Have you every felt so overwhelmed with joy that you literally could not keep it from spreading across your face?
That was me during every minute of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Disneyworld last week. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a Christmas celebration held from November to December at Magic Kingdom. The regular park closes down at 7 pm to make room for the party and the entire park is transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland.
Elsa from Frozen did her thing and cast a spell on Cinderella’s castle – crystallizing it with “ice.” It was lit up and sparkling, just like the one in the movie. My friend took a photo of me as I caught a glimpse of it and captured the same smile kids have on Christmas morning. I look about five years old.
If you’ve never been to Disneyworld, it’s difficult to understand just how perfectly, seamlessly done everything is. No detail is spared.
Even though thousands of people were there, there was no garbage on the ground. The bathrooms are spotless, unheard of for a theme park. Everyone is smiling. People just seemed to be on their best behaviour – though that could have to do with staying on Santa’s good side.
The Christmas cookie-themed float during the parade actually smelled like cookies. Like, someone was pumping a cookie scent into the air. Amazing.
With our tickets, we did a “cookie tour” of the park, stopping at different snack stations to sample the Christmas goodies.
Here were the treats we devoured during the party:
- Egg nog and ginger cookies (my favourite of the night)
- Hot cocoa and peppermint bark cookies
- Apple cider and sugar cookies
- Snow cones
That’s where the inspiration for these Peppermint Bark Cookies came from. They were one of the top treats I tried that night and this recipe comes pretty close. Not as soft, but even more candy cane flavour. It’s a great Christmas party cookie.
I hope your Christmas parties this season aren’t like Disneyworld. I mean, I hope they’re seamless and magical, but I definitely don’t wish you thousands of people to keep smiling at once.
If you do have to bake for a big crowd, I recommend these babies.
They taste like Christmas, they add a pop of colour to a plate and they’re dead simple. Slice and bake cookies are where it is at. I used to love slicing and baking those magical little Pillsbury cookies as a kid, the ones with little snowmen or Easter bunnies inside.
These are almost as easy, plus you get the satisfaction of knowing you made them from scratch.
Peppermint bark cookies
Makes 2 dozen
- 3/4 cup of butter, softened
- 2/3 cup of brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 candy canes, crushed or 1/4 cup of pre-crushed candy canes
- 3/4 cup of milk chocolate chips
- Additional milk chocolate for dipping (optional)
- Cream butter until fluffy and light. Add sugar and mix again until fully incorporated. Add egg and vanilla, continuing to beat on high until the mixture is fluffy.
- Add flour and salt, mixing until combined. Stir in candy canes and chocolate chips by hand.
- Lay down a sheet of parchment and place your dough on it. Roll the dough into a log and roll the log in parchment paper. Wrap it up and place in the freezer for two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Slice dough log with a sharp knife into quarter-inch slices. Lay slices down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes. Cookies will be just turning golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool before dipping in melted chocolate. Totally optional!