Design to Dish: Painted Heart Sugar Cookies

I’ve fallen in love! While browsing Minted’s selection of classroom Valentines with my kids, I spotted these darling striped heart cards and fell head-over-heels. They’re cute enough for the classroom, but sophisticated enough to give to grown-up friends. In fact, I’m ordering some to tuck into little Valentine’s Day treats I’m sending to friends across the country.

minted classroom valentines heart sugar cookies Layered Heart Classroom Valentines by Amber Barkley; Painted Heart Sugar Cookies (recipe below)

Sugar cookies are particularly addicting and heart-shaped ones are perfect for Valentine’s Day. When I saw these striped heart Valentines, I immediately wanted to make cookies that looked just like them. Painted sugar cookies look really beautiful and fun, and they’re surprisingly easy to make. The instructions may seem long but they’re detailed, not difficult. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to make these—there are a couple of steps that involve some waiting time.

Click through for the cookie recipe and directions on how to paint them

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Design to Dish: Homemade Blood-Orange Sherbet

Whenever a new year comes around, I start to crave lighter, brighter-flavored treats. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the rich, spice-laden holiday foods—cookies and cakes and candies and baked goods galore—but a fresh start makes me want fresh flavors, too. I love citrus fruits year-round, but they’re especially welcome in the winter, when they offer a bright contrast to season’s heavier flavors. Blood oranges are plentiful right now, and they’re one of the prettiest and sweetest of all citrus fruits. They give this delicious sherbet it’s magnificent magenta color, which pairs perfectly with the gorgeous pink Minted art print featured below!

minted wall art blood orange ice cream dessert sherbet recipe Blood-Orange Sherbet (recipe below) inspired by  Swirls and Strokes by Artsy Canvas Girl Designs

Of course, every recipe I make for this Julep food series tastes good (obviously!), but this sherbet is completely out of this world. It seriously knocked my wooly winter socks off! We devoured the entire batch in one afternoon, and everyone was really bummed there wasn’t more. I’m already planning to stock up on blood oranges next time I go grocery shopping so that I can make this a few more times before the season ends. It’s sweet and tart, smooth and refreshing, all at the same time and I’m sure you’ll enjoy as much as we do.

Click through for the homemade blood-orange sherbet recipe

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Recipe: All-Natural Red Velvet Cake (Made With Beets!)

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

All-Natural Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Name: Elizabeth Hatchett of Betty Hatchett Design
Where you’re based: Cincinnati, Ohio
How long you’ve been with Minted: Three years
Favorite thing about the holidays: I love the challenge of finding/making the right gift for folks…one that helps them feel known and loved.
On my wish list this year: After sniffing a friend’s collection of essential oils this fall, I’d love to have some cedar and eucalyptus oils.
This never fails to get me in the holiday spirit: Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” duet (along with Will Ferrell’s spoof, or course).
Favorite holiday tradition: In the days leading up to New Year’s, my husband Sam and I go through the year’s pictures and make a book. It’s such a fun way to remember moments in the past year together.

My mom has been making red velvet cake for as long as I can remember for the holidays. It’s our fancy dessert that sits atop her 1950s crystal cake platter, and we savor its light-as-a-cloud fluffy goodness after our main meal. To me, it wouldn’t be Christmas without red velvet cake. This year, though, I’ve been wondering if there’s a way to achieve the brilliant-red color without all of the artificial food coloring. Keep reading to find out if I was able to pull it off…  —Elizabeth

Click through to read more about Elizabeth’s red-velvet adventures

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Easy Christmas-Brunch Cocktail: Blood Orange “Pomosas”

What’s the last thing I want to do on Christmas morning? Cook up a complicated brunch for our family drop-ins. My solution: easy bites that everyone can help themselves to, along with a make-ahead fizzy drink with bright flavors to perk up even the Grinchiest of holiday-morning moods. This simple riff on a mimosa recipe (a pomosa, to be exact) is made with vibrant-red pomegranate juice and a hint of green in the form of a thyme garnish. It’s the perfect apéritif for Christmas morning.

Blood orange and pomegranate sparkler for holiday brunch

Click through for the full cocktail recipe

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Design to Dish: Peppermint Bark Thumbprints

christmas holiday cookie exchange swap recipe

One of my favorite things to do every holiday season is to make Christmas cookies; I can’t remember a single Christmas that didn’t involve lots and lots of flour, butter, and sugar. My family has a few all-time favorite cookie recipes that we make every year, but I’m always on the lookout for new, delicious Christmas treats to try out. A holiday cookie swap is the perfect place to discover dozens of amazing goodies in one fun-filled afternoon!

When I think of holiday flavor combinations, chocolate and peppermint jump out as a clear favorite. These Peppermint Bark Thumbprints start with sweet, buttery shortbread cookies, and are topped with two kinds of chocolate as well as a hefty sprinkle of crushed candy canes. They’re insanely delicious and pretty cute too, which makes them perfect cookie-swap material. Have you ever hosted a holiday cookie party? What show-stopping cookie would you bring this year?

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Top 10 Holiday Cookie Recipes

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

This is the time of year to break out the cookie cutters and load up on sprinkles, and I wanted to share my favorite holiday-cookie recipes with my friends and readers. For me, the best thing about baking holiday cookies is getting to spend time in the kitchen with my two daughters, who are one and three years old. My oldest daughter, especially, loves using the cookie cutters and is very meticulous with her sprinkles! And my youngest enjoys the dance parties we have in our kitchen while the cookies are baking in the oven. Its a win-win for everyone in my house. I hope you enjoy the cookie recipes!  —Kimberly

Click through for Kimberly’s 10 favorite holiday cookie recipes

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Holiday Cookie Recipe: Kris Crinkles

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Ann Gardner
Where you’re based: Irving, TX
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since February 2010
Favorite thing about the holidays: People seem to be in a better mood, generally nicer, and more giving this time of the year.
On my holiday wish list this year: The past couple of years have been rough for me and my husband, so I’m going to be a bit selfish this year and wish for good health for me and our families… and world peace, of course.
This never fails to get me in the holiday spirit: Ever since I can remember, the “official” start of the holiday season was watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade—my family would wait for Santa to arrive at the end of the parade and I looked forward to it every year. It was just one of those small, simple things our family shared together during the holiday season.

I’ve loved baking for as long as I can remember (check out the photo of me and my brother (below) decorating cookies when we were kids!) In fact, I went to culinary school and studied baking and pastry arts. Although I ultimately choose a career in design, I still like to bake. And nothing compares to the smell of something baking in the oven, especially around the holidays. My recipe for Kris Crinkle Cookies is one of my favorites—it fills the house with the warm scent of spices and gingerbread. It’s an easy recipe that’s perfect for cold, wintry days (and I promise they taste as good as they look!).  —Ann

Click through for the recipe and to download the recipe-card printable… 

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Design to Dish: Roasted Garlic Brisket

minted hanukkah dinner ideas brisket

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins in just two weeks! I’ve always, always wanted to celebrate Hanukkah. I’m a fan of pretty much any and every holiday, especially one with beautiful, sparkly decorations, glowing candlelight, and incredibly delicious food.

Speaking of delicious food, this slow-cooked garlic brisket is a long-time family favorite and would be perfect for Hanukkah dinner. The recipe was given to my mom decades ago by a woman at church, and we’ve made it ever since when we need something a little more special than our usual pot roast. It is simple to make and tastes fantastic, as all good recipes should. Happy Hanukkah!

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Recipe: Classic Cranberry Sauce (With Printable Gift Label!)

This holiday season, in addition to our regular Julep contributors, we’re also sharing stories from our Minted artists and designers about how they celebrate this most wonderful time of the year.

Name: Susan Brown
Where you’re based: Menomonie, WI
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2011
My favorite thing about the holidays is… having our son and his fiancé home for a few days.
This year, I’m thankful for… good friends, good books, and gold foil!
Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving unless… my family fights over the dark meat.
Stuffing—love it or loathe it? Love it (especially mine!).

There is little that signals the approaching holidays better than the bright red cranberry bogs along Wisconsin’s highways. Since Wisconsin is the biggest producer of this versatile berry, it seemed only natural to share this simple Thanksgiving recipe for fresh cranberry sauce with you. And if you’ve never made this tasty, tart sauce before, I hope it will become a tradition in your family, too.I like to make an extra-large batch of cranberry sauce and spoon it into small canning jars to give as a parting gift. That way, when I’m passing out Thanksgiving leftovers for guests to take home, I include a jar so everyone can enjoy turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce the next day.  —Susan

Keep reading for Susan’s easy-to-make cranberry sauce recipe…

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Design to Dish: Harvest Pumpkin Muffins

By Melissa of  Lulu the Baker

I love Thanksgiving for so many reasons. It happens during the fall, my favorite time of year, there are a million delicious things to eat, and it’s a simple holiday focused on family, love, and gratitude. I’ve always wanted to host a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner filled with mouth-watering food and beautiful details. Some of my favorites—including my grandmother’s delicious pumpkin muffins recipe (perfect for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning!)—are featured below.

thanksgiving breakfast harvest pumpkin muffins

I decided to go in a slightly new direction with the recipe for this post. When we think of Thanksgiving, we always think of dinner, but what about breakfast? For lots of us, Thanksgiving means house guests, and who wants to make a huge breakfast right before making a huge dinner? At the same time, something quick and easy like cold cereal isn’t quite special enough for a holiday or for out-of-town company. These delicious pumpkin muffins are a happy medium: they are quick and easy to make, and taste amazing. If you make the full recipe, there will be enough muffins to feed the army of relatives camped out in your living room!

Keep reading for the recipe…

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