getting into the holiday spirit

Looking for a fun way to get into the holiday spirit this weekend that doesn’t involve a mall? How about mixing a festive drink and baking some cookies? When packaged with a little love and creativity, we think cookies make a great gift for party hosts, neighbors, or friends.

Let’s first start with the cocktail! If eggnog is your holiday drink of choice, but you don’t feel like making it from scratch, Imbibe Magazine conducted a taste test and among the best brands were Horizon Organic, which was described as creamy, sweet, and mixed well with bourbon. If you are feeling adventurous, they offer this fun recipe from The World Bar in NYC…

10 large, fresh grade AA eggs, separated
1 cup superfine sugar
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
6 tsp. pure almond extract
6 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Glass: cocktail, wine, flute or toddy
Garnish: grated nutmeg and cinnamon

Separate eggs into two bowls. Beat yolks until stiff, and beat whites with half the sugar until peaks form. Slowly fold whites and yolks together. Separately, beat cream with almond extract, vanilla and remaining sugar in a bowl until stiff. Slowly fold in cream with egg mixture. Add rum and stir gently. Refrigerate overnight, or serve immediately. Serves 18–20.

If eggnog is not your thing, they have a slew of yummy recipes here or check out The Food Network’s favorite holiday cocktail recipes here.

Next up, the cookies! Philadelphia Magazine just did a amazing recipe round up from six of Philly’s best pastry chefs.

There are Brown Butter and Bourbon Biscotti by Monica Glass of 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge, Maple-Bacon Pinwheels by Jessica Mogardo of Garces Restaurant Group, Orange-Ginger Cookies by Elizabeth Halen of The Flying Monkey Bakery, Spiced Caramel Chocolate Tuiles by Frederick Ortega of Lacroix, Double Chocolate Sables by Caitlin Grady of Parc, and Chestnut-Whiskey Macaron by CedricBarberet of Le Bec-Fin, Georges’, and Table 31.

Last up, packaging with love! Tupperware has its time and place, and this is not it! We love the look of mason jars and the fact that they keep your cookies fresh and delicious. To make it special, all you need is a mason jar, square piece of fabric, raffia or ribbon, a piece of paper and scissors. For the tags, we simply cut out hearts.

Happy holidays and have a great weekend!

images via imbibe magazine, philadelphia magazine and two little birds planning

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