Christmastime is one of my favorite times of the year, so I wanted to spend some time in these few remaining days before Christmas day arrives to share some of things I enjoy most about this time of the year.
One of the easiest ways to get me in a cheery mood is through my stomach, so we’re starting with yummy, delicious sweets, my precious. The holidays provide an excellent excuse for baking up a storm and then devouring it all with little guilt (until New Year’s arrives and reminds us just how naughty we have been).

Gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite things to bake during the holidays because (for reasons completely unknown to me) these treats aren’t really around any other time of the year. And it’s a crime because gingerbread is so delicious. And because they use molasses, something I never use in my other baking/cooking, they make me feel old-timey and very traditional, which I love about Christmas. I am always searching for great gingerbread cookie recipes. This year I tried one that produces chewier cookies, which was quite yummy, but I think it needed a bit more spices added to it.

When I’m not in the mood to chill and roll out dough, I go with these amazing ginger cookies. They are some of the most delicious ginger cookies I’ve ever had. I make them for gifts or bring them to the lab during the holidays and everyone raves about them.

I also love gingerbread with a warm, sticky toffee sauce. (I really like gingerbread, okay? It’s delicious, and I stuff my face with it as much as possible during the holidays.) This cake is one of those treats that is so delicious warm because the toffee sauce gets absorbed by the cake making a wonderfully sticky topping. It is just so comforting on cold nights.
When I’m not consuming large amounts of gingerbread, one of my other holiday favorites (and something else you can only seem to pull off during this time of the year) is peppermint ice cream. I use this recipe, which starts off with an amazingly delicious custard. If you don’t end up eating the custard right out of the sauce pan, it makes an excellent ice cream that never lasts long in my house.
I also really love making gigantic batches of peppermint bark. It’s easy to make and is a great gift (who doesn’t love chocolate and peppermint?).

I’m always looking for new recipes to try out during the holidays (I think this year I’m going to try some of these), so what are your favorite things to bake this time of year?

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