I Was Busy Making Cookies! *Long Post*

So 2021 was crazy, right? Hope everyone had a great holiday!

My family celebrates Christmas, and every year my mom makes baking plates to give out to our friends and family. She kept saying she wasn’t sure if she even wanted to make them this year (2021), so I said, “Why don’t we collaborate? I’ll make half, and you make half.” She accepted, and the baking trays were a hit with our family and friends! In total, there were 10 different types of cookies and squares. I made Danish Apple Bars, Hot Chocolate Cookie Mugs, Pinwheel Cookies, Salted Maple Brownies, and White Chocolate Drizzled Cherry Icebox Cookies. My mom made Eggnog Spritz Cookies, Linzer Cookies, Mint Julep Cookies, Sugar Cookies, and Toffee Shortbread Cookies. So strap in because this is going to be a long one!

One of the movies I watched was The Holiday. It follows Iris and Amanda, played by Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, where both of their love lives aren’t living up to what you see in the movies. To avoid both their exes and having never met, English Iris and American Amanda agree to swap houses for a couple weeks during the holidays. Of course, they both fall for a new guy in their new city. Jude Law and Jack Black play the two love interests and are equally handsome as they are adorable.

Totally a heartfelt movie and makes you think this could happen in real life. 10/10. I watched it twice!

Picture courtesy of Keng Susumpow

Another movie I watched was The Princess Switch. It stars Vanessa Hudgens as Stacy DeNovo, a baker from Chicago, who gets invited to the fictional country of Belgravia to be a part of their international baking competition on Christmas. While in Belgravia she meets Princess Margaret of Montenaro (also played by Hudgens), who looks identical to Stacy. Princess Margaret is supposed to be marrying the Prince of Belgravia in a couple weeks, even though she’s never met him. Having never had a taste of normalcy, Margaret convinces Stacy to switch places with her for a few days, so she can finally have time to herself. Stacy agrees, and of course, she falls for the Prince. And Margaret starts falling for Kevin, Stacy’s friend and pastry partner, who joined her for the competition. All-in-all, it’s a great feel-good Christmas movie and fun for the whole family. 8/10.

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Vanessa Hudgens as both Stacy and Margaret in the Netflix holiday confection The Princess Switch

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Picture courtesy of NPR

I wish I could have watched more movies, but my laptop kept dying 10 mins into any movie. 😕 I could at least watch some of them on my phone if I wasn’t using it for a recipe. 😃

After baking non-stop for almost four days, my mom and I assembled the baking trays. We were able to make ten trays. We put the plates in the car and went around the city delivering Christmas cheer and, of course, the cookies. Everyone enjoyed them a lot, and we even had extras to take to our family up north! Hopefully, these recipes will give you some tasty cookies to try and maybe even add to your baking plates as well!

1. Danish Apple Bars (Makes 24-36 bars) [Depends how you cut them]


Crust Filling
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup crushed corn flakes
1 tsp. salt 4 large apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup butter or margarine 1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk 1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk (to make 1/2 cup when yolk is added) 1 egg white


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Measure flour, salt, and butter into bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly.
  3. Using a fork beat yolk with small amount of milk in measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1/2 cup.
  4. Add to flour mixture.
  5. Mix and shape into two equal balls. Roll ball into 12″x17″ size.
  6. Place into a 10″x15″ jellyroll pan, pressing up the sides. (I didn’t have a jelly roll pan, so I just used a 9″x13″ baking sheet instead).
  7. Scatter corn flakes crumbs over the crust.
  8. Arrange apple slices over crumbs.
  9. Cover with sugar and cinnamon.
  10. Roll remaining pastry.
  11. Moisten bottom crust edges. Cover with pastry and seal. Cut slits in top crust.
  12. Beat egg white until stiff. Brush over crust.
  13. Bake in oven for 45 mins to 1 hour until apples are tender.
  14. Glaze when warm, if desired.

Recipe from: My high school Food Studies teacher, Ms. Baumgartner

2. Hot Chocolate Cookie Mugs (Makes 24)


Cookie Dough For Decorating
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 180g (6oz) semisweet chocolate chips. divided
3/4 cup light brown sugar 1/3 cup heavy cream, warmed
1/4 cup sugar 1 cup mini marshmallows
1 large egg, room temperature 24 mini candy canes*, plus more in case some break
180g (6oz) semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder *I didn’t use the candy canes because it was late
1/2 teaspoon baking powder and I wanted to go to bed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg, then add the melted chocolate chips and beat to incorporate.
  4. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Beat until just combined.
  5. Scoop rounded tablespoon of cookie dough into each cup of a mini muffin tin.
  6. Use your fingers to spread the dough evenly across the bottoms and up the sides of the cups, being careful not to spill over the edges.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes, until cookies have slightly puffed up. Let cool completely. If the centers have puffed up, use the back of a wooden spoon to reshape.
  8. Prep the decorations: Add 100 grams (4 ounces) of chocolate chips to a liquid measuring cup or heatproof bowl. Pour over the warm heavy cream and let sit for 1 minute, then stir until well combined and smooth.
  9. Pour the ganache into the cooled cookie cups until level with the tops.
  10. Decorate the tops of each cookie cup with mini marshmallows and let sit at room temperature until the ganache has firmed up about 1 hour.
  11. In a liquid measuring cup or heatproof bowl, melt the remaining chocolate in the microwave, then allow to sit at room temperature until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
  12. Use scissors to cut the curved end of the mini candy canes into small handles.
  13. Use a knife to gently lift the cookie cups from the muffin tin so one side sticks up. Dip the ends of the candy cane handles into the cooled melted chocolate, then stick onto the sides of the cookie cups. Let set 1 hour before serving.

Recipe from: Buzzfeed Tasty.

3. Pinwheel Cookies (Sugar Swirl Cookies) (Makes 24 cookies)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon red food colouring (or preferred colour)
sprinkles, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Mix in egg, vanilla, and salt.
  3. Mix in flour.
  4. Make the dough into a ball and cut into two halves.
  5. Add food colouring to one half of the dough, working it in until evenly mixed.
  6. On a large cutting board covered in plastic wrap, use a rolling pin to roll out each piece of dough to make two 12×9-inch rectangles. Tip: Place wax paper over the dough while rolling to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.
  7. Take the coloured dough rectangle and place it over the other regular dough rectangle.
  8. Use the plastic wrap under the regular dough rectangle to help you roll the two rectangles up.
  9. Fill a flat baking dish or baking pan with sprinkles. Roll the dough around until the outside is completely coated.
  10. Chill for at least 4 hours.
  11. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  12. Cut the dough into 1/4-inch slices and place them on a cookie sheet.
  13. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until blonde.

Recipe from: Buzzfeed Tasty

4. Salted Maple Brownies (Makes 16 squares)


Brownie Batter: Maple Glaze:
1 1/3 cup (140g) dark chocolate, chopped 1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed 1/4 tsp maple extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup flaked sea salt
3 eggs water, as needed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, then line an 8×8-in. baking pan with parchment.
  2. Combine chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Melt over saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted about 6 min. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar and maple syrup.
  3. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Gradually stir in flour and salt until just combined. Spread batter in prepared dish, smoothing top.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean with a few crumbs clinging, about 35 min. Remove pan to a rack and let cool slightly.
  5. For the glaze: Whisk maple syrup, maple extract, and icing sugar in a small bowl, adding water 1/4 tsp at a time if needed, to make a smooth pourable glaze. Drizzle overtop of brownie. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Let cool completely before cutting into 16 squares.

Recipe from: Walmart: Live Better magazine.

5. White Chocolate Drizzled Cherry Icebox Cookies (Makes 65)


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped dried cherries
3/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
100g white chocolate, melted


  1. Stir flour with lemon zest, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter with sugar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer until combined. Beat in egg, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and vanilla.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in flour mixture just until it can be formed into a ball. Knead in finely chopped dried cherries.
  3. Divide dough into 3 portions. Shape each into an 8-in. log. Place finely chopped pistachios in a pie plate. Roll logs in nuts, gently pressing down so nuts stick. Wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour to 1 week. Or overwrap with foil and freeze up to 1 month.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray or oil a large baking sheet.
  5. Slice logs into rounds 1/3-in. thick. Arrange 2 in. apart on baking sheet.
  6. Bake in center of oven until cookie edges are golden, 8 to 10 min.
  7. Remove cookies to a rack to cool completely.
  8. Repeat with remaining dough.
  9. Drizzle cookies with melted white chocolate.
  10. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

Recipe from: Walmart: Live Better magazine.

6. Eggnog Spritz Cookies (Makes 60)


1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 egg
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, margarine, rum extract, and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in flour, nutmeg, and salt; blend well.
  3. Fit cookie press with desired plate. Fill cookie press; press dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  4. Bake at 400°F. for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.
  5. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

Recipe from: The Complete Book of Baking by Pillsbury Publications

7. Linzer Cookies (Makes 26)


3/4 cup hazelnuts (filberts)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar, if desired
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spread hazelnuts in ungreased shallow baking pan. Bake uncovered about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Rub nuts in a kitchen towel to remove loose skins (some skins may not come off); cool 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off oven.
  2. In food processor bowl with metal blade, place nuts and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Cover; process with about 10 on-and-off pulses, 2 to 3 seconds each, until nuts are finely ground but not oily. In small bowl, mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In large bowl, beat butter and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed about 3 minutes or until smooth. Add nut mixture; beat about 1 minute or until mixed. Beat in egg and vanilla. With spoon, stir in flour mixture just until blended. Shape dough into 2 balls; flatten each into a round. Wrap separately in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.
  4. Heat oven to 425°F. Remove 1 dough round from refrigerator. On well-floured surface, roll dough with floured rolling pin until about 1/8 inch thick. Cut with 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter in desired shape. On ungreased cookie sheets, place cutouts about 1 inch apart.
  5. Roll and cut other half of dough. Using a 1-inch square or round cutter, cut out the center of half of the cookies. Reroll dough centers and cut out more cookies.
  6. Bake 4 to 5 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool 10 minutes. Lightly sprinkle powdered sugar over cookies with center cutouts. For each sandwich cookie, spread about 1 teaspoon raspberry jam over bottom of 1 whole cookie; top with cutout cookie, bottom side down. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Recipe from: Christmas Cookies by Betty Crocker

8. Mint Julep Cookies (Makes 42)


3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon brandy extract
2 egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped
1/2 to 2/3 cup mint jelly


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet.
  2. Beat sugar, margarine, brandy extract, and egg yolks vigorously in a large bowl 50 strokes. Mix in flour and salt.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip each ball into egg whites. Roll in pecans. Place on cookie sheet. Press thumb in center of each ball.
  4. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet.
  5. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon jelly.

Recipe from: 110 Cookie Recipes by Betty Crocker

9. Sugar Cookies (Makes 48)


For the dough: For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter or margarine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup sugar 3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs Several drops of food colouring,
any colour you want
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp milk


  1. Cream butter until very soft, blend in sugar gradually. Cream until light and fluffy. Add well-beaten eggs and milk.
  2. Sift then measure the flour, resift with salt and baking powder. Sift dry ingredients gradually into first mixture, blending well. Add vanilla. Use enough flour to make a dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  3. On a lightly floured board, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Shape with a floured cookie cutter. Place shapes on a greased cookies sheet.
  4. Bake at 375°F for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan onto cooling racks. Cool completely before decorating.
  5. For the frosting: Mix all ingredients together. If it’s too wet add more powdered sugar, or if it’s too dry add a tiny splash of milk.

Recipe from: 110 Cookie Recipes by Betty Crocker (frosting) and my mom’s personal recipe binder.

10. Toffee Shortbread (Makes 18)


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground mahlab (optional)
2 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toffee bits


  1. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the vanilla, salt and mahlab, and then the flour. Stir in the toffee bits.
  2. Roll the dough into a log about 12 to 14-inches long, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled (about 2 hours in the fridge or 20 minutes in the freezer).
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
  4. Slice the dough into slices about 3/4-inch thick and arrange them on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are sandy coloured on the bottom and along the outside but not browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Cool completely on the trays before removing.

Recipe from: An Edible Mosaic https://www.anediblemosaic.com/slice-and-bake-butter-toffee-shortbread-cookies/

Photos from:


My mom’s Facebook