This Weekend: 6 Cookies + A Quick Holiday Gift

I haven’t had much time recently to work on my own recipe development, but I have been doing a lot of baking and other holiday activities. Last weekend, I made gingerbread houses using Molly Yeh’s recipe on Food 52. She makes everything look so easy.  

Here's my snowy gingerbread house, featuring Santa Snowman on his sleigh and Gingerbread Boy. 

Here's my snowy gingerbread house, featuring Santa Snowman on his sleigh and Gingerbread Boy. 

Some other elves made these cute houses: the Gumdrop French Chalet (note the little guy with the beret) and the Snowed-In Cabin!

Some other elves made these cute houses: the Gumdrop French Chalet (note the little guy with the beret) and the Snowed-In Cabin!

This weekend, I took it up a notch. I made six different types of cookies and put together some “Holiday Simmering Pot” gift bags for my coworkers. I thought I’d share them in case you need some (relatively) simple, last-minute baking or present ideas.

Peanut Butter Blossoms, Chocolate-Coffee Coins, Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs, and Chocolate Truffles

Peanut Butter Blossoms, Chocolate-Coffee Coins, Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs, and Chocolate Truffles

Magic Cookie Bars and Twix Bars

Magic Cookie Bars and Twix Bars

Holiday Simmering Pot Gift Bags | roux studio

Enjoy and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

{ Lovin' from the oven, Chelsea }


Magic Cookie Bars

From All Recipes

Magic Cookie Bars | roux studio

Magic cookie bars may be my all-time favorite cookie (because coconut, duh). My aunt used to make them for family get-togethers, holidays, and other special occasions, so when I discovered how easy they were to make, I started making them every chance I got. If you only have time to make one dessert, definitely choose these!  

Magic Cookie Bars | roux studio

Holiday Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

From Sally’s Baking Addiction

Holiday Cut-Out Sugar Cookies | roux studio

These sugar cookies were so easy and fun to make and were, of course, delicious. They probably would have been even better if I had almond extract in my pantry, which "makes the flavor outstanding", according to Sally.

Holiday Cookie Icing | roux studio

The icing starts to harden relatively quickly, so I suggest icing a cookie and immediately decorating it with sprinkles before moving on to the next one. I learned this the hard way.

Christmas Tree and Snowflake Cut-Out | roux studio

Chocolate-Coffee Coins

From the Better Homes and Gardens "100 Best Cookies" magazine

Personally, I thought these came out a lot prettier than they tasted – not that they were bad! I just expected more of a coffee flavor and found the cinnamon to be a little overpowering.  

Chocolate-Coffee Coins | roux studio

Twix Bars

From Annie's Eats

I made these "Twix" Bars for the first time last year while we were in France, and all of the hockey guys LOVED them. The hardest part is waiting for the caramel to thicken enough because you just want to lick it all up (that didn't stop me; I still ate it).

Twix Bars | roux studio

Mine turned out pretty gooey even after refrigeration, so I guess I could’ve been a little more patient. They still tasted great though, and I remedied the gooeyness-situation by individually wrapping them in parchment paper.

Twix Bars | roux studio

I also thought it would be a good idea to be fancy and cut them into diamond shapes instead of boring old squares. The chocolate layer cracked a lot when cutting – which may have happened regardless of the shape – but, next time, I'll stick with the more simple square slices.

Twix Bars | roux studio

Peanut Butter Blossoms

From the Better Homes and Gardens "100 Best Cookies" magazine

Peanut butter and chocolate are a forever-winning combo so you really can't go wrong with these Peanut Butter Blossoms. They were also a great way to use up the Hershey’s Kisses leftover from my gingerbread house-making extravaganza the other weekend.

Peanut Butter Blossoms | roux studio

Simple Chocolate Truffles

From Martha Stewart

Simple Chocolate Truffles | roux studio

I didn’t have time to order any truffles from Katie’s uncle’s candy shop, Uncle Truscott’s, so I decided to make my own. I doubt they were anywhere near as good as Uncle Truscott’s truffles, but they looked fancy (despite being easy to make), and they tasted good.

Simple Chocolate Truffles | roux studio

By the way, Katie did an incredible job designing and painting the “What’s What” inserts for the truffle boxes!

Uncle Truscott's Truffles | roux studio
Uncle Truscott's Truffles | roux studio

Holiday Simmering Pot

Holiday Simmering Pot | roux studio

These were a cute, functional, and super Pinterest-y DIY gift. Simply place all of the ingredients in a plastic bag or a large mason jar (if your oranges and lemons are small enough), tie it up with some twine or a ribbon, and add a little note with directions.

For each bag:

one orange

one lemon

½ cup fresh cranberries

two bay leaves

two cinnamon sticks

two whole star anise

1 ½ tsp whole cloves

1 tsp mulling spices (nutmeg, cloves, anise, orange rinds, etc.)

Holiday Simmering Pot Ingredients | roux studio

I hand-wrote my directions on a small gift tag:

  1. Slice orange and lemon

  2. Bring ~3 cups of water plus contents of bag to a simmer over low heat, uncovered

  3. Add more water when low

  4. Enjoy

Holiday Simmering Pot Directions | roux studio

And voilà! Your gift is ready to go brighten someone's day. 

Holiday Simmering Pot | roux studio