So, on Friday I did Fox and Friends and went straight from the studio to the airport. I was definitely the most overdressed person at the airport at 6:30am. However, what I was doing was taking a flight down to Virginia to surprise my Mom (her Pre-Christmas gift). I am so happy that I did this, as this was a weekend to be spent with family.
You see, my Mom is the reason why I’ve got this obsession with Christmas. The reason why I start with the Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving- then a few days after that with the decorations and tree. She always made the holidays magical in our house- with the perpetual scent of gingerbread in the air. Our Christmas Eve was always the same, church and then a family open house. Christmas Day came with Santa presents, stockings, and a huge breakfast- filled with her pull apart cinnamon rolls.
Even as an adult I can remember these times like they were yesterday.. I get so nostalgic for those Christmas Eve’s and Day’s. No matter how hard I try I can’t recreate them.
This weekend we baked, listened to holiday music, and even spent a few minutes with Santa Claus (my 2.5 year old nephew wanted no part in that).
Speaking of baking, below is a recipe for Peppermint Swirl Shortbread Bars. A cookie that has become a staple in my holiday kitchen ever since I started trying to make my own traditions. So delicious that I couldn’t keep little hands off of them as I was trying to snap a photo..
Peppermint Swirl Shortbread Bars
lightly adapted from land o’ lakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup crushed candy canes
1/4 cup white melting chocolate, for drizzling overtop
Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, allowing the foil or paper to hang over the edges; set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat at low speed until mixture is crumbly. Press the mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are just a light brown.
Remove pan from oven and immediately sprinkle crust evenly with chocolate chips; return pan to oven for 1 minute to melt chocolate. Spread chocolate evenly over crust and immediately sprinkle with chopped candy canes before the chocolate sets. Drizzle with melted white chocolate. Allow to cool completely before removing bars from the pan.
Cut and enjoy!