Christmas (in July) Baking!

Well, despite the heat wave all across the US this month, it wouldn’t be Christmas without some holiday baking, would it?  
When I was growing up, Christmas meant half my family in the kitchen at any given moment, baking dozens and dozens of cookies and other sweet goodies.  Lots of mess, lots of noise, lots of sugar… lots of fun. :) Every year meant all the classics: cut-out sugar cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies, peanut butter cookies with red and green sugar, and a sugar and spice cookie recipe that’s one of my favorites to this day.  You know I love keeping things simple around here, so one of my favorite shares last Christmas was an instant classic – my Peppermint Bark Snowflakes.  Super fast, super easy!

But when it comes to Christmas sweets, isn’t it just as much about the memories you make in the kitchen as it is the delicious goodies?  Collaboration, company?  With that in mind, I’ve invited a few amazing bloggers to join me in talking about Christmas baking today – some of their favorite recipes and what the holiday means in their kitchens, and their picks from other bloggers for a round-up of some great-looking new recipes too.  It’s the next best thing to a bloggers’ cookie exchange. :)
Melissa from No. 2 Pencil, Robin from Bird On a Cake, and Meaghan from 2 Sisters, 2 Cities all join me today to talk sweets – from their kitchens (and the blogs they love!) to yours.  I hope you enjoy what they’ve picked as their top Christmas sweets!

Hello friends! I’m Melissa from No. 2 Pencil. At No. 2 Pencil, I share everyday recipes and DIY projects with a creative twist. I love coming up with new ideas and figuring out how to make them a reality. Since I’m a stay-at-home mom to two young children, I like to keep my recipes and projects easy and inexpensive. I’m thrilled to be included in Adrianne’s Christmas in July post, and I think you will love the recipes I picked!

I want to share with you my White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. It’s one of my favorite no-bake treats for the holidays.

One of my absolute favorite Christmas recipes is the Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls. Homemade cinnamon rolls have a very special place in our family. My Aunt Kim, who was a wonderful baker, brought homemade cinnamon rolls with thick cream cheese frosting to our Christmas morning brunch every year. I have sweet memories of her bustling in late with steaming pans of cinnamon rolls because the rolls had taken too long to rise. She passed away suddenly a few years ago, and when I read the Pioneer Woman’s post, I knew I wanted to start a new tradition of making cinnamon rolls and sharing them at our Christmas brunch as well as with friends and neighbors.

Last year was the third year in a row I made massive amounts of cinnamon rolls, in fact I tripled the Pioneer Woman recipe. I start the process four days before Christmas and have the rolls baked and ready for delivery on Christmas Eve morning. Last year, I bought pretty, disposable paper cake pans, and used cellophane and ribbon to make a lovely presentation. My husband and my son get to play Santa, and deliver them to our friends doorsteps. Everyone is thrilled!

Thank you Adrianne for including me and my picks in your post. Even though our weather will be over 100 degrees today, I am definitely in the Christmas spirit after looking at all these beautiful recipes!

 – Melissa


Hello, Happy Hour Projects fans!  I’m Robin from Bird On A Cake, where I blog all about my cake obsession.  I share yummy recipes, decorating tutorials and lots of pretty cakes! As part of Adrianne’s Christmas in July Week, I’m here to talk about Christmas baking! The perfect topic for me. I love to bake, and Christmas means even more delicious goodies than usual. Do  you have certain recipes that are always a part of your holiday celebrations? I always look forward to my Mom’s amazing pies and cookies. I make the cakes and my brother’s girlfriend makes incredible breads. Here are a couple of my own favorite Christmas cakes…

Here are some delicious recipes that you will want to add to your holiday list!

(My mom makes these every year!)

2. Christmas Crunch Bark at Mommy? I’m Hungry! 

4. Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies at Bon Appetit
5. Candy Apple Pie at Doughmesstic
I hope you enjoyed these Christmas baking ideas…  Come on over to my blog for some more cakey goodness! :0)
-Robin

Christmas and baking have always gone hand in hand in our home. One of my favorite memories from growing up was filling our kitchen table with tray after tray of cut-out Christmas cookies and decorating the cookies with frosting and sprinkles. (It always turned a little competitive to see who could make the best cookie, but we always had fun with it!)

Last year, my sister (who I co-blog with) did a 12 Days of Christmas Cookies series at our blog 2 Sisters 2 Cities. Here are some of our favorite Christmas cookies from the series:

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies- These are the classic cut-out sugar cookies we make every year. My sister (K) stepped it up a bit with her royal icing technique. These go really fast in our house.

 

Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars: These salted chocolate caramel bars are one of the most pinned items from our blog and for good reason. If chocolate and caramel aren’t a good enough combination for you, just add a little sea salt and these are the perfect treat.

Buckeyes: These chocolate and peanut butter candies are another Christmas staple in our house. Try to eat just one, I dare you!


White Chocolate Ginger Drops: These cookies are a different twist on holiday gingerbread cookies.

I love these holiday baking ideas from a few other bloggers:

1. Cranberry Bliss Bars: These cranberry bliss bars from The Girl Who Ate Everything look amazing! Even though it’s going to be close to 100 degrees in Boston this week, the photos make my want to snuggle up under a blanket by the Christmas tree with some coffee and one of these cranberry bliss bars.

2. Melted Snowman Cookies: While these melted snowman cookies from Smashed Peas and Carrots would be so cute to make in December, how funny (and appropriate) would it be to make them in July?

3. Snowball Cake Pops: I love these adorable cake pops and toppers from 20 Going on 80. These would be really fun to serve at a holiday party.


4.  Reindeer Cake Pops- These reindeer cake pops from Bakerella are sure to get even the biggest grinch in your life to smile.  Coincidentally, Bakerella just announced her holiday cake pop book is now available for pre-order.  This would make the perfect early holiday gift for so many people, such as me (hint, hint husband!)

I also have a couple of fun [non-baking] ideas that I have seen, but you would definitely need to start planning them before December comes along. One idea that I read about several years ago on the blog Oh Happy Day was creating an advent calendar with 25 little wrapped presents. You could fill each box with a small gift to be opened on the first 25 days of December. I have never made this type of advent calendar before, but I think I might be a really fun idea to make for my son this year. July is the perfect time of year to start thinking about starting this advent calendar because you could pick up small items and start wrapping them over the next few months.


You could also do something similar to what Jordan does with the advent calendar- she makes a huge list of Christmas activities to get them excited for the holiday and does one item each day. She has a list almost 40 different ideas on her advent calendar post to get you in the holiday spirit!

Another fun holiday tradition you could also start this year is to wrap up 25 children’s Christmas books and have your kids open one each night to read. It’s the perfect time of year to start picking up holiday-themed books at summer garage sales and setting them aside for December.

What are some of your favorite holiday baking memories? Are you doing anything between now and December 1st to get ready for Christmas?

Meaghan Barry lives with her husband and 18-month old son in a town on the south shore of Boston. She is a former finance professional turned stay-at-home-mom. Meaghan tweets under Twitter profile @Meaghz and pins using the Pinterest profile 2Sisters2Cities. Meaghan blogs with her NYC-based sister about cooking, party ideas, and projects at http://www.2sisters2cities.com.

Comments

  1. Meaghan says

    The post looks great Adrianne! Thanks so much for letting me participate in this fun series!

    -Meaghan

  2. PhiSigKris says

    What a wonderful roundup!!! Definitely gets me in the Christmas spirit! As a recipient of Melissa's Christmas Eve cinnamon rolls, I can attest to their deliciousness!!!

  3. Kadie says

    I have a few of these in my recipe folder already but I am going to have to add a bunch more!! Thanks for putting it all together!

  4. Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) says

    Love the stories and recipes–they all look so delicious! I'm glad to see you all talking about Christmas in July too…I've actually been baking up a couple of things to feature in my blog's 12 Weeks of Christmas cookies (gotta get ahead–about did myself in last year!) and I was thinking everyone would think I was nuts for talking about it too. Glad to have found your blog via No. 2 Pencil's!

  5. Rachelle says

    Oh yum!! I love Christmas time goodies and baking/making them. Thank you for the shout out and linking back to my Christmas Crunch Bark. :D

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