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Everything you need to know about shipping cookies

I’ve made all the mistakes when it comes to shipping cookies. When my fiancé was working in Afghanistan I would experiment using just about every trick recommended, all so he could enjoy his beloved molasses cookies. I might not do it professionally, but if I can get cookies to arrive safe and delicious through international AND military mail one week later to the Middle East, I feel I’ve earned my street cred. So what wisdom can I impart this holiday season for those looking to send cookies overseas or even just to loved ones the next city over? 1. Don’t pack them up if they’re still even slightly warm. Nope. Don’t do it. Not even if you’re in a rush to make it to the Post Office before it closes. While I can totally relate to this predicament, shipping warm cookies is never a good idea. They will cause a…

Cranberry baked brie pull-apart bread bowl appetizer

If you’re looking for an appetizer to share, cranberry brie an easy go to combo — that’s because it’s insanely delicious! Creamy, melted brie smothered in rich, tart cranberry sauce can turn any holiday event into something special. Bring this cranberry brie bowl to any party and watch it disappear. To serve the best recipe you possibly can, make sure you scoop up a quality bread bowl. A rustic loaf from a bakery, or at the very least your grocer’s bakery, should do the trick. Also, opt for triple cream brie if you can find it. It melts more consistently and stays creamy without separating. And for the cranberries, only a whole cranberry sauce will really work. Ocean Spray, and a few other brands, carry whole cranberry sauce in a can, so you don’t have to make your own—unless you want to! If you love this recipe, you’ll also love…

The Best Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

In the holiday wonderland of hundreds of types of Christmas cookies, how does one cookie stand apart? It must be one rich, decadent, and fudgy cookie! These Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are seriously the best! They taste just like a brownie only better. They’re lightly crunchy on the outside, yet irresistibly chewy in the center. You’re about to find a new holiday favorite. Tips for baking the Best Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature. Don’t skip Step 4 (chilling the dough). Dough is super sticky and needs to chill or else it will be too difficult to work with. Chilling also helps create thicker cookies with a fudgy flavor. If they’re too warm when they go into the oven, they’ll spread out too thin. Remember to adjust the baking time to your oven. 10-12 minutes is a suggestion. If you bake too long, they’ll lose…

The most popular Christmas candies by state

American loves candy. That much is clear. And the fanciful, food-filled Christmas season only seems to add to our obsession. Christmas candy sales hit about $1.9 billion last in 2017 and they’re projected to reach a full $2 billion in 2019, according to the National Confectionary Association. Whether it’s chocolate candies decorating baked goods or candy canes dangling on trees (or grossing out your friends), it all adds up. But where you live might persuade your purchasing habits. Candystore.com released an interactive map revealing the results of their candy research: the top three most popular Christmas candies in each state. The online bulk candy distributor calculated more than 32,000 responses nationwide. And you just might be surprised by your state. Source: CandyStore.com. So what’s the most popular candy nationwide? Candy canes, of course. Whether they’re used as decoration, stirring hot chocolate, or crushed up atop cookies, candy canes make an…

How to host a holiday party on a budget

‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry! That said, when you’re hosting friends and family for the holidays, your grocery bill can easily double or even triple in no time! All that extra spending can add to the stress of the season, especially if you still have lots of presents to put under the tree. If hosting a holiday party is in your future and you’re worried your budget is more Scrooge than Saint Nick, here are some thrifty tips that can help you save on yuletide expenses without cutting back on that Christmas. Make it a potluck As the host, pick one or two main dish items you can cook (or have catered). Then, give your guests plenty of notice and see if they’re willing to bring some simple hors d’oeuvres, snacks, or cookies. If someone argues that their cooking skills aren’t up to snuff, suggest they…

Cute Christmas Reindeer Cupcakes for Kids

These ridiculously moist chocolate cupcakes are made from scratch and completely adorable. Kids will love the fun, festive reindeer design, but adults with dig the rich, delicious chocolatey flavor. Bring them to a holiday potluck or send them with your kids to school. No matter the holiday occasion, your cupcakes are sure to gather compliments. Homemade cupcakes are always the best, but if you’re crunched for time, there’s no shame in the boxed cupcake mix game either. Just pick up a package of your favorite cupcake mix and frosting and bake according to the box. Let cool, and decorate per the instructions below. Happy holidays! Cute Christmas Reindeer Cupcakes for Kids Makes about two dozen+ cupcakes Ingredients 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda 3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder 1/8 tsp salt 3 tbsp butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 eggs 3/4 tsp…

This is America’s least favorite Thanksgiving food

Picture this likely scenario: You’re at Thanksgiving dinner, piling your plate high with all the season’s most delicious sides. But between your mile-high heap of mashed potatoes, that seriously large scoop of stuffing, and a gravy-smothered stack of turkey breast slices, you realize there just isn’t room for every side on that plate. So what gives? Well, if you’re like many Americans, there is one dish you can easily pass on. Perhaps not surprisingly, the least-loved Thanksgiving food is canned cranberry sauce. Yup, that gelatinous, wiggly can-shaped side, just doesn’t do it for most people, according to Instacart’s Turkey Day Exposé. Nearly half of Americans (46%) say that canned cranberry sauce is “disgusting.” Maybe it’s the tin-shape that turns people off, as 31% of Americans reported serving their cranberries right out of the can (as opposed to mashing it up). If this is your household, try making cranberry sauce using…

What’s the difference between stuffing and dressing?

For carb-lovers, stuffing is the ultimate thanksgiving side dish. That delicious blend of bread, celery, onions and seasonings when smothered with gravy and served atop roast turkey is truly a feast to be thankful for. (Heck. Forget the turkey! I’d be happy with stuffing alone!) That said, while we all unanimously seem to agree that stuffing reigns supreme, what we disagree on is what to call it. Some people say stuffing. Others call it dressing. So what gives? Avoid these 8 common stuffing mistakes. Well, historically, some people used the terms to note the difference between stuffing (cooked inside the bird) and dressing (cooked outside of the bird, likely in a baking dish). But this wasn’t really ever “official.” Dictionaries no longer even really distinguish the two. The difference in the terminology is actually due to regional dialects. Though both dishes contain the same ingredients, if you’re from a southern…

How much turkey should you buy per person? And other turkey questions, answered

There are a lot of decisions the Thanksgiving host has to make. Cranberry sauce; fresh or canned? A side of carrots or corn? Pumpkin or apple pie? (That answer there is easy. Both!). But perhaps the most important question of them all: How many pounds of turkey do I need to buy? How much turkey should i buy per person? As a rule of thumb, you should aim for about 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person. Don’t forget that number takes into considering the weight of the bones, giblets, and a bit of leftovers too. That means, if you’re having 8 adult guests, you’re going to want a 12 pound turkey. Of course, if you have a bunch of big eaters or turkey lovers — or think you might get a few unexpected last minute guests — you’ll want to go up from there. When should you buy your turkey?…

Where to get a KitchenAid stand mixer on sale during Black Friday 2019

If there is one kitchen appliance we all covet, it’s those shiny, beautiful KitchenAid stand mixers. Yes, KitchenAid proves an appliance can be beautiful. Those cheerful colors make baking so much more enjoyable, while also making any kitchen look a thousand times more glamorous. Of course, they’re also not cheap. But don’t fret! They’re always on sale during Black Friday, so whether you’re shopping online or in-store, you can easily snag a pretty good deal. Some stores are already discounting their KitchenAid stand mixers, so you don’t have to wait until after Turkey Day if you wanted one this month to help cook your holiday feast. But more deals are to come. Here is everywhere we’ve seen KitchenAid Black Friday deals announced so far: JCPenney The nationwide department store shows announced discounts on the KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer via its Black Friday ad. Discounted colors include black, white,…