Holiday Baking Favorites


Holiday Baking Favorites |

Ever since I was little, baking cookies  at Christmas has been a tradition I always look forward to. Cookie Swaps, exchanges or just baking for the family. As my family has grown, the cookie batches have also taken on a life of their own. But, for me, that’s what makes it so special. Now, I’m not going to claim to be Betty Crocker ( but she does lend a hand), far from it, but with a little bit of Christmas love , I can whip up two of my families favorite cookies for the holidays in no time.

Holiday Baking Favorites #1

Magic Cookie Bars

First up is my holiday baking favorite and most of my friends and oldest son Connor, The Magic Cookie  Bar.  Perhaps just the name alone leads me back year after year to make these, or the coconut that reminds me of someplace warm and inviting. Whatever it is, this is one of easiest cookie bars to make, and delicious with a cup of hot tea or milk!

Holiday Baking Favorites |

Magic Cookie Bars

These are simply magic and delicious

Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Ellen Cusack


  • 1 stick of butter per pan
  • 1-2 boxes graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cans condensed milk
  • 1 large bag chocolate chips
  • 1 bag shredded coconut
  • 1 bag chopped walnuts


  1. Put stick of butter on baking pan with extra high edges or sides( I use a 12X9 pan. Let the butter melt completely without browning.

  2. Take pan with melted butter out of oven and layer your graham cracker crumbs evenly in the pan.

  3. Pour the condensed milk over the graham cracker crumbs evenly( inusually use 1 1/2 cans. Seems to be the “ sweet “ spot for my pans.)

  4. Layer the chocolate chip morsels evenly.

  5. Layer the coconut on top of the chips evenly.

  6. Layer the chopped walnuts on chips evenly.

  7. Press all ingredients down until they are evenly spread over the entire pan sinking in the condensed milk. I use a spatula for this stage of the baking. Wa La!

  8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes watching as they bubble up and brown slightly. That’s when you know they are down.

  9. Let the Magic Bars cool completely and cut into squares!

Holiday Baking Favorite #2

Peanut Butter Kisses

Holiday Baking Favorites Peanut Butter Kisses |

Out second favorite cookie is as easy to make as you can get. But the flavors are phenomenal to your taste buds nonetheless.

Peanut Butter Kisses

With your choice of kisses on top you can make these milk, dark or however you love


  • 2 bags peanut butter cookie mix Betty Crocker works great
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookies in
  • 1 bag candy kisses


  1. mix all these ingredients, except candy kisses, together in a large bowl until well combined.

  2. Using a tablespoon, scoop out rounded spoonfuls of dough and roll into a ball. Roll cookie in sugar( I use Christmas colored sugar blend). Place ball on cookie sheet and repeat leaving about 1 inch between cookies.

  3. Bake at 350 egrees for dark non-stick pans for 9-11 minutes, or slightly darker on top.

  4. While the cookies are baking unwrap about 36 chocolate kisses ( I use Hershey’s) and set aside in a small bowl. I used peppermint white chocolate this year on my first batch, and surprisingly enough, they were so yummy!

  5. As soon as you take cookies out from the oven, top off with your choice of candy kiss flavor by pressing lightly into cookie, and let cool completely before transferring to your serving platter. 

Recipe Notes

I’ve used dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate peppermint kisses.

These are so simple, yet a crowd pleaser. Make sure none of your guests have a peanut allergy or offer them a Magic Bar, you never know where that magic will take them!

These holiday baking favorites are Santa approved and asked for every year! If Santa’s happy, we are all happy!

Happy baking, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, be Merry and Bright, and remember, anyone can bake………

The reason for baking season……

Holiday Baking Favorites |
Away in a Manger…..

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