I love this time of year, when fall begins turning into winter. I’m not a huge fan of the cold, but any excuse to make hot chocolate is fine with me.

I’m now the proud owner of my first (fake) Christmas tree:

We decorated that bad boy on Monday night, and I think it looks pretty good. I’m allowed to say that, right?

It wouldn’t feel like the holiday’s without some sugar cookies, so these happened:

If you’re looking for a good sugar cookie recipe, I used this one from my roommate, and it’s quite good.

Also, did you know that basically every brand of regular store-bought frosting has hydrogenated oil? If there are “natural” brands out there, I couldn’t find them. Anyone have suggestions? So for the frosting, I thew this together:

Simple Butter Creme Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, softend
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 -4 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

As long as your butter is softened (but not melted) this is pretty easy. I didn’t even use an electric mixer. Just a fork, and some bicep (tricep?) muscles. Stir until smooth. Add sprinkles if you’re feeling extra festive.

Oh, and you know what goes well with cookies? Hot chocolate. Hey, I don’t make this stuff up.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

  • 3/4 cup water or milk
  • 3 tbsp hot chocolate mix
  • 2 tbsp peppermint schnapps (optional, obviously)
  • Whipped cream + crushed candy canes

Heat up the first two ingredients, add some schnapps, (or peppermint extract!) and top with whipped creme and crushed candy canes. Doesn’t get more festive than that.

What are some of your favorite things about the colder weather?

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