Our Favorite Christmas Sweets – Part One

It’s been a while! We’re still high-volume carb pushers, we assure you.

The past few months have been sprinkled with countless nights of sugar storms in our kitchens, baking treats every week (see the photographic evidence). While taking on so many projects, we’ve been off the blog. But fear not, the Sarmie Sisters are back, debuting our return with our favorite holiday recipes.

Over the next few days, we’ll feature our favorite recipes that we love to bake during the holiday season. Each recipe has been successfully kitchen- and taste-tested, rightfully earning a spot in our lineup.

Without further adieu, let’s kick off the list with recipe #1, the “Holly Jolly Cake Pop.” 

Why it made the list: Once you see how easy it is to bake, roll, and dip this elegant treat, you’ll understand why it takes the cake on any pretty party spread.

Holly Jolly Cake Pop
Recipe yields 40 – 50 cake pops

Ingredients:

  • Cake base
    • 1 box cake mix (we like Duncan Hines)
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 c. water
  • 1/4 c. cake icing
  • Melting wafers (Ghirardelli is the best)
  • Clear sugar sprinkles
  • Holly sprinkles

Additional supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Bake cake as directed on the box, omitting the oil / butter portion.
  2. Break apart baked cake into a mixing bowl and mix with the cake icing until the cake becomes a dough and crumbs are no longer visible.
  3. Using the cookie scoop, scoop out equal tablespoons of dough. Roll each tablespoon into a ball, removing any breaks and seams. Lay each completed ball onto a cookie tray or plate.
  4. Once all of the cake pop dough has been used, move the formed cake balls into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Using a small bowl or mug, melt a small handful (about 10 melts) in the microwave.
  6. Dip the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted wafer, then poke a chilled cake ball with the coated end. This will allow the ball to adhere to the stick before dipping the ball completely. Repeat for all cake balls. (NOTE: you’ll want to poke through each ball only half-way to avoid breaking the ball or creating tears on the surface.)
  7. Once you have inserted sticks into all cake balls, pop them back into the refrigerator to chill once more to set (this should take about 15 minutes).
  8. White the cake pops are chilling, fill a coffee mug halfway with melting wafers and melt completely.IMAG0478
  9. Remove the cake pops from the refrigerator, and dip one at a time into the melts, tapping off the excess melt. You should have a thin layer of melt fully covering the cake (NOTE: be sure to remove any air bubbles– these lead to holes from which any oil from the cake icing can escape and drip).
  10. While the melt is still wet, sprinkle the surface with clear sugar sprinkles, then affix the holly berry sprinkles onto the top as pictured.
  11. Set each cake pop cake-down onto a flat surface. We recommend wax or parchment paper (NOTE: the above picture shows the upright setting).
  12. Leave cake pops in room temperature to dry– and you’re all set!

Have fun dipping, friends!

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar Cookies are THE Christmas Cookies

Okay, okay– we admit it. We’re a small fish in a big pond of blogs authored by baking nuts like us who just want to spread a little sweetness in the world… and we’re really late to the party. But that didn’t stop us from finally pulling the trigger and joining the mix. So here we are. Welcome to Sarmie Sister Sweets’ inaugural blog post. Brace yourself.

Anyway…

Ahh, Christmas. ‘Tis the season of warm fuzzies, celebrating the nativity, and rapturously destroying the kitchen to prepare Instagram-worthy sweets for office cookie exchanges and family get-togethers. Pretty sure we can all agree that the quintessential piece of every Christmas cookie collection is the tried-and-true rolled sugar cookie. Pretty? Yes. Pain in the butt? Sometimes.

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Process-wise, this trusty standby won’t kill you. We’ve stood by a recipe we randomly found about 12 years ago in an old cookbook. Among pages of vintage recipes (think meats in ring molds or entrees masquerading as dessert items) sat the cookies we’ve made our own in the past decade.

With a few tweaks, like adding almond extract, shortening the bake time to retain a softer texture, and decorating with Betty Crocker cookie icing, you, too, can have the power.

Behold:

Sarmie Sisters’ Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Betty Crocker cookie icing, for decorating
  1. Cream butter and add sugar and vanilla gradually, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together; add to creamed mixture in fourths, mixing until blended after each addition, Chill dough for at least an hour (or overnight).
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough 1/4-inch thick; cut into a variety of shapes with cutters. Transfer to parchment-lined cookie sheets.
  4. Bake 5 – 7 minutes, or until the centers lose their sheen and a faint golden brown appears on the edges.
  5. Transfer baked cookies onto cooling racks; once at room temperature, get decorating!