Semi Homemade Holiday Cookie Tray
This is my solution to when I am asked to bring ‘just a few cookies’ to an event. A great alternative to baking dozens of cookies in multiple varieties. Some store bought, some baked at home.
Cookies and Carols
We just got the word from school that we are invited to a ‘Cookies, Carols and Crafts’ event for the kindergartners. This event is in lieu of a more traditional play or concert. Kindergarteners are not ones to want to sit and wait their turn for the rest of the grades to take their turn at a concert. So instead the school has asked each family to bring a dozen cookies to share with the class as the kindergartners sing carols, create a craft and we all enjoy the cookies.
I am very overwhelmed with all the activities of the season and I have decided not to spend ALL my time in the kitchen baking this year. It is hard for me not to be baking all the time, as that is a passion of mine but instead I am going to be IN the moments of the holiday. I am taking some help from GIANT Food Stores and their Limited Time Only Holiday Collection.
This season they are featuring two flavor profiles. Holiday Spice and Peppermint. I remember peppermint from last year and am SOO glad it is back.
Check out the Super Easy Candy Cane Chocolate Whoppie Pies recipe post from last year.
Assembling a Cookie Tray
Ready To Bake Brownies
Did you know that Giant has ready to bake brownie mix? It is true! All mixed up and in a pouch, ready to be poured into a pan and baked. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
I decided to get ‘fancy’ and bake these brownies into bit sized pieces. I love the crunchy edge of a brownie and the silicone bite sized brownie pan gives me just that. Chewy in the center and crunchy on the edges! Instead of waiting for everything to cool and reuse the mold, I just baked the remaining brownie batter in a small pan.
Pop the cooled brownies in the freezer for cleaner removal from the pan. They just peel out!
Break and Bake Cookies
I love a homemade cookie as much as the next person but holiday time is crunch time at my house. More often than not, I will forget to leave the butter out to soften, or be out of an ingredient.
The peppermint sugar cookies are great because you just break and bake. It is so simple!
Also side note: I am BAD at making sugar cookies. I either over beat the butter or leave them in the oven too long. I can never win! These cookies were Sarah proof.
Store Bought Cookies
That is right. I am opening a package of peppermint chocolate sandwich cookies and putting them on the platter? Why? Because they are delicious and I didn’t have to bake them. See? I can’t even take a photo of a whole cookie. This cookie was calling to have a bite taken out of it and I obliged.
There you have it! 2 semi homemade cookies and one store bought cookie for a super easy cookie tray. I hope the kindergarteners like it.
Holiday Spice Sweet Potato Soup with Cranberries
This is a DELICIOUS soup! I am a soup person in the fall and winter and this soup has ALL the flavors of fall in it. I had it for lunch today because I was running behind and I needed a quick lunch. There is literally no prep with this soup other than to heat it up. I did have a loaf of the Nature’s Promise Free From bread in the cabinet and I toasted it up to go along with the soup. I would buy 2 of the tubs of soup for a dinner party. It is THAT good!
I can’t leave you with out talking about the Holiday Spice Orange Cranberry Baked Brie.
Brie was the first cheese that I learned to love when I started liking ‘fancy’ cheeses. There is something about the creamy, gooey loveliness of brie that brings me so much joy. Giant has create a lovely baked brie in pastry that features dried cranberries, orange marmalade and almonds. Pop it into the oven and before you know it you have a fabulous appetizer.
I paired the brie with more the artisan bread and I added sesame water crackers from Giant’s Simply Enjoy line. I am serving the brie on a copper charger from Copper Mug Company. You could also make it your own by adding sliced apples, pears, toasted nuts or a side of jam. I am sure it would be delicious!