Desserts are easily a favorite at every holiday gathering and they can be the most time consuming to make. Holiday candies from scratch, pies of varying flavors, peanut brittles, cookies, and more. Holiday desserts are endless but we don’t have an endless amount of time to make them.
One year we spent an entire making candies, homemade marshmallows and pies for the holiday desserts and gifts. The labor was worth the results but these days I don’t have that kind of time with two little ones. With my little ones, my business and our cross-country move I’ve embraced that I don’t have to do everything myself.
If you are needing permission I’m telling you right now:
You have permission to not do it all. You can make it all happen without making it all. Period. Give yourself grace, mamas.
Earlier this year I discovered Hickory Farms‘ Famously Thin Peanut Brittle. I hadn’t had peanut brittle in years. Creating it is an art really with lots of time necessary to make sure it’s candied just tried. I didn’t even know peanut brittle was something they offered really but it was so good and delicious. One of my grandmother’s made peanut brittle and it took me right back.
Soon I found myself browsing and finding that they offer peanut brittle popcorn, too. I knew I needed to get my hands on it and when I did I learned it was just as good as I had hoped. Our family quickly demolished it.
Although chocolates are something we don’t eat a lot of, I’m guilty as charged during the holidays. Hickory Farms offers a variety of chocolates including the two I love, Our Signature Chocolates and their Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Meltaways. I knew they were going to wow the holiday crowd and take a large weight off my shoulders. Hickory Farms is my secret weapon this year. You can see all of their delicious sweets here.
Since I decided on Hickory Farms’ peanut brittle, peanut brittle popcorn, their signature chocolate and dark chocolate peanut butter meltaways for desserts – I decided to whip up something a little lighter. I wanted a classic dessert that wasn’t as rich. Shortbread “Thumbprint” Cookies were just the thing to offer. I just needed to find the perfect filling for them.
Hickory Farms offers Farmstand Fruit Spreads and upon investigation I loved what I found about them. Typically the words “fruit spread” at the store means lots of preservatives or added sugars. Not with Hickory Farms, it’s just fruit – no added sugar. I knew exactly what this year’s shortbread cookies needed and oh my goodness, I was so right.
If we were going to make cookies for one of our desserts, I wanted to make sure that A was included in on the fun. We tossed together the ingredients (recipe below), rolled them into dough balls and I told her she got to help me press holes into them. Usually she gets told not to push down the cookies but this time, she was given permission to.
Next we looked at the six fruit spreads in our box and decided to make a variety of cookies for our family and neighbors. After each round of cookies were filled she tried all of the spreads and loved each of them. Once out of the oven and cooled we tried them out. They are a perfect balance of sweetness and crunch making them a perfect addition to our dessert platter.
- 1.5 cup softened butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3.25 cups flour
- 4 egg yolks
- Hickory Farms Farmstand Fruit Spreads
- Combine your egg yolks with your softened butter and mix well.
- Add in your sugar and continue to mix.
- Slowly add in your flour until you form a smooth dough.
- Roll ball into approximately 1" balls.
- Press your finger or a melon baller into the center of your cookie. Make sure you do not press too hard into the cookie or you will press through the bottom. If you press into the bottom reroll your ball.
- If you want more jam in your cookie, work your finger around the cookie pushing outwards to make the hole wider.
- Fill your cookies with Hickory Farms Farmstand Fruit Spread.
- Bake at 375* for 10 minutes. Your cookies will be lightly browned but pale.
- Cool and serve.
- Recipes says 36-48 balls depending on the size you create.
- If you dough is too crumbly add 1 tbsp of water at a time until dough is soft consistency.
- Overcooking your cookies could make the fruit spread bubble over.
This year I am enjoying family more and letting the rest fall into place without the stress of having it all together and homemade. The important things are right inside our home and Hickory Farms is really making the rest easy. I’m learning to let go of my own pressured expectations and saying yes to simplifying things!
Let’s wrap this up with how we can “Wow with Desserts Without the Stress!”
- Make it Happen Without Making Everything Yourself.
Just say no to the lie that it won’t be good enough if you don’t make it all yourself. Save your stress and remember the goal is just to bless those around you. It’s more important for you to enjoy the holidays alongside everyone else.
- Choose One or Two Things to Make and Delegate the Rest.
What are a couple things you know you want to make? Maybe it’s a tradition for you to make a certain something every single year – make it! Find a couple other things you can either delegate to someone else or purchase. If you can, make something that will be fun to create a new memory with someone alongside you in the kitchen. No one truly needs 4 kinds of homemade cookies, 5 kinds of homemade pie and 6 kinds of homemade Christmas candies.
- Give Yourself Some Grace.
We are our own worst enemies with the pressure we put on ourselves. Usually we are only one that cares there is nine made-from-scratch dishes at our gathering. Give yourself some grace on the things you expected yourself to make happen, live in the moment, and enjoy the holiday & those around you!
What do you say? Will you join me in lessening the stress this holiday season?
Today’s post was a part of our collaboration with Hickory Farms. It’s the last of our 5 part holiday series about blessing more and stressing less. We were sent the products we created the recipe with, as well as, compensated. All opinions and imagery belong to Joyfully Smitten.