Every year growing up we used to leave milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. That tradition is sure to continue with our little one. However, I don’t think Santa would mind ONE bit if we left him some of this hot chocolate instead of milk along with his cookies. In fact, I’m POSITIVE he would love it.
This is a *super* rich and creamy version of hot chocolate that will leave your whole body warmed. Notice the sweetened condensed milk pouring into this pot of cream and whole milk…Yeah. It’s rich. In fact, I’d say it’s on a totally different planet than the “hot chocolate” packets that often pop up. Don’t get me wrong, I still use powdered hot cocoa and love it. But for Christmas Eve, this version is certainly a treat worth having. Santa will leave your house so, so happy.
The only comparison I can come up with is the hot chocolate Travis and I had on our final night in Italy a few years ago. We were sitting in a cozy cafe near the leaning tower of Pisa. Stop right there. Picture that stunning image for a second…Okay, proceed. We wanted to treat ourselves to a little something and decided on hot chocolate. That was a genius idea. I think had the best hot chocolate of my life there. Now, this might not be an identical recipe, but it sure did bring me back to that little cafe. All the good feels came back real quick.
Christmas Eve hot chocolate is almost like a pause button on life. With all the stress of Christmas – running around to see family, wrapping presents, making endless food, traffic, decorating, etc. – this hot chocolate will force you to sit and enjoy the little things of life. Even if just for a minute. And it will put a SMILE on your face! What more can you ask for?! Maybe some peppermint truffles to go with it?? Yeah. That’s what you can ask for 🙂
These lemon shortbread cookies…oh my. They are SCRUMPTIOUS! They literally melt. in. your. mouth. They just might be my new favorite cookie. Since the recipe is just a combination of household pantry/fridge staples, I find it real hard not to make these cookies every day of my life. I kind of want to go make them now. But I won’t. Self-control…
I made these little delicacies for a bridal shower for one of my bestest friends. Everyone loved them! I did something you’re never supposed to do though. I made these for the FIRST time for the shower. That’s risky business because you never know if they’ll turn out. I had faith though, and was well rewarded for my trust in these cookies. Whew!
I do have to be honest about these. They started out as a vanilla bean shortbread cookie that I had saved from another blog and I now I can’t find the blog! The link is broken or it doesn’t exist anymore or something. So whoever you are that inspired these cookies, THANK YOU! If you’re out there reading this, you changed my life for the better.
Random note that you might find helpful is that when you start mixing the dough together it will look like a crumbly mess. You might curse my name or start panicking. Take a deep breath. And another. And maybe by that time you will realize that the dough just needed to be mixed a little longer. It should become a nice smooth dough to roll out and everything will be well again. You might need to slightly press it into a ball to roll out, but it shouldn’t take too much effort.
I keep these pretty small because they’re so rich. Also a good excuse to eat a couple. Definitely not like 10 though. That’s *way* too many…cough, cough.
Melt-In-Your-Mouth Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Sweet and tart lemon shortbread cookies that will melt in your mouth
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice (or juice from about 1 large lemon)
lemon zest from 1 lemon
water (to thin, if needed)
Cream the butter, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, salt) in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until well-combined but still crumbly, about 1 minute. Turn mixer to medium and mix for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the dough comes together*.
Roll the dough out into a 9"x12" rectangle between 2 pieces of parchment paper. It should end up being about 1/2"-3/8" thick.
Transfer the parchment and dough to a baking sheet and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
After refrigeration, lift the dough from the baking sheet and cut it into 1 1/2" squares.
Place the cold dough on parchment lined baking sheets. You don't need much room between them (about 1") because they don't spread much.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until pale golden brown on the edges.
Let cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Mix together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest for the drizzle in a small bowl. Add water, if needed, to create a consistency that is loose enough to drizzle. Use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the cooled shortbread cookies. Let the drizzle harden before storing in an airtight container.
*When you start mixing, the dough will look crumbly. Continue to mix until the dough comes together...it will!
Try not to overwork the dough once you roll it out or to reroll because it will get bumpy. However, if you must, the drizzle will cover some imperfections!
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