Friday, December 9, 2016

December Favorites

Welcome to RDtipoftheday's favorites December edition. This blog series highlights some of the things I've been watching, reading, listening to, cooking, and eating. These are a few of my favorite things in December.

Eating & Cooking

This is my first attempt at gingerbread cookies. The cookies held their shape well, but the flavor was off. The molasses was so strong that I went back to the recipe to make sure it wasn't a molasses cookie. They were good but not gingerbread-y. Oh well! I got practice piping, and I'm doing some research for a better gingerbread cookie recipe. If you have a good gingerbread cookie recipe, comment below. I am looking for a heavily spiced cookie and with less molasses flavor.


There's something about baking and decorating at Christmas time that is super festive and so fun. I have big plans to make cookies, cupcakes, and more!


Do you participate or host a Christmas cookie exchange? Christmas cookie exchange parties are such a fun idea. And, December 4th is National Cookie Day. Here's a yummy looking recipe for salted chocolate brownie cookieChristmas cookies, and soft chocolate chunk cookies🍪 

Here a video and recipe to make mini edible gingerbread cookie houses. There's even a pdf for the template for these tiny houses. So cute!

If gingerbread houses aren't your thing, check out this chocolate candy house. So cute!

Here's a recipe for gingerbread cookies; these are shaped like skeletons, but I bet they taste like Christmas. Gingerbread reminds me of Winter and Christmas. Do you eat gingerbread all year or just at Christmas time?

I love decorating cookies with royal icing. There's a bit of a learning curve with the flooding and outline consistencies. Once you master that, you'll be making professional looking cookies in no time. Here's a tutorial for making and piping royal icing

Cupcakes and Buttercream Icing

I got some extra large piping tips recently, so I can make and decorate cupcakes. Here are some recipes I wanted to try. It's perfect because December 23 is National Bake Day

Want to decorate some Christmas cupcakes? Here are some tips for making Christmas ornaments or "Christmas baubles."

Here's a tutorial for making buttercream icing, a master class in making buttercream icing, and decorating with buttercream.

Here's a tutorial for making Swiss meringue buttercream.

Cream cheese is a family favorite in our house. I usually have a cookie cake or carrot cake with cream cheese icing for my birthday cake. Here's a tutorial for making cream cheese and chocolate cream cheese icing. What's your favorite icing to make, use, or eat? Feel free to comment below. 

S'mores cupcakes would be perfect to eat around a fire. These cupcakes have a cookie crust, chocolate cake, meringue topping, and a chocolate drizzle.

I love chocolate and hazelnut. This Nutella cupcake recipe is a "must make" recipe for me.

Here are some tips for decorating with fondant or as she says "sugar paste."

Baked Goodies

If cookies or cupcakes aren't your thing, there's always other baked goods to make for Christmas. 

Here's a recipe for chocolate hazelnuts fudge brownies.

Have you ever made homemade dulce de leche? Here's the recipe. Would you make dulce de leche or do you have a favorite brand to purchase?

YouTube is one of my favorite forms of entertaining. It's t.v. on demand and a look into people's lives. Here's a behind-the-scene video from the Crumbs and Doilies bakery in England.

Festive Christmasy Drinks

Hot chocolate or mochas are some of my favorite holiday beverages. These homemade marshmallows would take these drinks over the top!

Sweet and salty is one of my favorite holiday flavor combination with desserts. You can try this sea salt caramel recipe to add to your favorite holiday beverage.


I've been reading a lot. It's so cold that reading under a cozy blanket seems like a perfect way to spend the evening. This month I've been reading Simply Tuesday, and I've got Let's All Be Brave and Wild and Free next on my reading list. Feel free to pick them up and read along with me.


We are t-minus 16 days until Christmas. This season is one of my favorite times of year. People seem to be happy, joyful, and more kind. I hope you don't have lots of holiday hustle. Instead, I hope you have time to rest and be refreshed. 

If you are looking for holiday gifts, here are some ideas.

If you're shopping for your favorite bakers, here's a list of kitchen baking essentials from Jemma, who owns her own bakery.

I hope you enjoyed these tips, recipes, and all of my favorites from this month. Let me know if this is a feature that you would like me to continue by commenting below. And, let me know if you have a topic you want to be featured. Thanks! Have a great week!

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