Christmas Cookies This Year

It wouldn’t be Christmas without baked goods! Christmas Eve Eve is always a crazy baking day getting everything ready for the next couple days of family get-togethers. Instead of going all out with tons of different cookies and sweets for Christmas Day this year it’s a few of the faves to keep things light and a little healthier.

This year’s faves

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Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars Skinny Copycat

This recipe is adapted from SkinnyTaste Bliss Bars. These are honestly much better than the not skinny version! But, disclaimer, I have no actually had one from Starbucks because of my peanut allergy. They seem a little weird at first but then they become kind of addictive and now they’re a Christmas classic here.

Recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon orange zest

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar, not packed

1/4 cup melted butter

1 egg

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce ( peel 2 large apples, slice thinly, add a splash of water, microwave for about 5 minutes until it is mushy. )

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup white chocolate chips

1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

8 oz of light cream cheese, softened

1/2 powdered sugar

2 oz of white chocolate chips, melted

1/4 dried cranberries, chopped

 

Directions

Line 9 x 13 in a pan with parchment paper. Combine sugars, butter, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add in flour, baking soda, salt and orange zest until well blended. Fold in the unmelted chocolate chips and 1/3 cup of cranberries, spread evenly into the pan and bake 10-14 minutes in a preheated 350 oven. While the base is cooking, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until the frosting is well combined. Once the bars have finished cooking and cooled, ice them with the frosting, drizzle with a bit of the white chocolate and top with extra dried cranberries.

 

 

Shortbread

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A simple classic that you can never go wrong with. This recipe is from Robinhood Flour.

Recipe

1 cup softened butter

1/2 cup powder sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cornstarch

3/4 baking powder

1/4 salt

1 cup toffee bits, optional. I’ve actually never tried it with the toffee bits.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350, beat butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy. The more time spent here the better! It makes the cookies nice and soft when the butter is fluffy. Add in all of the remaining ingredients, don’t over stir. Roll into balls ( mine were done in a cookie press ) top with sugar and bake for 7-10 minutes. Cookies will spread so there needs to be space between each cookie on the pan.

 

What are some of your holiday favourite treats? Have a safe and happy Christmas everyone!

P.S It’s Peri

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DIY Gingerbread Latte

It’s the holiday season and festive drinks are one of the best parts! Instead of spending money on fancy coffees that also pack a lot of calories in one drink, making your own can be less heavy, cheaper and faster!

 

The Coffee

I happen to have a milk frother for making lattes, but instead of that you can use whip cream on top or skip the milk/cream on top in general.

The gingerbread syrup is adapted from this one by Billy on All Recipes.

1 cup of water

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon ginger – it is pretty intense and spicy.

2 cinnamon sticks + 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

 

Directions

Combine sugar, water and all of the spices in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then let simmer for 25 minutes. Once it has simmered, take cinnamon sticks out and let the syrup cool. Enjoy!

Add to coffee, or to the cream before frothing, top with a bit of cinnamon for decoration! I put wayyy too much cinnamon on my coffee in the picture and ended up breathing it in and coughing for a while after haha.

 

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P.S It’s Peri

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Favourite Gingerbread Recipe + My Pro ( Not Really ) Cookie Decorating Skills

We don’t take Christmas baking lightly in my house, it is planned out well in advance, recipes are tested and tried before the big day, the treats must be perfect. This is the family favourite gingerbread recipe. My brother and I always spend a day trying our best to decorate them and make them look very pretty, but we just don’t have those cookie decorating skills yet. Maybe someday haha

 

Cookie Recipe

This recipe is from GingerKitten D on GeniusKitchen

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon ( I did 2 teaspoons, partially because I was too lazy to get the 1/4 teaspoon, but mostly because the spicier the better! )

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons softened butter ( if you want softer gingerbread use 3 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons shortening instead )

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup molasses

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Directions

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the spices until combined. In a mixer, blend butter and sugar until creamed, then add egg, molasses, vanilla, and lemon zest until well blended. Add dry ingredients and combine. Separate the dough into 2 balls and chill for as long as possible, I usually do overnight. Once dough is chilled, roll out until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. This works so much better on parchment paper because the dough is sticky and once the cookies are cut out they are very delicate so letting them be and not moving them much is best! Cut the cookies out like a puzzle and take away the extras, roll the extras out again and keep cutting cookies out until there is no more. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for 7 minutes.

 

Lemon icing for gingerbread

This icing is a little runny so it can be glazed over the cookies, but when it dries it’s shiny and looks so pretty on the gingerbread! Also, the lemon really brings out the ginger flavour and is a great addition! I often triple the recipe so we can make many colours.

This recipe is from SaddleUp87 on GeniusKitchen

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix everything together in a bowl, if it is too dry, add a little water.

 

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P.S It’s Peri

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March Break + University Tour

Hello, readers! Sorry, I’ve been so inactive, I was feeling kind of uninspired but I’ve had several blog post ideas and will be posting them for the next little while!

 

March break

I kind of forgot it was spring break here. The break should really be in February, by March I feel like I can make it through until summer but February feels like it’s never-ending. I only slightly this week off because I wanted to keep busy. Friends who go to school were off and bored so I got to get together with some of them and there was extra practice for dance because of the fast-approaching competition season.

 

University

One of the 3 main universities I’d like to go to was having an open house for spring break. I am very lucky to live close to several universities which really narrowed down my choices. This one is the closest, but I wasn’t too sure if their programme was the best. Now it might be my first choice after having spent the day there it felt like I could live there and be comfortable and I’m excited about their Kin programme! I got to see some of the labs, hear about what it’s like studying there and explore the campus, plus got to tour one of the residences which were really nice. Since I still have another year before applying to universities this was sort of just to stake out what this particular university is like.

 

How did you spend your March break?

 

P.S It’s Peri

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Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! This is a collab post with one of my bloggy friends Brianna! She has a wonderful lifestyle blog and we’ve been chatting about the post collab and she’s a sweetheart so please go check out her blog, as well!

Valentine’s Day

It doesn’t just have to be about romantic love! It’s a day to celebrate that love exists, that you love your friends, family, pets, hobbies, all things in your life. February can be such a dull month, it sort of feels like winter has been lasting forever and everything seems boring and the same ( It makes me think of this episode of Arthur ) so it’s great to have something different and a little celebration.

Self-love

Self-love is so important and since this is a day of love then why not celebrate self-love and “treat yo self”?!

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This weekend a couple of friends and I went to Sephora and I decided to get myself something since I never had gotten anything at Sephora and I love makeup. Plus the bag is so cute! I’m like one of those babies who loves the package more than the actual thing that came in it! I got this Too Faced mascara and honestly, it wasn’t that great for all the hype. Usually, I use Maybelline Pumped Up mascara and I like it quite a bit more than the Too Faced one. Too Faced flaked off by the end of the day, but it gave a nice soft finish on my lashes and the volume was good. But, I prefer the Maybelline one.

 

Today I did sparkly pinkish eyeshadow and great big false eyelashes. There’s nowhere I have to go today so I can go as crazy as I want, with still keeping it pretty natural. I have a small false eyelash obsession, they’re so pleasing to me LOL, so anytime I can wear them I will. And, of course, glitter just makes me happy.

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I don’t know how people on Instagram can take good eye makeup pictures??? Tell me your secrets Beauty Gurus.

I’m also going to do some focusing on my mental health and nutrition, read about that and try to make a good plan to stay on top of those things today!

A little self-love today

Some things you can do to be nice to yourself today.

  • Make your favourite meal. I had curry yesterday!
  • Take a little money and buy something you’ve been wanting. Or
  • Set a small budget and go shopping then get something that pleases you.
  • Go outside and find something beautiful, admire the world and get some fresh air.
  • Make a playlist of some of your favourite songs and listen to it, especially if they’re on self-love like Can’t Get Enough Of Myself, one of my faves.
  • Have a nice warm drink of your choice and watch your favourite TV show.
  • Take a warm bath. STORY TIME. Last time I had a bath I made it wayyy too hot and ended up sweating more than I do during a hard workout and finally decided that I should just get out.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Write down things you’re thankful for.
  • Wear something that makes you feel good!

One small thing that makes you feel good!

Family and friend love

When I was little I used to make Valentines by cutting out construction paper in a heart shape and trying to write “I love you” on it, but once you hit about 14 the charm of that seems to wear off. My cut and paste skills couldn’t keep up with my age. So instead I made my family heart-shaped brownies with 2 of my favourite recipes. Whatever Floats Your Boat brownies, which are tradition, chewy and delicious brownies, then Black Bean brownies. Everyone seems to be a bit afraid of the black bean brownies, but they are actually really good and super fudgy!

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Spread the love

Spread it like butter on toast. That sounds odd, but also really delicious and now I want toast.

  • Send funny Valentines. I’ve been sending so many of these. Sorry people I’ve sent these to! 2e4ef2fa0cc9573cff7918c92c6ed6cc
  • Call family members.
  • And friends!
  • Make heart-shaped baked goods or pizza and give them to your friends.
  • Have a cookie decorating get together.
  • Drop little packages of cookies off at neighbours.
  • Leave positive messages in random places to brighten people’s day.

I should actually do some of these things….. Oops.

I hope everyone has a great day and thank you so much for the love on my blog!!

P.S It’s Peri

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Christmas 2016 

This Christmas felt like a bit of a whirlwind and I can’t believe it’s already over and it’s almost 2017?!? I’m also a little glad it’s over, to be honest.

Christmas Eve

The morning was getting things together for food that needed to be made for later on in the day, making sure all the gifts were wrapped and under the tree, and final tidy up. Then I did a long run to burn off any of the extra energy from being excited and because there was going to be a lot of food! For Christmas Eve my mom’s side of the family comes over and we have a wide variety of appetizers. 

We all ate and chatted and opened gifts. Then, once it started to get dark, the rest of the family left and then we went to the park to see the display of lights that is put up every year.


It wasn’t too cold so it was actually really nice to just walk around the park with all of the people. Then after going home we watched some Christmas specials and I fell asleep. At around 11 my brother and I went to our rooms to sleep but I didn’t (oops) I stayed up all night on a Skype call with 5 of my friends and had Friendsmas ( More on that later! ). They all either went to bed or left the call before 5am so I tried to sleep a little but didn’t and before I knew it my brother was up as well.

Christmas Day

We waited in my room until we thought it was a slightly reasonable time to get our parents up. This was one of the only Christmases where we had to get our parents up, usually my mom wakes my brother and I up. Everyone went downstairs and had a breakfast of cinnamon rolls which I had made before and then frozen to have Christmas morning. 

And lots of coffee and tea because it was too early for anyone to actually function.

This year I didn’t really ask for anything. Everything I thought I wanted I would change my mind the next day. So I just asked for money and journals because I have a journal collection and try to write everyday.

I got some beautiful journals, and a bunch of other things that I’m really happy with! After opening gifts I fell asleep which was good since I hadn’t slept all night, then woke up to Christmas lunch which was left over things from the appetizers the day before. Then I wrote in my journal and had a cup of tea while everyone else relaxed while waiting for my grandparents and aunt came over. We chatted with them then opened gifts and had another round of appetizers, and chatted more and I probably fell asleep at some point again, then we had turkey dinner, packed up some leftovers for the family to take home, then we relaxed before going to bed and ending a great Christmas Day.
Christmas traditions have changed a lot through the past couple of years between moving and not having family near by, and being a little kid where I would get super excited and couldn’t even believe Christmas happened to being a teenager and trying to find new things in Christmas to be excited for. This Christmas felt like a transitional one but it was still really good!

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

P.S. It’s Peri

This Week ( Dec 19th ) 

This week was pretty crazy with getting ready for Christmas and I’m so excited for actual Christmas Day to come!

Monday

I was planning on starting my winter break on Friday but ended up starting it on Monday. Monday morning and early afternoon was spent getting all the food we’d need for Christmas with my mom. It’s actually one of my favourite things to do the shopping with my mom because we play Christmas and Disney music really loudly in the car and end up having lots of fun! We got food for baking and for Christmas dinner, some more gifts for relatives, and cat food, because no one wants hungry cats in the house. Got home and had a nice cup of tea then worked out and relaxed after dinner before going to bed.

 

Tuesday

Tuesday was gingerbread day! In other years gingerbread baking has been kind of a chore, trying to have beautiful cookies and taking awhile to actually make, bake, and decorate. But this year was the best yet! I made the dough last week when I was bored and froze it so there was no worrying about putting it together and chilling it. 

We narrowed down the shapes to only a few that were sturdy enough so they didn’t all lose a head or something. I had great dreams of having beautiful cookies like these from Sweetopia


But when you aren’t getting lots of cookie decorating practice that’s pretty hard to do. 

At least I gave it a good shot lol. Cookie decorating has gotten worse with age. After baking up a storm, I worked out and relaxed then went to bed.

Wednesday

Wednesday was cleaning day! I journaled a lot because I had forgotten to write in there for a couple days. Then we all got the house ready for visitors and just as a winter clean up. Blasting peppy Christmas music makes it a lot more tolerable. After cleaning for awhile I made probably my favourite Christmas treat and that’s graham cracker “brittle”


It’s a layer of graham cracker, a layer of toffee and a layer of chocolate. Honestly can’t go wrong with anything toffee and chocolate. It’s super easy to make, too!

Ingredients:

16 oz graham cracker ( 2 sleeves )

1 cup butter

2 cups brown sugar

12 oz milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Lay out graham crackers on a cookie sheet until the sheet is completely cover. Melt the butter and sugar in pot on the stove until sugar is desolved. Pour butter and sugar over graham crackers on the cookie sheet and spread evenly, then bake in the oven for 5 minutes. The toffee should be bubbly. Then remove from the oven and spread chocolate chips all over making sure they’ve all melted. Chill until chocolate is hard and enjoy!

Had tea and the some of the delicious brittle then ran. After dinner was ballet and I brought the teachers some of the gingerbread from the day before, got home, relaxed, then bed.

 

Thursday

I felt so lost on Thursday I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I can’t even really remember what I did so I’m thinking I didn’t really do anything. I did make Christmas crackers, though! They seem to be a more British or Canadian Christmas tradition since when I lived in the US they were never in stores. It’s a really weird tradition if you think about it. Christmas crackers are little cardboard tubes that are wrapped in festive paper and inside of the tubes are usually a candy, a paper crown, a really cheesy joke and a little toy. The crackers have a little almost firework inside of them so when you pull the ends it makes a pop. When you sit down for Christmas dinner everyone gets their own cracker and each hold the end of the person next to them’s cracker and everyone pulls at the same time. Whoever gets the biggest end of the cracker gets to keep what was inside of it. I started making my own a couple years ago and it’s really fun because then I get to choose what goes inside of them. This year I made tissue paper crowns, which I tried to get a picture of but the cat decided it was a good bed. 

A cheesy Christmas related joke. And little Rolo candies.


I went for a black and white colour palette because that was all the tissue paper we had. It was also dance day so I brought in brittle to class for everyone and then it was the last class of the year!

Friday

Friday was cooking day! For Christmas Eve my family is hosting my mom’s side of the family and we’re having appetizers. I made hummus, samosas, spanakopita, more brittle ( because it’s so good and there needs to be a constant supply ) and shortbread! Shortbread is quintessential Christmas for me. I remember being really little and using the cookie press to pump out shortbread for Christmas. They always turn out quite pretty and are one of the best tasting baked goods. 

My brother and I spent almost all day making shortbread but it was well worth it. After that I ran, and then fell asleep while watching a Christmas movie. Now I’m all ready for Christmas!!
I hope everyone has fun, safe and happy holidays!! ❤❤

 

P.S. It’s Peri