Cookies & Wine


Cookies & Wine

the small things that make the holidays fun in your 20's


When we were younger, the holidays all boiled down to Christmas morning; opening presents, Christmas movies, and cocoa. But all of that joy usually disappears once we hit out 20s. Slowly you start realizing you are an adult and will have to purchase your own gifts for people and it hits you that presents don't wrap themselves. Now, don't get me wrong, I live for Christmas shopping every year. I love it. I love every aspect about the holidays, even at 25. I'm that person that watched the Christmas claymation from the 70's and brings out the decorations as soon as Halloween is over. Yes, I know that Christmas has gotten over commercialized and that the true meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with fancy wrapping paper, marshmallows, or peppermint hot cocoa (which is the best, don't kid yourself), but I see it as an extra layer of joy that you can add to your life. When you have to worry about bills, work, kids, health insurance, taxes, rent, and getting your own butt to the dentist why not enjoy sparkly ornaments and The Grinch? Where is the harm in putting fun into your life as an adult. Personally, I never asked to grow up, but apparently society thinks it was my time to adult. 

So, now that you are in your 20's and need to do that "adulating" everyone is raving about, here is my little tip for enjoying your holidays: stop acting to make others comfortable. Now what I mean by this is you are now your own person, so start acting like it. I don't need to justify my love of Christmas cartoons to anyone. If I want to act like a middle aged lady and bake Christmas cookies with my gal pals, I will And, yes, I will bring wine and coffee and the obnoxious Christmas music with me because I want to. I don't care if that makes me seem "old" or "immature" for my age because I know that there will be people out there calling me both. Now, there's a fine line between acting for yourself and being a pain in everyone else's butt. Don't be the latter. If you want to do something knowing full well that it will ruin someone's day, I just suggest you be a little more respectful than that. Pick your battles.

But, you know what, you have no better time to relive your lost childhood than the holidays. 

There's cookies,

usually booze somewhere, which you can now legally drink!

people are wearing ridiculous costumes and ugly sweaters,

you will more than likely be asked to bring something to a dinner of some sort so there's an excuse to try that new recipe that you've wanted to try,

you get to whip out those tacky decorations that don't go along with your house's decor at all,

it's an excuse to get together with the people you don't really care to see for the majority of the year yet feel guilty not seeing for the majority of the year. Check that off of your list,

 And, most importantly, you get to see those people who you actually miss being around. 



Now, to get back to my original subject, Cookies & Wine, I went to a cookie party at a friend's house. This lady and I have been friends since we were about 10 or so and it was one of those common occurrences where we lost touch after high school and had just recently reconnected. And, I was proud to find that she was in the same "acting to make yourself comfortable" stage of life. We spent the day as you would imagine: baking. Between 4 of us, we had 8 recipes that were divided up at the end of the night so everyone was able to take home a batch of each. Now, being that weird one, I don't like sugar cookies {I know, smite me with your lightning bolts later} so I made shortbread cookies that I then dipped in melted chocolate. And before someone says "but shortbread cookies and the same as sugar cookies" no they're not. They are super easy to make and they have a completely different texture. Now, before you continue reading, know that just because these cookies have less than 10 ingredients they are in no way healthy. Basically they are  buttery sugar mixed with flour. 


Easy-Peasy Shortbread Cookies

4 ingredients.
Not Vegan.
Not Healthy.
100% worth the butter. 



1 cup butter {softened} | 3/4 cup confectioners sugar | 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract | 2 cups flour | decorating bits


1. In large bowl, combine butter + sugar + vanilla {or whatever flavor extract you want to use} and cream together until smooth using a hand or stand mixer. Usually takes about 30 secs - 1 minute of mixing. 

2. Slowly add in your flour. Mix until completely combined. 

3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 3 hours. You might be able to speed up this process by putting the dough in the freezer { or if you are really desperate for fridge space, out on your frozen porch}. Usually I leave mine in the fridge overnight. You want your dough to be firm so you can roll it out.

TIP: if your dough is too stiff {usually happens for me} you can place it on a cookie sheet and put it in a warm oven for a few mins {like 200 degrees for 5 mins} OR you can take the dough and break it up into small pieces and kneed with your hand to make it a little softer. You don't want your dough to be sticky or too soft otherwise it won't roll properly! 

4. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface until about a quarter-inch thick. 

5. Dig out those cookie cutters you never use, or use a ring from a mason jar, or just cut into squares, whatever floats your boat. Lay out your cookies onto a greased baking sheet { I use a non-stick silicon baking sheet to make my life easier } 

6. Bake at 325 for 15 mins until the edges are lightly golden color. 

Now these cookies are pretty plain but they can be decorated however you wish. I usually melt a bag of chocolate chips with 1 tbsp of butter in a crock-pot and dip half of my cookie in the chocolate and then {when I'm feeling fancy} sprinkle the living crap out of them. But if you are a traditionalist and wish to use that secret icing recipe that was handed down from generations ago {you know: sugar, butter, and vanilla. Yeah that recipe isn't very special} then be my guest. If you want to smother them in caramel and then dip them in chocolate it creates a Twix candy bar.  

TIP: this recipe is super easy to make sugar-free. Being that the sugar is more for flavor than it is for structure, you can substitute the sugar for honey, maple syrup, or a sugar-substitute like stevia.  


Kaitlyn SmithComment