College kitchen: make winter break a sweet one

Try these easy recipes to get in the holiday spirit.

Holiday cookies on display on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Emily Urfer

Holiday cookies on display on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Norah Kleven

The holidays are marked by snow, cheer and most importantly: desserts. Here are some easy-to-follow recipes to test out in your kitchen this weekend. 

Sugar cookies

Sugar cookies are simple, lovable and can be made into whatever shape you desire. They are a modern staple of the holiday season and require little time and effort. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened butter or vegan butter
  • a few drops of vanilla extract 
  • a few drops of almond extract
  • 1 egg or 1 tbsp of applesauce for a vegan substitution
  • 1/2 cup of of self-rising flour

Instructions: 

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and egg first. Then add flour. 
  • Freeze dough for 15-20 minutes. 
  • Grease your cookie sheet. 
  • Roll out dough to be 1/4 inch thick. If you don’t have a rolling pin, a wine bottle covered in flour works well! 
  • Cut cookies into fun shapes! 
  • Bake 7-8 minutes, until edges are golden brown. 

Gingerbread cookies 

For those who have a little more time to spend in the kitchen and are eager for a traditional treat, gingerbread cookies are the way to go. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp shortening or butter replacement
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/8 cup cold water
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • a dash of salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Mix sugar, shortening, molasses and water together. 
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. 
  • Cover and freeze for 15 minutes. 
  • While the dough hardens, grease cookie sheet. 
  • Roll out dough to be 1/4 inch thick. 
  • Cut with your favorite cookie cutters! 
  • Place cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes, checking often.

Icing: 

Everyone knows that a holiday cookie is only as good as its icing. This recipe is a go-to in my family, bringing holiday joy to festivities for years. 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp milk or water
  • 1 tsp butter or alternative 
  • vanilla extract, to taste
  • almond extract, to taste

Instructions: 

  • Melt butter and water or milk together. 
  • Stir butter liquid into powdered sugar and add remaining ingredients. 
  • Add extra water or milk as needed, but be careful not to make the icing too runny. 
  • Frost your cookies, letting them dry for at least two hours before boxing them up. 

White chocolate-covered pretzels: 

For the busiest of students, white chocolate-covered pretzels are the way to get holiday flavor in a pinch. 

Ingredients: 

  • one bag of snack pretzels
  • one bag of white chocolate or white chocolate chips

Instructions: 

  • Melt chocolate in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Check consistency. 
  • Melt in additional 15-second intervals, until chocolate is smooth and melted. 
  • Cover pretzels in white chocolate and add sprinkles for extra festivity. 
  • Let harden for at least an hour.