This little bar is packed with all the ooey gooey crunchy pecan pie tastes and textures. If you are a fan of pumpkin pan like my family and I, you should definitely give this one a go!

Is pecan pie your favorite? What is your favorite around the holidays?

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7th Day of Cookie – Chocolate Amaretti

I’ve come to love marzipan after I tried a slice of cake with it at a famous local bakery near my house. I have had it before in desserts however, it was normally overpowered by whatever flavor it was with. This sweet slice of cake had the marzipan as the star and it has since become a favorite of mine. Between my new found love of marzipan and my Italian heritage, this Chocolate Amaretti cookie seemed like the perfect 8th day of Christmas cookie.

This cookie used a food processor and only took 5 ingredients to make! Super fun, easy, and they are delicious! We did make them a little big larger than tablespoonfuls, the cookie scoop used was 1 ½ tablespoons. I preferred these to be larger than the normal cookie and would highly recommend trying it as well. 

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8th Day of Cookie – Coffee Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie

On one of my (many) shopping trips to TJ Maxx earlier in December I found a coffee advent calendar. What better advent calendar is there? I might be slightly biased with my love of coffee though. It was my favorite purchase of the day, which might be bad because I was actually out looking for gifts. Oops! Haha. My fiancé and I have been enjoying a cup of specialty coffee from it for the last few days. It is undoubtedly one of my favorite moments of the day, not just these 12 days but every day we always make sure to have a cup together.

This cookie is a twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie and I don’t know if I can go back now! The coffee and toffee pieces work well together and you can definitely taste the coffee, which is my favorite part.

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9th Day of Cookie – Mimosa Butter Cookies

We are in the single digits in our countdown to Christmas 2020! What better way to celebrate than with a little booze? Mimosa’s are a tried and true brunch drink with our families. For mother’s day we do mom-osa’s and every other time it’s the classic orange juice sweet drink as an option on the menu. Mimosa’s are my favorite brunch drink so the idea of putting that into a cookie, hello perfection. Excuse me while I drink a mimosa while eating these mimosa butter cookies and celebrate only 9 days before Christmas! We have to finish the champagne we opened right?

This citrusy butter cookie gave a new flavor profile to our 12 days of cookies after the peanut butter and oreo brookie, peanut butter crackles, and pudding thumbprints. Do you have a favorite drink at brunch?

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10th Day of Cookie – Marbled Pudding Thumbprint Cookies

This cookie stood out to try because it looked super easy and the biggest bonus… we already had the ingredients! I always love when we have the ingredients for a cookie! At my house, vanilla pudding mix is a staple for one reason: cinnamon rolls. My cinnamon roll dough uses vanilla pudding mix and you never know when you need to make a batch right? We were right about this cookie, it was fun and came together beautifully. The smooth pudding with the crumbly vanilla and chocolate cookie made for an enjoyable combination.

Make sure to follow Take-2-Create for notifications on the remaining 12 Days of Cookies in 2020!

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11th Day of Cookie – Peanut Butter Crackle Cookies

It was a busy day at work but being able to have a calm, delicious moment of bliss with a cookie was much needed. I flipped on some Christmas music, sat by our beautifully decorated tree, and enjoyed the moment. I’m definitely team coffee most of the time but this peanut butter cookie called for a cold glass of milk. It’s so easy during the season to get so stressed out that we don’t stop to just enjoy. Enjoy the lights, the music, the love that surrounds us. If 2020 gave us one gift, it was the gift of remembering to be embrace these moments.

I hope all of you have a chance to take a minute to eat a cookie and enjoy the season.

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12 Days of Cookies 2020 Edition – Peanut Butter and Oreo Brookies

We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to continue our annual tradition of 12 Days of Cookies leading up to Christmas because… well… 2020. However, with all the events in 2020 cancelled, I’m happy to announce that our families 12 Days of Cookies will continue this year! It might feel a little different but with extra precautions in place, we decided it was a tradition we could keep this holiday season.

What better way to start out with a gooey, crunchy flavor explosion! I’ve made a brookie in a brownie pan, so putting that into a bite sized cookie seems like quite possibly the best idea since sliced bread! This one was a hit because not only was it a nice gooey chocolate brownie, but it is combined with a peanut butter cookie that has actual peanuts for a crunch. This one will be hard to beat, but there are 11 more days so we will see!

Comment below with an annual tradition you are excited to continue this holiday season!

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Polar Express Family Night 2020

Every year around Christmas since my sweet nephew was born, we have gone to an event at Heber Valley Railroad called the Polar Express. The train is decorated with Christmas lights in the cabins, workers are elves, and during the train ride Santa even stops by to say hello! It has been a tradition our family looks forward to every year, especially my train obsessed nephew. This year, the situation looked a little grim to our chances of going but that wasn’t going to stop my parents from giving us a memorable trip to the North Pole.

My whole family is very do-it-yourself. I mention my mom a lot but my brother has graphic design and drawing skills, and my dad can build anything. What do I mean by that? When he found out my nephew liked trains, he BUILT a ride on train in their backyard. This train isn’t just for kids though, any adult can ride it (and we definitely do). With a working train in their backyard, the polar express event would look different but we could still do one.

They thought of everything for this event! When we arrived, my parents had ordered some food for dinner which we ate while my nephew excitedly played with the mini polar express train setup on the kitchen table. Once we all ate, we went into the backyard to find we had travelled to the North Pole! Complete with the North Pole sign, Santa, his elves, stockings, and a train with twinkling Christmas lights going around on the tracks. They even had a few fire pits going to keep us warm in the cool 30 degree weather. It was a blast!  

When we did go back inside my parents had setup a projector in the family room connected to the kitchen and we watched the movie Polar Express as we all happily drank our hot chocolate and munched on treats left in the stockings we found outside.

Moral of the story, just because your tradition needs to change, sometimes it ends up being for the better! I had more fun this year than ever before and it was all thanks to my parents creativity and that special Christmas magic.

I’d love to hear from you! What is a tradition you had to change up in 2020 (because well… 2020) but you ended up loving even more than the original!