Three Ways to Warm Hearts and Fill Bellies This Holiday Season!

We’ve gathered three of our favourite holiday activities and recipes, so that you too can eat delicious cookies and fill your home with beautiful textures and feelings of tradition this season! We’re sharing the BEST sugar cookie recipe ever, how to make popcorn garland, and a guide to oven dried oranges. Enjoy!

“All you need is love and Christmas (sugar) cookies.”

There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked Sugar Cookies, one of our favourite treats especially during the holidays! This is the BEST Sugar Cookie recipe, truly! It is foolproof, quick, reliable, and has that classic vanilla flavour that we all know and love. The best part? It has little to no prep time, no down time, and it’s freezable – which means you can freeze the dough and bake later OR you can bake and ice the cookies and freeze them for later.

Ingredients

Cookies

1 cup margarine or butter
1.5 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups flour

Icing

1/2 cup butter
2 2/3 cups icing sugar
5 tsp milk
1.5 tsp vanilla

Toppings (optional)

Crushed candy cane
Sprinkles
Drizzled chocolate
Crushed pretzels
Skor bits
Is there really a ‘bad’ topping?

Instructions

Preheat: 350°F
Cook: 8-10 minutes
Cool: 15 minutes

Sugar Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (a hand-held mixer works perfectly fine as well!), beat together the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg at a time, add vanilla.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt, mix well, scrape the sides of the bowl, and mix again.
  4. Mix 3 cups of flour into the wet ingredients one at a time, making sure it’s fully combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each cup.
  5. Once combined, turn off and remove attachment. With your hands, gather dough, and turn onto a clean, well-floured surface. Knead dough until smooth. If you’re finding it’s sticky, add flour (just a little at a time!). Using half the dough, flour your rolling pin and roll out to roughly ¼ inch thick. 
  6. Flour your cookie cutters and press into the dough!
  7. Put onto baking sheet roughly 2 inches apart and bake for 8-10 minutes
  8. Cool cookies completely before icing!

Icing

  1. Microwave butter for 10 seconds, so that it is slightly soft to the touch but not at all melted.
  2. In a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (again, a hand-held mixer works great too), beat butter until soft.
  3. Add icing sugar and mix on low
  4. Mix in vanilla and milk, gradually building mixing speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix until fully combined!
  5. We like our cookies with a generous amount of icing, but to each their own! Using a butter knife or your favourite icing tool, add roughly 2 tablespoons of icing to your cookies. Making “S” shapes with your knife, spread the icing around the cookie, rotating the cookie with your hand.
  6. Finish with a sprinkle of candy cane, or your favourite toppings!

Popcorn Garland

We’re going back to the basics. There is just something so charming and sweet about popcorn garland on a Christmas tree. A great excuse to slow down, create holiday traditions, and make your Christmas tree even more adorable!

Photo Credit: Kristine Lee

Instructions

  1. Pop or buy popcorn and leave out for 24-48 hours, this helps create less breakable pieces of popcorn.
  2. Using heavy duty thread or fishing wire, string your needle, and tie a big knot at the end.
  3. Push the needle through the center of each piece of popcorn, and continue until you have enough to wrap around your Christmas tree!

Oven Dried Citrus

Oranges and Christmas are just better together! We’re loving all of the dried oranges we are seeing this holiday season in gift wrapping and in home decor, and they are super easy to make! So here is our quick tutorial on how to make your own dried oranges:

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F
  2. Cut oranges into 1/2 inch thick rounds. You can totally use other citruses too; grapefruit, lemons, limes, blood oranges, all work perfectly and the different colours will be beautiful!
  3. Place oranges on a cooling rack, and then place rack on a parchment lined baking tray. The rack and tray are for easier clean up (no sticking/burning) and so air circulates properly.
  4. Place oranges in the oven for approximately 2-3 hours, flipping oranges every 30 minutes or so.
  5. Let completely dry and then add to gift wrapping, home decor or use as garnishes!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from our family to yours! We hope you get a chance to try out our sugar cookie recipe and create some of your own beautiful dried oranges and popcorn garlands. If you do, be sure to tag @kccustomdesigns in your photos on Instagram, we’d love to see what you create!

XoXo,

The KC Custom Designs Team

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