5 easy Christmas cookies to make this holiday season

Christmas is just around the corner, which means it's the perfect time to practice your cookie making skills before Santa comes sliding down your chimney. Whether you’re hosting a lot of family and friends this holiday season or attending another holiday gathering, here are five cookies to easily bake. 'RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER,' CHARLIE BROWN AND … Continue reading “5 easy Christmas cookies to make this holiday season”

Christmas is just around the corner, which means it's the perfect time to practice your cookie making skills before Santa comes sliding down your chimney.

Whether you’re hosting a lot of family and friends this holiday season or attending another holiday gathering, here are five cookies to easily bake.

'RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER,' CHARLIE BROWN AND OTHER HOLIDAY CLASSICS SPARKING CONTROVERSY

Santa hat cookies

These cookies take inspiration from the jolly man himself. Use a cookie cutter to make these hat shapes before decorating them with red and white icing after they’re baked.

As a separate option, use a sugar cookie as a base and use red icing or a strawberry to create a hat-looking shape. A small marshmallow or white icing can be used to top off Santa’s hat.

Gingersnap cookies with a twist 

Put a twist on traditional gingersnap cookies by dipping half of the cookie in Christmas colored-icing, such as red, green or white.

Traditional holiday shapes 

What's better than a classic Christmas cookie? Use holiday-themed cookie cutters — such as a snowflake, candy cane, Christmas tree or star — to create the shapes before decorating them with icing and sprinkles.

Red and green cookies 

Use food dye to add red or green colors to the batter. Bake and top with fun garnishes — or leave as is. One Instagram user said her green-colored cookies were inspired by Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

“Rudolph” cookies 

CHRISTMAS SHIPPING DEADLINES: AMAZON, UPS AND OTHER DELIVERY SERVICES' HOLIDAY SCHEDULES

Using your favorite batter, bake traditional round cookies and then use icing to draw antlers and eyes. Use a piece of round, red candy to give the famed reindeer his bright nose.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

4 foods to never cook in a cast iron pan

There are very few cast-iron rules to go with your cast-iron pan, but there are some foods it's best to avoid. Most people who cook with cast-iron pans love them with the heat of a thousand suns.

After all, they’re a must for so many one-skillet meals not to mention they’re handy for everything from breakfast to dessert (really—these cast iron desserts are so so good). However, as good as your skillet can be for making all these favorites, it’s not a tool suited for all foods.

Find out what dishes you should avoid making in your cast iron.

Smelly foods

Garlic, peppers, some fish, stinky cheeses and more tend to leave aromatic memories with your pan that will turn up in the next couple of things you cook in it. Ten minutes in a 400ºF oven will generally get rid the smell, but it’s best to avoid cooking foods that would be ruined by those lingering aromas for the next few cooks. (We’re looking at you, chocolate pecan skillet cookie.)

Eggs and other sticky things

Once your pan is well-seasoned, no problem at all. But when your pan is new, even though it’s seasoned, sticky things like eggs still may present a problem. Unless you like brown eggs and a gunky pan, relegate them to a regular nonstick pan for a while.

Delicate fish

The same heat retention that means your steak will get a beautiful brown crust in a cast iron pan will probably be the end of your lovely piece of trout or tilapia. Save the delicate fish for the non-stick pan, too. But salmon and other meaty fish that can stand the heat are fine.

Acidic foods

There seem to be mixed feelings on this one. Some people say that tomatoes or lemons can react with the metal and cause it to leach into the food and break down the seasoning of the pan. Others believe that’s a myth.

One thing to note: This list is for traditional cast-iron pans. If you’ve got an enamel-coated cast iron pan (like this one), you don’t need to adhere to this list—you can just get cooking!

And if you do make a mistake with your cast iron pan and it gets really dirty—we’ve got the cleaning tips you need plus a step-by-step lesson on how to re-season your pan. Cast iron is tough and can withstand a slip-up or two.

This story was originally published in Taste of Home.