This shop featuring some fun and delicious Holiday Piñata Cookies and two cute DIY decor ideas for holiday tables, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BIGSeason #BigLots #CollectiveBias
The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year – and one of the most expensive. Between holiday shopping, decorating the home, school programs, class parties, office parties and all the other seasonal activities, there’s hardly any time left to prepare to for your own holiday gathering! And if you are anything like me, you want your holiday party to be something special. One that creates special memories for your children and everyone else you love.
Growing up we would celebrate many of the major Jewish holidays at several different relative’s homes. One in particular is the source of some of my fondest holiday memories. While we weren’t really related to this family, we were so close that I’d always thought of them as my aunt, uncle and cousins. There were many years where we’d gather to celebrate Hanukkah together. We’d bundle up in our jackets, hurry to the car, and race to beat the sunset so we could all light the candles together. I can still remember the rush of warm air filled with delectable aromas that would greet us as they opened the door. The house would be decked out in twinkling blue lights, with silver and blue Star of David ornaments, colorful dreidels and other symbols of the holiday on display throughout the rooms. The table would be set with her best china and crystal. But most of all I remember the laughter, the joy and the happiness of being with those we love and of the season.
These memories are so special to me, that I want to recreate the same for my family. And since we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, I get two chances to do so! When my husband and I first got married, I didn’t have a lot of what I needed to decorate and cook, so we headed to Big Lots to get what we lacked. I was able to stock up on decorations, table linens, glass ware, bake ware, and all the other items needed to set a gorgeous table and prepare a delicious meal. That’s also the year I realized that Big Lots carries a large variety of food items, too, including a full selection of baking ingredients such as flour, sugar, nuts and decorating candies.
This year since Hanukkah fell a few weeks ahead of Christmas, I went to Big Lots to grab a few more things to create a lovely Hanukkah table setting. While I still have much of what we bought a few years ago, I go there each year to get wrapping paper and ribbon, extra lights, and any other holiday items I may need. They always have such a great selection and the best deals! Of course the styles and assortment will vary from store to store, but you’re sure to find something that you’ll love!
I found some great blue place mats, and a new white tablecloth, both of which will look amazing with my china! And when I came across this cool glass vase, I knew that with a few blue and silver ornaments and some flowers, it’d make a great centerpiece.
Since I was on a DIY decor kick, I also picked up some candles and ribbon. Once home, with the help of a little hot glue, I’d have my own pair of decorative candles to go on either side of the vase!
In addition to decorating, each Hanukkah I like to make some type of special Hanukkah cookie. This year I knew exactly what I wanted to bake: Hanukkah Piñata Cookies! So while at Big Lots I made sure to grab some flour and sugar, and a bottle of blue and white snowflake decorating sprinkles. I also picked up a new set of cookie sheets, a glass mixing bowl, a set of cooling racks and this cute spatula that I just had to have! Didn’t the cookies come out cute?
Want to see just how easy it is to make these Holiday Piñata Cookies? Although I made mine in the shape of Stars of David for Hanukkah, you can make them in any shape you’d like. In fact, I plan on making them again for Christmas, but this time in the shape of Christmas tree ornaments! And while they taste delicious, what really makes them special is the candy surprise inside.
Hanukkah Pinata Cookies
These piñata cookies may seem difficult to make, but they really aren’t! Just a few things to keep in mind before you start. First of all, be sure to use a no spread sugar cookie dough recipe. You want the cookies to be as close in size as possible. For piñata cookies you will need three individual cookies, one for the top, one for the middle which will have a cut out center for the candy, and one for the top. Keep this in mind when you make your dough so you will have enough.
Here’s What To Do:
Begin by making your sugar cookie dough. I used the recipe in the printable recipe box below. Once the cookie dough is made, go ahead and roll it out. To make this easier – and less messy – I lay a piece of wax or parchment paper down, put a ball of dough on it, place another sheet on top of the dough, then press it out into a circle shape with my fingers. I then roll it out to about 1/4″ thickness. Using parchment paper also prevents that extra flour from getting in the dough!
As you finish rolling out each dough ball, place the entire thing, cookie dough and paper, on a cookie tray and pop it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. By the time you are finished rolling out all of the dough, the first sheet you put in will be ready to be cut. Remember, you’ll need 3 cookies for each piñata cookie.
Now, using a small square cookie cutter or a knife, cut the centers out of 1/3 of the cookies. Depending on the shape you selected, make sure you leave at least 1/4″ all the way around. Refrigerate the cookies for another 30 minutes – this helps keep the dough from spreading too much.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°. Once the cookies are chilled, bake them one tray at a time for 11-14 minutes until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from the oven, and then allow the cookies to cool completely.
Set the cookies in the order you are going to assemble them on your baking sheet or cooling rack. One at a time, pipe a thin line of frosting along the outside edge of the cookies without the cutout.
Next press one of the cookies with the center cut out on top of the cookie you just frosted.
Now fill the opening with small candies like this…
… and then pipe a thin line of frosting around the outside edge.
Top it with another plain cookie, and allow them to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will give the frosting time to harden so the cookie layers will stay together.
Once the thirty minutes has passed, spread a thin layer of frosting over the very top of the cookies…
…then decorate any way you’d like using sprinkles and candies. After that, all that’s left is to enjoy!
Now that wasn’t too hard, was it?! Here’s the handy, dandy printable to help make holiday planning a bit simpler.
- 4-1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 -1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter at room temp.
- 2 large eggs at room temp/
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract, mixing until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time and stir until just combined.
- Once the cookie dough is made, go ahead and roll it out.
- To make this easier - and less messy - lay a piece of wax or parchment paper down, put a ball of dough on it, place another sheet on top of the dough, then press it out into a circle shape with your fingers. Then roll it out to about 1/4" thickness.
- As you finish rolling out each dough ball, place the entire thing, paper and dough, on a cookie tray and pop it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
- Once dough is chilled, use a small square cookie cutter or a knife to cut the centers out of 1/3 of the cookies. Depending on the shape you selected, make sure you leave at least 1/4" all around. Refrigerate the cookies for another 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°.
- Once the cookies are chilled, bake them one tray at a time for 11-14 minutes until the edges just begin to brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool completely.
- Set the cookies in the order you are going to assemble them on your baking sheet.
- One at a time, pipe a thin line of frosting along the outside edge of one of the cookies without the cutout.
- Next press one of the cookies with the center cut out on top of the cookie you just frosted.
- Now fill the opening with small candies.
- Pipe a thin line of frosting around the outside edge.
- Top it with another plain cookie, and allow them to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will give the frosting time to harden so the cookie layers will stay together.
- Once the thirty minutes has passed, spread a thin layer of frosting over the very tops.
- Then decorate any way you'd like using sprinkles and candies.
Do you have any special holiday family traditions? I’d love to know! Share with us below!
Happy holiday planning!