Saturday, December 17, 2022

A Bit of Holiday Baking

2022 is rapidly coming to an end but not before we kick off year-end festivities with a few sweets and treats. I haven't done any full-blown holiday baking yet but here are a couple of treats from the last couple of weeks. 

Holiday Lights Cupcakes

My daughter's school hosts an annual holiday market every December. Kids, parents and teachers are all invited to sell their homemade goodies to the school community. It is a whole lot of fun to see budding entrepreneurs selling their wares- jewelry, soaps, bookmarks, sweet treats, origami ornaments, and so much more- with carefully decorated signage and charming salesmanship. 

My daughter sold tubs of sugar scrub that she made with a friend, and some melt bead jewelry and homemade cupcakes. The holiday lights cupcakes looked adorable, were tasty, and they sold out quickly! 

They were easy and fun to make. We used this recipe for two dozen soft cupcakes, and made a half batch of this buttercream frosting. Each cupcake got a flat layer of frosting, and then my daughter drew "strings" with a black writing gel pen (sold in the baking aisle of supermarkets) and added some M&M candies as colorful lights. 

* * *

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

I've long admired baking projects of shaped sugar cookies with intricate icing but always thought that cut out sugar cookies were too much of a bother with having to chill and roll out dough. My daughter's class was doing a cookie decorating event and a batch of sugar cookies was requested, plus I have a bunch of cute cookie cutters that were handed down by a friend who was downsizing, and they have been sitting around sadly unused. This recipe looked very promising, and the word that jumped out at me was "play-doh". I might be severely lacking in the dough rolling/ roti-making division, but you better believe that I've done my time with many, many tubs of play-doh in these last few years. 

And the recipe really is everything it promises. It resulted in a beautifully soft play-doh like dough, and my daughter enjoyed rolling it out and stamping out cookies, re-rolling the scraps several times to make more batches. It made a LOT of cookies and they were soft and tasty. The trickiest part, I would say, is determining when the cookies are done baking. You want them to just get firm, not brown. 

The cookie decorating event was postponed, and these cookies are safely sitting in the freezer waiting for their turn with icing and sprinkles.

* * *

This week I'm...

  • Watching Season 3 of Derry Girls
  • Reading Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation by Linda Villarosa- a brilliant book
  • Listening to That's Where I Am by Maggie Rogers and Block Rockin' Beats by The Chemical Brothers
  • Doing Fitness Blender's five day workout challenge for busy people
  • Making gift bags (for odd-shaped gifts) out of wrapping paper using this video tutorial

Enjoy the last two weeks of 2022!


  1. Those Xmas light cupcakes look so cute. We had a cookie swap and Santa visit on our street for which my daughter and I had short listed the same decoration for sugar cookies (thank you Pinterest!). But I didn’t have the heart to venture into sugar cookies (like you) and then our weekend just went down the drain because my daughter got strep. There were store bought cookies at the cookie swap. We may attempt baking next year.
    Speaking of cookies - I LOVE ginger molasses cookies. My neighbor makes the best ones and I’ve always feasted on them. This year on several occasions, including the cookie swap , I found myself staring at platters of ginger molasses cookies. I ate more than my weights worth in the last couple of weeks!!! They are sooo good and they are everywhere.

    From your list , my favorite thing is fitness blender !!! I workout to those videos most days in the week and I have a goal of getting strong/building muscle. I feel so good after those workouts. Their premium membership is totally worth it. If you do get bored of those videos, check out mr and Mrs muscle on YouTube. It’s a nice (more intense ) change once in a while.

    Happy holidays !! It’s all so magical up here in CT!


    1. I love cookie swaps and have wanted to host one for a while; let's see if we ever get around to it. And I agree that store bough cookies are just fine. Some of my favorite cookies are store-bought- triple ginger cookies from TJ's and Walker's shortbread to name a couple. I adore ginger cookies and you reminded me that I should bake gingerbread this year.

      Glad to hear you love the FB workouts too. I normally go to a twice weekly in-person strength training class (where we work with barbells and other equipment that I don't have at home)...but the class is on a 3 week winter break so workout videos are filling in the gap. I will look up Mr. and Mrs. Muscle!

      Happy holidays to you and yours! Enjoy the winter wonderland up there. It looks like it will be the coldest Christmas here as well. No snow though :)

  2. Lovely post as usual ♥️ I love those light cupcakes so much!! I made a list for myself this week after reading your post- thank you for the inspiration! Wishing you and your fam a lovely holiday!!


    1. Thanks, Sujata!! The festive cupcakes did look so cheerful. And while I don't care for the candy topping, the cupcake and frosting was very tasting even for adult tastes. Happy holidays to you and yours!!

  3. Returning here after a very long time. Lovely post as usual; I'm in love with those cute cupcakes. I love the holiday market idea; an outlet to showcase creative talent :)
    We just returned from a 2 week trip to India; we purchased 20 Kgs of books in our native (Kannada). Now that we're empty nesters, we're craving to read and stay in touch with our native language. I've just begun The Bhagavad Gita and we've several puranas and Maha Bharatha (37 volumes in line) haha.

    Merry Christmas and blessed New year to you and your family Nupur.
    God bless,

  4. Those cupcakes look so colourful and gorgeous. Glad you have found a cut out cookie recipe you love - I have a favourite gingerbread one that we have made so often that my daughter can now make them while I am at work. But I don't make plain ones often.


Thanks for leaving a comment- I try to respond to every single one.