Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I love Christmas cookies..

Actually I like making them more than I like eating them for some reason. I get such a kick out of it. Each year my mom makes an AMAZING cookie tray. Oh gosh. We used to work on it forever and by the time Christmas finally rolled around our freezer would be full of cookies. This year though, since Im staying here and not flying home to visit, I decided to make my own tray!

So of course I had to start with the classics..


Chocolate chippies!

Then onto some oatmeals (my personal fav…)


Then I baked up a bunch of sugar cookies. These are just waiting for me to ice them. So I will be back with some iced cookie pictures!


Then I made some Peanut Better bars from the Cooking with PETA book. Love these! My mom made these for us each year and they were always a fav.


Crunchy, peanut buttery and chocolaty.

Next up..Peanut butter and chocolate cookies, Carob thumbprints and some Peanut butter spelt cookies. Also on the list some rum balls (Austin’s fav..his grandmother Mimi makes some great rum balls so I gotta do it up Mimi style!) And I also plan on a slew of different raw balls. Cannot wait to start those either. I gotta get movin!

My Aunt flew in from China yesterday so I got to hang out with her for a bit. She was too sweet and treated me to some rocking new baking pans from Williams Sonoma. My cookies come out fabulous with these new baking pans!! (complete with flour still on them=)


I had some old crappy pans earlier and was finding my cookies were burning on the bottom and not finished baking in the middle. Aaahh the wonders of insulated baking pans. The second I started these my cookies are turning out perfect. Some good pans are worth the cash!

So I was shopping around and came across some interesting peanut butter.


I had to pick some up just for curiosity’s sake. Its not the greatest for you as it has a decently big ingredient list but it tastes great and is very decadent. I’ll honestly probably just eat this once in awhile, but its great as a small treat!

I finished up the night with a big huge salad. I needed something to balance out all that baking! Grilled onions and peppers on a huge bed of lettuce with small veggie burger and a quick dressing of just some sour cream and spicy smoky salsa. Sooo good!


Since we are hanging around we decided to have a get together with all our friends that will still be in town. So far on the menu:



Tomato Basil bread pudding bites with a balsamic reduction

lentil pate in Endive with cranberries and pistachios

Fresh artichoke and caramelized onion crostinis

Shrimp (!) with cocktail sauce

Veggie tray with a onion dip (and a vegan version too)



cookie trays

vanilla bean layer cake with hot chocolate icing

Assorted raw balls

rum balls

Looks like alot but oh well. Its fun! I cook as healthy as I possibly can but I try not obsess about it around the holidays (the rest of the year is a different story, ha!). I find that just keeping everything in moderation, enjoying friends and of course keeping up with workouts is the key to preventing any added weight during the holidays. I think that's the best way to get through the holidays. No stress, relax, hit the gym and have a good time.

Tomorrow I plan on going to my spin class and continuing to prep. If its nice out (It was sunny and 75 the other day!) I might bike around for awhile too.

Anyways I hope everyone is having a wonderful day so far!!

How's the holiday shopping going? I think mine is all done. (Finally!) Do you have any special treats you look forward to only at the holidays?


Take care!! Im on to Part 2 of cookie baking…


  1. Sunny AND 75??!! OMG.. so jealous! Enjoy the weather, girl :)

    ALl your cookies look soo delicious and festive. Oatmeal is my fav too.. yum!

  2. what fun :) loving those cookies, and i can't wait to see those carob thumbprints and pb spelt cookies! have a fabulous holiday!!!

  3. Everything looks delicious!

    Holiday shopping is DONE. The holiday treat I'm most looking forward to is meeting my niece!!

  4. Oh yum!! All these desserts look fantastic. I love oatmeal cookies, and the pb bars look fabulous. I have never tried the PB Loco cookie dough peanut butter, but boy do I know I would buy it the second I see it!

    We make a lot of great desserts over the holidays, but I look most forward to my father's chocolate fudge, and my cousin's rocky road fudge (yeah, I love fudge!!)

  5. I KNOW the wind was CRAZY! were you like AUGH I"M GOING TO BE BLOWN AWAY?! coz i was. and wearing barely anything. i think everyone at UCLA was like, look at that stupid girl shivering. haha.
    thanks for teh birthday wishes! they mean a LOt! =D i know,i get up WAY too early.

  6. your sugar cookies look great! what recipe do you use???

  7. LOVE the menu...is there room for me??

    I know you commented that you think the eggwhites will not cook when you add them to the oats but TRUST me, as soon as they hit that that steaming bowl they cook up and become delicious right aawy! I stir it all together and then nuke it for another minute just to make certain they are cooked! its delish!

    love teh new goodies from WS-that store is amazing I still want to get the $20 vanilla extract that I hear is unreal!!

    enjoy your day!

  8. I think you have the right philosophy for the holidays. Especially the cookie part. ;) I won't be among as much company as I'm used to this Christmas, but I still have managed to accumulate a lot of treats to bring! Oh well--that's what the freezer's for, as you mentioned. :D

  9. THose cookies all look great! I especially love the PB bars. Your party menu also sounds great.. hope it's a blast!

  10. GOod pans are definitely worth the price! I agree, it's more fun to bake than to eat what you baked! ALthough I might reconsider my theory if my goodies looked like yours turned out, yum!

  11. Here's an idea...you like to do the making..I like to do the eating...see where I'm going?! ;)

    I think I'm one shopping too....I think..

  12. im dying to try the PB cookie dough! let us know how it is!

    all those cookies look AMAZING!!!! especially the PB kind :)

    enjoy your shopping and baking and christmas girl!

  13. oatmeals (my personal fav…)----MINE TOO! As much as I love choc chip cookies, if someone can make a good, moist, chewy, perfect oatmeal raisin cookie (no nuts!) it's like heaven to me. My grandma could but she passed 10 yrs ago. Sigh.

    Anyway onto the rest of your eats, amazing.
    The PETA cookbook creation?!!! Wow, never knew they had a book, i should get on that!

    And the mentality you have is good and balanced, nice work Chrysta :)

    And the people at AGrass said they shipped your product so hopefully it has or will be arriving soon :)

  14. You have a lovely blog. I admire you.

  15. wow! those baked goods look and sound awesome! i'm going to be making rum balls tonight with some very potent rum...i love those little guys!

    and them menu looks great!

  16. Yummy cookies! Gotta love the classic chocolate chippers :) Your menu sounds really good too!

    Merry christmas

  17. im the same way with cookies--i like making them more than the cooked product (and i think cookie dough is wayyy better) ;) all of your cookies look delish, and holy yum-those peanut butter chocolate bars look incredible! happy holidays!!

    Kristen @ www.simplysavor.com