There’s just something so magical about the holidays to me. From the food, festivities, and family gatherings to the holly jolliness of children anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus, it’s a spectacular time of year that’s unlike anything else. As families gather together to celebrate the season, old family traditions that have been passed down year after year are brought back to life. Every family has their own traditions that they love to carry on, and one of our favorite traditions is to spend time together making a special batch of cookies for ol’ St. Nicholas to nibble on when he makes his special delivery at our house.
I so vividly remember leaving cookies out for Santa when I was a little girl. I remember checking the cookie dish as soon as I woke up to see if he really did eat them, and I would get SO giddy when I saw that he did. It felt so magical to me! Knowing that Santa liked the cookies that I helped make made me feel like I could jump over the moon. Now that I have a little one of my own, I want her to have those same feelings when she leave cookies out for him. It’s also a special bonding moment to have her in the kitchen cooking a special treat with me!
Not only will we be making a special batch of cookies for Santa this year, but we’ll also be learning a few important life lessons that I hope will be absorbed and carried on as traditions in my family for years to come!
Lesson number 1: Quality ingredients create quality cookies…and memories!
When I started gathering all of the ingredients needed to get a jump start on making my holiday cookies, I made sure that I had a variety of Bob’s Red Mill flours stocked in my pantry. I’ve made a lot of cookies and baked goods in my day, and I’ve never had another flour come close to producing such high quality and delicious results as using Bob’s Red Mill flour. My all time favorite go-to flour is the Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour. It’s incredibly versatile and perfect for all of my baking needs. In fact, it’s a top choice amongst professional bakers because it produces perfectly light and airy baked goods and textured loaves of bread.
I can’t imagine baking my holiday treats with anything other than Bob’s Red Mill flour. It’s the “secret weapon” in my cooking repertoire that I hope my children will take note of and carry on to their children in the future. Plus, we want to make sure Santa keeps us on the “nice list” this year, so baking with Bob’s is a must! 😉
Lesson number 2: It’s always better to give than to receive.
Another tradition I hope to keep alive in my family is to make sure that stay in a giving state of mind during the holidays. It may be fun to receive presents and gifts, but it’s also fun to give without expecting anything in return. It always feels so good to make a thoughtful gift to give to friends, loved ones and others in the community just as a sign of love and appreciation. It’s also a total bonus if you get to make those gifts with your family members in the kitchen!
One way we get to share the love (and our love for Bob’s Red Mill flour) is by creating these super simple DIY cookie mix in a jar gifts! Each jar contains perfectly measured out cookie mix inside – you just add butter, an egg and vanilla and bake! I’ve included a free printable gift tag below if you’d love to start this tradition with your family, too!
Click here for free printable “Cookies for Santa” and “Gluten Free Cookies for Santa” recipe gift tags!
- 1½ cup Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour or Gluten Free Flour
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup red & green chocolate candy pieces
- ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- Combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl
- Using a funnel, pour mixture into bottom of a 1 quart sized mason jar
- Slowly pour chocolate candies on top of flour mixture, making sure they don't press too far down into flour
- Add brown sugar on top of candies and pack well around the edges (so white sugar doesn't mix into it)
- Add layer of white granulated sugar on top
- (Note: This mixture won't quite fill all the way up to the top)
- To bake cookies:
- Pour contents of jar into a large bowl and add in 1 stick lightly melted butter, 1 beaten egg and2 tsp vanilla extract - blend ingredients well
- Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Grease cookie sheet and spoon onto the sheet a dollop of cookie dough, spacing evenly apart
- Bake for 10 minutes
Putting these jars together to give to others during the holidays is a simple and fun activity for all ages to get involved with. Each quart-size jar get a layer of Bob’s Red Mill Flour, followed by a layer of chocolate covered candies, brown sugar and white sugar on top. Once the jar is filled, just seal with a screw top lid, cover with a circular piece of fabric and tie on a gift tag with baking instructions!
To bake Santa’s cookies, just dump the ingredients from the jar into a large mixing bowl. Add in 1 stick lightly melted butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 egg and mix well. After refrigerating the dough for roughly 30 minutes, drop the dough by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Set the cookies and a glass of milk out on a special plate on Christmas night when Santa Claus will be making his arrival, and don’t forget to leave him a note! (You might want to mention that you used Bob’s Red Mill flour in the cookies…you just might get an extra treat!) 😉
You can also find Bob’s Red Mill in specialty varieties, such as Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and Organic Almond Meal/Flour! If you have a friend or family member that has a gluten or grain intolerance, or if you just like to switch things up and try something new, these flours are a fabulous option! I’m really excited to start baking with the almond flour, which is ground from whole, blanched sweet almonds that are super healthy and are loaded with vitamin E and protein!
Save BIG on Bob’s Red Mill Flour for the holidays:
Before you head out to the grocery store to stock up on your holiday baking essentials, make sure you grab this money saving coupon for Bob’s Red Mill Flours and take it with you when you go! (You’re not going to want to go back to your old brand of flour once you try it. Trust me!)
What sort of baking do you have planned for your family this season? Do you bake cookies for Santa every year? Do you have a special family tradition that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and share the love!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.