Winter is the season for cuddling up and getting cozy by the fire. I love any excuse to have a relaxed day at home with family, and winter certainly brings that out in me. Having seasonal goals makes the time feel richer and helps me to embrace the change that is in the air. I shared my autumn to-do list on the blog before, so I thought it would be fun to share with you my winter list as well! Here’s a glimpse into a few of my goals for the winter season. Will you be doing any of these as well? What are your goals for the season? Let me know in the comments!
- Take Julian sledding for the first time
- Build a snowman (we may need to take a drive for this one, since our snow didn’t last long!)
- Set goals for the New Year
- See the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker. As a former snowflake myself (not a PNB Snowflake mind you!) this will always be my favorite Nutcracker scene!
- Have a Christmas movie marathon. My favorite is It’s a Wonderful Life!
- Take a drive around Bainbridge Island to see all the holiday light displays
- Send family Christmas cards. I’ll be sharing a peek at ours soon, I’m in love with them this year!
- Perfect my cinnamon roll recipe for Christmas morning
- Drink an eggnog latte. Okay, I may have already done that weeks ago
- Visit Christmas in Big Valley in my hometown of Poulsbo, WA.
Sweater: J. Crew old, similar// Jeans: DL 1961 // Boots: Hunter // Nail Polish: OPI
Baking and decorating Christmas cookies with my Grandma Shirley is one of my most beloved holiday memories. She had every kind of sprinkle variation imaginable, and her cookies always turned out perfectly. My sister and brother and I would spend the whole day at her house baking and decorating and then eating the fruits of our labor. Christmas music was always on in the background and I’m sure we destroyed her kitchen. I can’t claim to be as skilled as Grandma Shirley, and my sprinkle collection is probably a fraction of hers, but I wanted to share my cookie recipe with you all for the holidays! Honing my icing and cookie decorating skills is taking some time, but trial and error is always more fun when you get to eat the failed attempts! I’ve mentioned this before on another cookie post, but I often just leave cookies unfrosted, and luckily my husband thinks they are tastier that way.
Well the other day, baby Jules and I headed over to my parent’s house to make some Christmas cookies with my nephew Bennett. You can see his cute chubby hand helping out in the photos above! I knew I couldn’t leave these Christmas cookies naked, so I found a super easy royal icing recipe to try out. I kept the icing simple and white and used mostly my white sprinkles for this batch. The next batch was green and red, it just didn’t last long enough to be photographed!
This sugar cookie recipe has been my go-to for as many Christmases as I can remember. It’s simple, fool proof, and only requires an extra 30 minutes to chill before baking. My nephews, and whole family loved the cookies. Baby Julian even got a few bites! Baking and decorating Christmas cookies is a delicious and festive way to get in the holiday spirit!
Do you bake Christmas cookies with your kiddos or family members? There are so many special memories around baking Christmas cookies. I’d love to hear yours!
¾ cup butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
Grated rind of 1 lemon
¼ tsp salt
2 ½ cups flour
With a standing mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating until light in color. On low speed beat in egg and egg yolk just until combined. Add vanilla, lemon rind and salt. Add the flour until blended, do not over beat batter. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough and stamp with desired cookie cutters. Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for approx 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool completely before decorating. Store in an airtight container if you don’t eat them all! Enjoy!
Adapted from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Baking
ROYAL ICING: Wilton’s recipe