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The thick of Midwestern sweater weather is upon us, and now that Christmas is only 25 days away (!), we’re decking the halls, baking all the holiday recipes, playing Christmas music on a perma-loop, and generally seeing how far we can pull up our socks to prolong the ever-fleeting warm and cozy.
It starts with the tree – a faux pine draped in ropes and ropes of twinkly lights and studded with a decades-old collection of ornaments, each one with its own story. Decorating it takes hours, what with all the storytelling and singing and yelling because the kids hang everything on one branch and trip over nothing onto anything and everything that is breakable.
And since making our home smell like the holidays is my thing, whipping up something festive for everyone to snack is always fine with me (escape to the kitchen!) as long it’s quick.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies taste like Christmas and take less than 30 minutes to prep and bake (8-second time lapse video set to catchy French pop as preemptive proof of the easy-to-make deliciousness), making them one of my favorite holiday recipes.
Mmm… pepperminty chocolate goodness that stores well when tightly wrapped.
Turns out the chocolate morsels are so beautifully melty and decadent, they add a touch of richness to my cookies and other holiday treats, and now that they’re (finally) nut- and gluten-free, everyone in the house is gleefully eating them straight from the bag.
(This is not a complaint as long as there’s enough for me.)
Then there’s dinner.
Inevitably, I get carried away by all the decorating and baking, and by the time I realize suppertime has come and gone, the idea of cooking or going out is nope and meh all mixed together.
Good thing Nestle makes it easy to get dinner on the table so you can go back to what really matters – your chocolate-and-peppermint-smeared family.
Stouffer’s Lasagna with meat and sauce is preservative, peanut- and tree-nut free, made with fresh mozzarella, topped with aged Parmesan, and comes out looking (and tasting) pretty close to homemade in about an hour and a half. It bakes in its own recyclable tray, which makes for super easy clean up, and you should know that it’s even better the next day.
ALL THE HI-FIVES.
Now go make these cookies already:
- 1 pouch nut-free sugar cookie mix (1 lb. 1.5 oz. size)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ tsp. pure peppermint extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup nut-free creme de menthe baking chips
- 1 cup Nestle Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels (They're finally nut free!)
- nut-free green food coloring
- ungreased cookie sheet (1-2 depending on size)
- wire rack
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix sugar cookie mix, butter and egg until soft dough forms.
- Add peppermint extract and stir.
- Add food coloring drop by drop until desired hue is achieved (we use around 10-12 drops).
- Mix thoroughly to incorporate food coloring throughout.
- Fold in creme de menthe baking chips and Nestle Tollhouse Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels.
- Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart on your cookie sheet.
- Bake 8-10 minutes until edges brown lightly and the cookies set.
- Cool at least 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
If your oven runs hot (as ours does), you're going to want to start checking your cookies at the 5-minute mark. If necessary, rotate your cookie sheets to ensure even baking and more importantly, to avoid the scourge that is burnt cookie bottoms.
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.
We all know there’s not always time scratch baking, so consider keeping these super quick, semi-homemade dessert options on hand: Nestle Tollhouse Dark Chocolate Peppermint Refrigerated Cookie Dough and Nestle Tollhouse Rolled & Ready Sugar Cookie Dough Sheets. They go from fridge to oven in minutes, and taste pretty close to homemade. Because shortcuts with minimal prep work required are parent lifesavers sometimes.
To further celebrate the spirit of the season, we’re helping Nestle give away $1,600 in branded gift baskets that will look beautiful tucked under your tree. Eight winners will receive baskets valued at $100 and two winners will receive baskets valued at $400. There’s four easy ways to enter, which you’re going to want to do immediately: