Holiday Treats

Santa Hat Brownies

1 pan of your favorite brownies, cooled and cut into desired size and shape
12-16 small strawberries, cleaned and haled
Vanilla-mascarpone buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp.
8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temp.
2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

Using a standard mixer with paddle attachment,beat butter and cheese until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and salt. Add 2 1/2 cups sugar, half a cup at a time and continue beating until smooth. Add more sugar if needed.

To assemble; pipe a ring of vanilla buttercream on top of each brownie. Cut off base of strawberries so it is flat and place it upside down on each brownie, pushing slightly to secure in place. Top the tip of strawberries with a dot of buttercream to finish the Santa hats.

Holiday Treats

Chocolate Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder (Hershey’s)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
Coarse red and white sanding sugar 36 candy cane kisses, unwrapped

Beat the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the yogurt and egg and beat again. Sift together the cocoa powder, baking soda and the flour. Slowly beat in the butter mixture. Roll into 36 balls and roll in the red and white sugar. The dough will be very sticky. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350*F for 8 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 1-2 minutes. Remove to wax paper on counter. Press a kiss into each one of the cookies.

Holiday Treats

Gingerbread Men

3 cups flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix first 6 ingredients. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Roll out dough into 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Cut into gingerbread men with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350*F for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely. Now decorate!!!