Ava and I always love baking sweet treats together, but it’s even more special during the holiday season. There’s nothing better than spending a day with my mini me listening to Christmas music and getting in the holiday spirit. Plus, this sugar cookie recipe is perfect because it lets Ava get creative in the kitchen with cookie cutters, icing, and sprinkles... while I get to soak in every minute of these memories in the making.

 

Classic Holiday Sugar Cookies

 

Cookie Dough:

 

2/3 cup shortening

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (almond adds a delicate flavor!)

1 egg

4 tsp. milk

2 cups flour

1.5 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 

Cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Add the egg and beat until fluffy. Stir in milk.

 

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamy mixture.

 

Divide the dough in half and chill for one hour.

 

Bring the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit for 2-3 minutes to make rolling a bit easier.

 

Using a rolling pin, roll one half of dough out until thin.

 

Use cookie cutters to cut into festive shapes (tip: for an extra dose of sweetness, use confectioner's sugar instead of flour to keep the dough from sticking to rolling pin!)

 

Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 6-8 minutes. Let cool before icing with recipe below.

 

Icing:

 

1 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons milk

½ teaspoon almond extract

 

Mix together ingredients until glossy and smooth.

Frost cooled cookies. Add sprinkles or any decorations while icing is still wet. Let dry before serving.

 


 

 

 

Of course, we couldn’t leave the moms out, right?! One of my favorite holiday (or year-round!) recipes is a festive red sangria. You can easily make a big batch to serve for a girls’ night or a cocktail party. So easy and so delicious.

 

Festive Red Sangria

 

1 bottle of red Spanish wine

Seasonal fruit, sliced (sliced oranges and apples are perfect during the holidays!)

½ cup brandy

2 tablespoons agave nectar

 

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir to mix well. Let chill for 2+ hours before serving to let the flavors meld together. Serve over ice. Enjoy!