‘Tis the Season.. for sweets!

‘Tis the Season.. for sweets!

‘Tis the Season.. for sweets!

Many of my favorite Christmas memories are centered around food- specifically sweets! In our family, we spend lots of time cooking together, enjoying meals with visitors from out of town, and of course, focusing on dessert! We don’t need much of an excuse to make dessert for any and every occasion. Here’s how I’m kicking off the holidays with sweets. These are DIY options, but if you prefer to eat sweets more than make them, you know we’re always happy to help!

1. Peppermint Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

The first dessert I made at home this season was these peppermint brownie ice cream sandwiches. Choose and prepare your favorite brownie recipe (you can even use a boxed mix if you’d like!), then freeze it in two large pieces. I baked the brownies on a large baking sheet and then cut it in half. Once its firm, spread peppermint stick ice cream over one half and sandwich them together. Return to the freezer until the ice cream has set and then trim the edges and cut into individual sandwiches.

The trick: Make sure to freeze in between each step to make sure they come out with nice, clean edges. Even if you don’t, they’ll taste delicious, but freezing helps them look pretty! Melt dark chocolate to drizzle and sprinkle with crushed peppermint for the finishing touches. These have so much versatility and van be made in ANY flavor- caramel, peanut butter, death by chocolate…. it’s a challenge to find a flavor that doesn’t pair well with brownies! 

 

2. Hot Cocoa Bar

Get friends or relatives together for a hot cocoa bar! Usually I will whip up a batch of hot cocoa from scratch and then provide a variety of toppings or flavorings for everyone to choose from. This is great because it’s fun for all ages. Just like with the brownies, so many great options pair with chocolate. I’m thinking caramel, peanut butter, crushed peppermint, and of course, marshmallows with whipped cream. To kick it up a notch, add Lucky Charms marshmallows for the kids and Bailey’s and/or Kailua liquor for the adults!

3. Cookie Party

Cookies are one of the most popular desserts of the holiday season. This year, I’ll be making dark chocolate gingerbread cookies, eggnog melt away cookies, peppermint Oreo fudge and buckeyes. Although buckeyes and fudge aren’t technically cookies, they’re so much fun to make and great recipes to make with the family because kids can jump in with you. 

4. North Pole Smoothies

One of the easiest and longest standing dessert traditions in our family is the “North Pole Smoothie”. Only two ingredients needed!  1. Your favorite vanilla ice cream and 2. sweetened frozen strawberries in syrup. You’ll thaw and puree the strawberries, then layer in a glass alternating with softened vanilla ice cream. If you want to get fancy, add crushed peppermint candies to the rim of the glass! The idea is to mimic the red and white stripes of the north pole. 

‘Tis the Season.. for sweets!

4 Reasons You Can’t Miss the Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market

Reasons You Can’t Miss the Cincinnati Holiday Market

We are the official bakery sponsor of the Cincinnati Holiday Market! Why is this event so special to us?! It marks the beginning of the holiday season, landing just weeks before Thanksgiving! We’ll be checking out all of the vendors and shopping ourselves! Here are a few reasons you won’t want to miss out on this event!

1. It’s a One Stop Shop for the Holidays

We love the Holiday Market because it gathers a unique collection of vendors with products that you can’t find just anywhere! This makes it a breeze to find gifts for anyone in your life and see everything in one easy stop.

Since the market takes place right before Thanksgiving, it’ll introduce you to new businesses and give you ideas for creative gifts so that you can get your shopping list checked off in plenty of time for Christmas.

From gourmet foods to specialty boutiques to gifts for your pets, it’s the perfect place to buy, get ideas for presents, and treat yourself to a little something!

2. Unique Vendors

The market is a great opportunity to see vendors that may be new to you and offer specialty products that you won’t see elsewhere! Last year I found incredible gourmet marshmallows, Cincinnati and Ohio themed home decor, beautiful handmade jewelry and the cutest dog hoodies.

There are smaller gifts available that are perfect for Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchanges, like mini spa kits, small batch candles, and custom t-shirts. No matter who you are shopping for, there are options for you

3. Wine Down

This isn’t just a chance to shop, the Holiday Market is a great opportunity to get friends together and “Wine Down.” The show has an awesome wine and appetizer lounge for you to hit up when you need a break. Grab a glass of wine and catch up before the busy holiday season is in fill swing. There are plenty of other food vendors available as well.

4. 3 Sweet Girls Cakery is the Bakery Sponsor

What do we bring to the table?! Sweet treats, of course! We’ll have a wide variety of decorated cookies, brownies, cake pops, chocolate dipped pretzels and Oreos, and cake push ups made just for the Holiday Market. We’ll have treats for the fall and winter seasons, Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Whether your plan to buy at the market or just want idea for holiday party desserts, we’ll have you covered! We always bring ideas and information about special ordering desserts for any gathering including corporate and personal holiday parties, birthday parties, showers and any other event you could imagine planning!

Check out our website to get a head start on ideas as you look through creations we have made in the past or fill out our order form to let us know what you’re looking for!

This year’s event is November 2nd to 4th at the Duke Energy Convention Center. We will be there Friday 11am to 7pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, and Sunday from 9am-5pm! We can’t wait to see you there!

‘Tis the Season.. for sweets!

5 (or more!) Reasons Why You Need Cookies in Your Life

5 (or more!) Reasons You Need Cookies in Your Life

Who can resist the smell of freshly baked cookies coming from the kitchen?! I know I can’t. Whether you prefer a chewy salted chocolate chip cookie, intricately decorated and iced butter cookies, or that special recipe that only your grandma can make just right, cookies are undeniably delicious.

Above all, one of my personal favorite things about cookies is that you never need an excuse to enjoy a fresh baked cookie with a glass of milk. Cookies aren’t a new trend but they sure are a lasting one, and I’m here to tell you 5 (or more) reasons why you need cookies in your life.

1. Memories

Holidays

There’s something about that nostalgic feeling that shows up with the first bite of your favorite cookie. Growing up in our family, we would get together before Christmas, make cookie dough from scratch, gather all the icing and sprinkles we could find, and spend hours decorating (and sampling!) cookies together. Then, as we headed off to bed, we’d leave a plate out for Santa to enjoy. Of course, I counted out one for each and every reindeer too.

It’s the memories that I have of baking with all generations of my family that stand out to me the most and I wouldn’t those memories for anything. Some families bake at home while others order cookies each year from that local bakery or grocery store that they have been ordering from for years. Either way, memories are created and shared around that plate of cookies and passed on year to year.

Cookie Swaps

As we got older, the tradition changed and we started hosting cookie exchange parties. Each of our friends or family will bake and bring over their favorite flavor or recipe. Some are decorated, some studded with chocolate chips and others dusted with powdered sugar. We then swap, so that everyone ends up with a variety to take home and enjoy!

Traditional Cookie Tables

In other families, wedding cookie tables are a must-have tradition at wedding receptions. Some cities, like Pittsburgh, have their own well-known regional traditions, while other times the cookie table is a cultural must-have. It’s an awesome way to give guests from all over a special taste of where you’re from! For example, I love going to Greek or Italian weddings and sampling the traditional cookies that I’d never experienced before!

 

2. Killing Two Birds with One.. Cookie?!

Believe it or not, at weddings, cookies are a great way to multitask! I’ve seen cookies used as a seating place card, favor and centerpiece all in one. Not only are the cookies a statement piece on the table and they’re also a perfect snack for before or after dinner. Bonus: Using cookies in more than one way helps you save money and stick to the budget!

Seating Place Cards

Instead of just using paper place cards, you can create custom cookies to match wedding décor and add a personalized tag for a sweet and unique touch. Guests can take home their cookie as a favor or enjoy it as a treat at the reception.

I’ve seen cookies with the couple’s monogram, favorite sports team, or even a printed out edible photo of the couple as the focal point. The options are endless and make seating cards so much more than just a piece of paper! You can check out some of the wedding cookies we’ve made or find ideas on Pinterest and then customize to your wedding colors and theme.

Party Favors

Weddings aren’t the only place to use cookies as a favor. Birthday parties, wedding and bridal showers, anniversary parties and corporate events are all great opportunities to incorporate cookies into your theme. Individually wrapped cookies can be displayed on a dessert table and taken home as a favor, again doubling as dessert and a take home gift.

Dessert Tables

Dessert tables have been one of the biggest trends for weddings, showers and birthday parties in the past few years. They are the perfect way to give guests a variety of bite size treats to choose from and create a beautiful tablescape!

Bite size thumbprint style cookies, mini iced cookies, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate dipped Oreos are all a hit with guests and add that special touch to the display. They can be decorated with colored accents, drizzled with chocolate or detailed with royal icing to be the showstopper of your party!

3. Gifts

Have you ever needed the perfect gift to thank someone who you couldn’t live without, an idea to surprise a friend or relative for their birthday, or a way to show your appreciation for a teacher, doctor, bus driver?! Cookies are a great way to do just that.

Customized butter cookies can come in nearly any design and fit any theme. From doctors and nurses, school busses and apples, to birthday cakes with custom sayings, cookies can bring a smile to anyone’s face and show how much you truly appreciate them!

One of the most rewarding parts of owning a bakery is the opportunity to make special, one of a kind gifts that truly touch lives. We create cookies to thank doctor’s who have brought new born babies into the world and helped conquer cancer, teacher’s who have made sure every student leaves the classroom with a smile, and bus driver’s who get children to and from school safely each and every day.

With so many options, decorated butter cookies, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, or even chocolate dipped Oreo cookies can all be the perfect way to show your love and appreciation!

4. Corporate Promotion & Celebrations

Have you ever gone to a corporate event and left with a pen, notebook, or magnet as your take home gift and soon after wondered where it disappeared too? Yes, these gifts are practical and marked with a logo, but how much more memorable would it be to leave the meeting or event with a customized butter cookie that comes branded with your company’s logo and colors?!

Just like with seating place cards, corporate cookies can double as a favor, snack, center piece and even business card! Cookies catch a potential client’s attention at a pitch meeting, can be sent home in a goody bag, or be handed out at a networking event. Talk about the perfect post-meeting pick-me-up!

 

5. Endless Flavor Options!

Last but not least, you need cookies in your life because they come in endless flavor options, and endless isn’t much of an exaggeration! It would be hard to find someone who didn’t like a least one kind of cookie. From butter cookies, a firmer cookie similar to a shortbread that comes decorated with royal icing, to chocolate chip cookies that can be soft, chewy, crunchy or somewhere in between, there’s a cookie out there for everyone!

My favorite cookie tip: Find your favorite cookie recipe and then experiment with it! Change the flavoring, type of chocolate chips or other add-in ingredients to make it your own! I use my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and adjust it for other events or seasons. It has changed from a plain old chocolate chip to salted chocolate chip, s’mores, peanut butter chip, salted caramel toffee and birthday cake.

It was even used for sea salt caramel chip cookies at a beer and cookie pairing with Rhinegeist Brewery. Talk about versatile! Maybe just by adding a hint of lemon or almond to a classic butter cookie you can bring back that same taste of the cookies your grandma used to make!

If you’re not already inspired to bake some cookies, think about the other bonus that comes with trying out new recipes… eating them! And if you’re not much of a baker yourself, check out our cookie page for lots of ideas that we’d love to customize just for you!

Contact us for more cookie inspiration and ideas!