Happy Boxing Day, friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas yesterday. (Or just a wonderful day in general for those who don’t celebrate.) I wasn’t planning to go MIA this week, but with the ice storm over the weekend we were without power for over three days. Luckily we got it back just in time to host our families for Christmas dinner yesterday! Now that Christmas has come and gone, naturally my brain is making the shift to New Year’s Eve, undoubtedly one of my favorite days of the year. And when we’re talking about New Year’s celebrations, whether they be for a few or your entire crew, it just wouldn’t be right to go much further without talking about the bubbly.
Today I’ve rounded up 10 bubbly New Year’s Eve cocktails for you! From the simple to the sweet to the completely unique, these cocktails are the perfect way to toast the start of 2014. Most of these would also be perfect for sipping at brunch on New Year’s Day, too! So let’s get started. Pop the champagne and click through for 10 of the best bubbly New Year’s Eve drinks!
Hello my dears! Ami from Elizabeth Anne Designs here, hoping you are in the midst of much merry and bright! Unfortunately, Cyd is buried in the Upstate NY Icepocalypse (scope out the storm on Instagram with the hashtag #nnyicestorm). Although we are hoping for a thaw before Christmas, she asked me to stop by and wish you the happiest of holidays on her behalf just in case!
[Photo by Genevieve Leiper from Elizabeth Anne Designs.]
Hugs and love from both of us—enjoy some much-needed rest and celebration!
I’ve been a massive fan of The Glitter Guide for a long time and I’m thrilled to be sharing one of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes today as a part of their Holiday Cookie Swap. I’m really excited to be sharing this bit of our family Christmas tradition with you. I’ve been wanting to share this recipe for a long time so many many thanks to the editors at The Glitter Guide for asking me to play along!
As a kid I remember the weekends leading up to Christmas as being full of cookie baking, ornament crafting and gift wrapping. And let me tell you, our cookie baking parties were kind of legendary, the foundation on which little kid Christmas memories are built. My mother and my aunts would gather all of us kids together, roll up our little sleeves and encourage us to get elbow deep in flour, butter and sugar. Of course every family has their traditional cast of cookie characters, the star of which was always Italian meatball cookies in our family.
The cookie itself is semi-sweet with a subtle touch of spice from the cinnamon, cloves and rum. Topped with dark chocolate ganache they’re as close to Christmas cookie perfection as anything I’ve ever tasted. This recipe has been in heavy rotation in our family for decades, passed down on neatly penned index cards stained with years of splattered batter and chocolate. When I think of Christmas, I think of these cookies – and the smell of them baking in the oven? Absolute heaven!
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup shortening
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups milk
- 2 oz spiced rum
Preheat oven to 370°. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Blend in the shortening. Add the milk and rum (whiskey, bourbon or brandy will also work) and combine well. The dough will be very stiff and sticky. Roll into approximately 1″ balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12 – 13 minutes or until they look slightly golden. Remove from the oven, allow them to rest for a couple of minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- 8oz dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 oz spiced rum
Heat chocolate chips, heavy cream, and rum over a double boiler of simmering water until completed melted and smooth, stirring or whisking occasionally. Feel free to sub whiskey, bourbon or brandy for the rum. (But I don’t suggest skipping it – it really enhances the flavor!) Once the ganache is smooth and creamy, dunk each cookie to coat the top completely and then return cookies to the wire rack to cool until ganache sets.
[Photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
Where on earth did December go? Does anyone know? Because I’m utterly dumbfounded that we’re already rolling into the final weekend before Christmas. But here it is! We’ve got a weekend jam-packed with holiday festivities and I also need to finish up our shopping, wrapping and Christmas cookie baking. Just the kind of weekend I love! No worries though, I’ll be back next week with a few last ideas to help your holiday season feel especially merry and bright. In the meantime, have a fabulous weekend. Hug you friends and family close and enjoy this most wonderful time of the year. See you here on Monday! xoxo
[Photo by Paige Jones Photo from 100 Layer Cake.]
Since we talked all about my love for homemade holiday gifts yesterday, I figured it was only appropriate today to make sure you’ve got all the gift wrapping ideas you need for making those Christmas packages look gorgeous! It’s probably not going to shock you that I tend to be the type who gets really excited about wrapping gifts. I like gussying things up with bows and ribbons and stamps and tags. Heck, I even go so far as to have a set theme each year. This season I’m rocking tartan wrapping paper with loads of twine and gold glitter ribbon. (Love me some glitter ribbon!) The best part is, whipping up really special packages doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming.
Ready to top off the season with the prettiest packages around? Click through for 20 DIY holiday gift wrapping ideas – from stamping your own paper to rockin’ free printable gift tags that will serve as the perfect icing on the cake.