Holiday baking is an important tradition that my mom instilled in me at a young age. I remember watching and helping her bake dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies all in preparation for the big day. She would stay up until wee hours of the morning baking and rolling different kinds of delectable cookies to share with family and friends. The amazing baker that she is, she made it all seem so effortless…and they all looked perfect too! My mom is my idol in every sense of the word!
Each year, I find myself following in my mom’s footsteps. While my baking skills may not be as advanced as hers, I really enjoy making Christmas cookies. Each November, prior to starting my baking, I plan out each and every cookie I plan on baking, set a baking timeline and let the baking fun begin. I love to get the kids involved in the process too. It’s a wonderful way to spend time as a family.
10 Fabulous bloggers have gathered together to stock you up with real food cookie recipes for your holiday season in a #RealCookieSwap! Whether you’re hosting or attending a cookie swap or headed out to a party, bring with you some special treats that not only taste amazing but use unrefined ingredients as well. Of all of these cookies, we can’t wait to hear what your favorite is so make sure to share it with us! Be sure to enter our Real Food Giveaway below valued at over $300!
Classic Italian ricotta cookies are always in my Christmas cookie arsenal. This year, since “salted caramel” everything is so popular, I decided to put a new spin on them. These Salted Caramel Ricotta Gems are an updated twist on a classic Italian ricotta cookie. I topped them with a salted caramel buttercream icing. I love salted buttercream icing and yes, it was very hard not to eat the entire bowl. These cookies turned out perfectly moist and delicious. Try them, I bet you won’t be able to eat just one!
- 1 cup Kerrygold unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- ½ caramel topping
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Salted Caramel Buttercream Icing
- 1 cup Kerrygold butter, unsalted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup caramel topping
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4½ cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons half and half
- Toffee Bits - for topping
- To make cookies:
- Cream butter and sugar in a bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
- Gradually beat in ricotta and vanilla.
- In separate bowl, sift flour, salt and baking soda. Gradually add to creamed mixture.
- Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (or use a small cookie scoop) 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until lightly brown.
- Remove from baking sheet and place on wire rack to cool.
- To Make Icing:
- Beat butter in mixing bowl.
- Gradually add powdered sugar, caramel topping, vanilla and sea salt.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk until icing is spreadable but not too thin.
When it comes to cooking and baking, butter is a common ingredient. Up the flavor of your dish by using a quality butter and supporting a sustainable company at the same time. Kerrygold butters are made with milk from grass-fed cows in Ireland. They take pride in how they make their butter and what goes into so you will not ever see additives or hormones added. You will taste (and see the difference)!
Continuing on with sustainability in baking, when you are traveling with baked goods (and when you’re at home) it’s important to use an ecofriendly choice. If You Care is a company with a full line of ecofriendly products such as pie pans, baking pans, parchment paper. Their packaging shows exactly where the product came from and where it can go after use. Recycling and composting are two of the most common options! Score!
Both of these products can be found at your local Whole Foods as well as everything else you need to stock up on your holiday baking essentials! You can be sure that you are buying GMO free when you are buying at Whole Foods. We all LOVE that!
And just to help you get ready for this season of baking, we’re giving away THE BEST prize package geared toward all of your “real food and baking” needs this holiday season. Get ready because you are going to love what’s behind door #1….
Grand Prize valued at over $300: A Kerrygold “Ireland Gift Pack” which includes everything you need to put on a good party – a Kerrygold cookbook, 2 wedges Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, 2 wedges Kerrygold Swiss Cheese, 2 wedges Kerrygold Blarney Castle Cheese, 2 wedges Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, 2 wedges Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar, 2 wedges Kerrygold Red Leicester, 2 wedges of Kerrygold Skellig, 2 packs Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter, 2 packs Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, 2 packs of Kerrygold Garlic and Herb Butter, 2 packs of Kerrygold Softer Butter.
AND An If You Care package filled with recyclable baking pans, pie pans, etc.
AND (we’re not done) A $75 Whole Foods Giftcard so you can stock up on everything you need!
So enter below to win.
Be sure to check out these other 9 bloggers and their amazing cookies in our #RealCookieSwap!
How Does Your Garden Grow?: Salted Caramel Ricotta Gems
O’Boy! Organic: Dark Chocolate Eggnog Truffles
The Vintage Mom: Grandmas Chocolate Drop Cookies
Groovy Green Livin: 7 Ingredient Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mindfully Frugal Mom: Bailey’s Chocolate Truffles
Mom-Blog: Orange Cranberry Almond Cookies
Real Kitchen and Beyond: Cranberry Crumble Bars
Souffle Bombay: 6 Ingredient Flourless Chocolate Cookie
Evolving Motherhood: Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Cookies
Eat Sleep Be: Gluten Free Lemon Sugar Cookie
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Special thanks to Kerrygold and Whole Foods Market North Wales for providing the ingredients for this recipe Follow Melissa Russo / How Does Your Garden Grow?’s board C is for Cookie on Pinterest.