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Monday, December 22, 2014

Sweets & Treats for the Holidays-- Part 1: Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

Happy holidays!

What a delicious season it has been so far, and it's not even Christmas yet!

I've spent the past week in my kitchen baking up a ton of treats to share with family, friends, teachers, and clerks at my favorite local businesses.

I kicked off my annual holiday baking season with these delightful Candy Cane Kiss cookies. The nice folks at Influenster sent me a VoxBox which contained Hershey Kisses Candy Cane Kisses. See?

Hershey's Kisses: Candy Cane seasonal variety. #MERRYKISSMAS

Pretty cool, huh? The only thing better than festive holiday Kisses is FREE festive holiday Kisses*. I couldn't wait to try them.

My girls were eager to rip into the bag immediately. I figured trying a couple for testing purposes would be reasonable, so we dug in and started tasting. This seasonal variety is mint flavored with characteristic candy cane stripes, and for added fun, little crunchy candy bits inside (you can see the flecks of red speckling the Kisses in my picture). The girls loved them and didn't want to stop at just one a piece, but I knew I wanted to make something delicious with them so we had just one more (what? it's the holidays, after all!) and then I set about to find the perfect recipe. For me, that's usually a cookie.

As usual, I wasn't disappointed when I checked in with my favorite sweets food blogger friend Sally at Sally's Baking Addiction ( Sure enough, she had a recipe using the Candy Cane Kisses (two, in fact, but I went with the classic sugar cookie recipe.) For the actual recipe, head on over to her blog and check it out. But I can tell you this: it couldn't have been easier.

I made the sugar cookie dough, rolled it into 1-tablespoon-sized balls, rolled those balls into my favorite festive sprinkles, then baked. When they were out of the oven, I let them rest on the pan for five minutes before popping a Candy Cane Kiss in the middle of each one and racing to get them in the freezer (full disclosure: my freezer is full at the moment, so I put mine in the fridge instead.) The point is: get them to a cooler climate STAT because those little Kisses start to melt their minty goodness onto your cookie. While it doesn't change the taste, it does change the appearance.

Once they're set, you have a festive-looking, soft and sweet sugar cookie with the crown of mint on top. My daughters loved them. My niece loved them. Everyone who tasted them loved them! And they were so simple.

Here's what they looked like when they were done (as you can see, next time I'm going to have to make it to the fridge a tad faster. Haha.)

Candy Cane Kiss cookies

I've seen some other uses for the Kisses, too, like as a topper for cupcakes and pies. Or, quite frankly, you can just eat them plain. They're that good.

Bottom line: this was a fun seasonal treat and one that I'll certainly make it a point to buy in the future. This cookie deserves a spot in the Christmas cookie line-up and was a fantastic starting point for my holiday baking adventures.

I'll share the full line-up of my treats in my next post. But until then, this is a good one to get you started. Happy baking!

*Disclosure: I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. However, all the opinions expressed herein are my own and are true.

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