Desserts
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Holiday Cookies and Gingerbread Loaf

T-minus 4 days until Christmas (WOW!) For those of you celebrating Christmas or any other holiday around this time, cookies and sweets are one of the main food groups! So, today I have not one, but two dessert recipes for you. The first is a take on the classic Peanut Butter Cookie with Hershey’s Kisses in the middle. These don’t include peanut butter and as an update, you roll them in colored sugar of your choice.

Next up is the classic holiday treat–gingerbread. But, instead of cute gingerbread men or women cookies, this is a gingerbread loaf. To spruce the recipe up, I added an orange citrus glaze. Even though the recipe took almost an hour to bake, it is a really easy recipe! 

Holiday Kiss Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses (approximately 35)
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 TSP Vanilla 
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 TSP Salt
  • 1/4 TSP Baking Soda
  • 2 TBSP Milk
  • Red, green, blue (or desired color) sugar

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Remove wrappers from Kisses 
  • Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and egg in large bowl until well blended
  • Stir together flour, baking soda and salt
  • Alternate adding dry mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended
  • Shape dough into 1 inch balls
  • Roll in colored sugar
  • Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet

  • Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies are set
  • Remove from oven and cool about 8-10 minutes
  • Press Kisses into the center of each cookie

  • Remove cookies from cookie sheet and place on a wire rack to cool completely
  • Serve to your guests!

 

Holiday Kiss Cookies

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 35 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Bag Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses (approximately 35)
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, softened
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 TSP Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 TSP Salt
  • 1/4 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1 TBSP Milk
  • Red, green, blue (or desired color) sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Remove wrappers from Kisses 
  • Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and egg in large bowl until well blended
  • Stir together flour, baking soda and salt
  • Alternate adding dry mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended
  • Shape dough into 1 inch balls
  • Roll in colored sugar
  • Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet
  • Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies are set
  • Remove from oven and cool about 8-10 minutes
  • Press Kisses into the center of each cookie
  • Remove cookies from cookie sheet and place on a wire rack to cool completely
  • Serve to your guests!

Gingerbread Loaf with Orange Citrus Glaze:

Gingerbread Loaf Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 TSP baking soda
  • 1 1/2 TSP Ground Ginger
  • 1 1/2 TSP Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 TSP Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 TSP Salt
  • 1/8 TSP Ground Pepper
  • 3/4 Cup Dark Molasses, Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 3/4 Cup Hot Water
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Packed Light or Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg, at room temperature
  • 1 TSP Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 TBSP Orange Zest
  • Candied Orange Slices

Orange Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar, Sifted
  • 23 TBSP Orange Juice
  • 1 TBSP Orange Zest

Method for loaf:

  • Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350°F
  • Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper together until combined, then set aside
  • In another bowl, whisk the molasses and hot water together (I used a glass measuring cup)
  • In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute)
  • Add the brown sugar and beat on high speed for 1 minute until creamed together fairly well
  • Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed
  • On medium-high speed, beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined
  • Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed

  • With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated
  • Follow this by adding 1/3 of the hot water/molasses and mixing until incorporated
  • Repeat until all of the dry and wet ingredients are added, but avoid overmixing. Batter will be thin. Whisk out any big lumps.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan

  • Bake for around 50-60 minutes or until the gingerbread loaf is baked through (test using a cake tester that when inserted into loaf, comes out clean with only a couple moist (not wet) crumbs)
  • Allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack before removing from pan

  • To remove, you may need to run a knife around the edges

Method for icing:

  • Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, orange zest and orange juice together
  • Drizzle over cooled loaf
  • Top with candied oranges

Gingerbread Loaf with Orange Citrus Glaze

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr

Ingredients
  

Gingerbread Loaf

  • 1 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 TSP Ground Ginger
  • 1 1/2 TSP Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 TSP Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 TSP Salt
  • 1/8 TSP Ground Pepper
  • 3/4 Cup Dark Molasses, Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 Cup Packed Light or Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg, at room temperature
  • 1 TSP Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 TBSP Orange Zest
  • Candied Orange Slices

Orange Citrus Glaze

  • 1 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar, Sifted
  • 2-3 TBSP Orange Juice
  • 1 TBSP Orange Zest

Instructions
 

Gingerbread Loaf

  • Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350°F
  • Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper together until combined, then set aside
  • In another bowl, whisk the molasses and hot water together (I used a glass measuring cup)
  • In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute)
  • Add the brown sugar and beat on high speed for 1 minute until creamed together fairly well
  • Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed
  • On medium-high speed, beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined
  • Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed
  • With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated
  • Follow this by adding 1/3 of the hot water/molasses and mixing until incorporated
  • Repeat until all of the dry and wet ingredients are added, but avoid overmixing. Batter will be thin. Whisk out any big lumps.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan
  • Bake for around 50-60 minutes or until the gingerbread loaf is baked through (test using a cake tester that when inserted into loaf, comes out clean with only a couple moist (not wet) crumbs)
  • Allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack before removing from pan
  • To remove, you may need to run a knife around the edges

Orange Citrus Glaze

  • Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, orange zest and orange juice together
  • Drizzle over cooled loaf
  • Top with candied oranges
  • Plate, slice and serve!

Stay hungry…

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