Christmas Vacation…

Shopping chaos has drawn to a close, wrapping & ribbons all off their rolls, families & friends preparing festive bites, and lots of spiced egg nog to sip through the night…

It’s hard to believe Christmas 2012 is already behind us, but the day held many traditions that embrace the spirit of the season. This year I’m fortunate to be able to spend a Christmas in Dixie with wonderful family, Southern dishes, and a whole lot of seasonal shenanigans! No holiday would be complete without some cookie baking & Christmas movie watching.  One movie in particular is a staple in our family, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, and in the honor of Clark Griswold, we’re filling up our moose glasses and saying cheers to the holiday (only thing missing is Cousin Eddie). 

We also welcomed Santa with a delicious plate of Chocolate White Peppermint Cookies, and stepped-up the traditional milk, offering him a twist on classic egg nog. Going dairy-free with a fresh, coconut milk store variety this year, adding an optional adult splash of a Honey Irish Whiskey & Amaretto liqueur. We top it off with a little ground nutmeg, and there you have Christmas-in-a-cup!

While we’re savoring our silky, spiced libations through the new year, we can indulge in a few of the leftover cookies that are just too easy to eat, and easy to make! The cool white chocolate peppermint variety of Hershey’s Kisses perk-up our standard cookie, making everything a little more magical this winter…

5 from 1 reviews
Spiced Holiday Egg Nog (dairy-free & adult)
Holidays at their happiest, with classic spiced egg nog, and we're going dairy-free, but also baking-up some peppermint cookies while we're at it!
Serves: glasses of festive
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 1 carton holiday egg nog (Coconut milk based, 'SO Delicous brand).
  • Bushmills' Honey Irish Whiskey
  • Disaronno Liqueur (Amaretto)
  • ground nutmeg
  • dash ground cloves
What to do:
  1. In festive holiday glassware, combine 1 cup of chilled, holiday egg nog beverage with 1 ounce of both honey Irish Whiskey & Amaretto, mixing well (can use more or less liquor as desired)
  2. Top with ground or fresh nutmeg & dash cloves.
  3. * For a warmed version in mugs, heat slowly in a saucepan, avoiding a boil!
Notes:
Classic, Christmas in a cup with spiced and slightly spiked egg nog for the holidays! Don't worry, this one is dairy-free, but incredibly rich, creamy & delicious!! Not to mention goes perfectly with our homemade chocolate chip peppermint cookies!
Serving size: one or two

If you’re using liquor in the nog, Bourbon or brandy are common additions, though spiced rum and amaretto are also used. You can also substitute regular egg nog if the coconut variety isn’t available. I like most kinds I’ve tried, but was really impressed with how thick & creamy the coconut milk version turned out, who knew?! Though egg nog is usually served chilled, since weather has turned cold in the South, I also like to have a warmed version in a mug by the fire. And where there is milk, cookies must follow…

5 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies
Classic chocolate chip cookies become holiday season-worthy with peppermint Hershey kisses and compliment any Christmas gathering with a special touch!
Serves: 1.5 dozen delicious cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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What to get:
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp plus pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sticks butter (softened at room temp)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup candy cane Hershey Kisses (white chocolate/peppermint)
  • 1 cup large, real milk chocolate chips (I use Guittard)
  • *extra chips to top face of cookie dough before baking, as desired
What to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line insulated cookie baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. whisk together flour, sugar, salt & baking soda.
  4. In bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter & sugars.
  5. Beat in vanilla & eggs (not over beating)
  6. Gradually add dry ingredient mix till well incorporated.
  7. Stir in peppermint Hershey Kisses & chocolate chips.
  8. Place dough in fridge or freezer for about 20 minutes to chill.
  9. Remove from freezer and make dough balls about 2T in size for regular cookies.
  10. Press in chocolate chips to dress cookie top as desired.
  11. Bake on parchment lined sheet for about 8-11 min (oven temps vary, I like mine on the softer side, but should be slightly browned on edges).
  12. Cool cookies on pan for 3 min, then transfer to cookie rack to cool completely.
Notes:
These are a holiday derivation to my classic choc chip cookies with a fresh & clean peppermint twist!

I stock-up on these candy cane variety of Hershey’s kisses post Christmas, so I can make this holiday cookie year round. The candies are white chocolate based, and I find easier to work with than hard candy canes. These cookies freeze well too, and sometimes I make ice cream sandwiches out of the leftovers with some peppermint ice cream, count me in.

I hope your Christmas holiday was merry, and you’re headed for a wonderful New Year’s celebration! 

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Welcome to the dinnervine!

Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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