This post is sponsored by SC Johnson. All opinions are my own.
The holidays have always been a sweet spot in the year for me, filled with family and lots of cozy time in the kitchen. Growing up my sister and I helped my mom create the most amazing cookie plates. Packed to the brim with magic bars, fudge, smoked pecans, chocolate chip cookies, Italian wedding cookies, peanut brittle and more, we were always proud to hand over these paper plates of holiday cheer to our teachers, neighbors and co-workers.
Ever since then my hope is that every holiday memory I create with my own family will be saturated with that same joy. The magic that only happens in the kitchen is one that I desire to bring my own boys into, so that down the road they can instill that legacy in their children and their children’s children.
Because my boys are only 5 and 2 creating that magic can be a challenge at times. They both stand on dining room chairs next to me as I attempt to explain the end goal in the midst of wiggles and giggles. The fact is that they can’t stir a boiling hot cauldron of fudge at the moment, but they have the ability and desire to drizzle all the things with frosting and dashes of sprinkles. I suppose that’s the root of all magic anyway!
This year I thought it would be really fun to create baked donuts that they could mix, pour and decorate easily. A simple cake mix donut with store-bought frosting does the trick, and Ziploc® brand sandwich bags create the perfect piping bags for little hands. A quick trip to Walmart makes getting all the ingredients easy so we can be on way to holiday legacy-making in no time!
Another reason I love the idea of creating in the kitchen with my kids is that we now have an opportunity to make something we can bless others with. A big part of my love for those cookie plates was having a chance to gift them. Seeing someone else take joy in what we made for them was so fun, and we would feel uplifted all day because of that.
A fun project for my 5-year-old was making little Winter Wonderland “snowglobes” out of Ziploc® brand Twist ‘N Loc containers. We simply made cupcakes, pulled the tops off and then recycled the bottoms for cake pops to be made at a later date. Piping more frosting from our trusty Ziploc® brand sandwich bags and building the marshmallow snowmen had the two of us giggling, but I think his favorite part was proudly handing them to friends only to watch them gasp with delight over his hard work. It’s a beautiful thing seeing my kids give to others – makes the resulting sugar high totally worth it!
The best part about both of these projects is that the creativity is endless. Colors, sprinkles, candies – all of it can be adjusted to whatever you love. The best thing is just pressing play on the project and letting the magic of the holidays take over!
DIY DONUT WREATHS
Makes 10 donuts
- 1 (16.25 oz) box cake mix of choice (we used white cake mix)
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 (16 oz) cans store-bought frosting of choice (we used vanilla frosting)
- decorating items of choice: sprinkles, M&Ms, food coloring, candy, etc.
- 4 Ziploc® brand sandwich bags
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Spray a donut pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Note: if you have two donut pans you can bake them all in one batch. Otherwise this step will need to be repeated for the second batch of donuts.
- Whisk together the cake mix, egg, milk and coconut oil.
- Pour the batter into two of the Ziploc® brand sandwich bags.
- Cut one of the tips off with a sharp pair of scissors.
- Pipe the batter into the prepared donut pan. (If using two donut pans then pipe all of the batter; if only using one do half of the batter and reserve the second half to bake when the first batch is cooling.)
- Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
- Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then gently remove the donuts to a cooling rack.
- Repeat if using only one donut pan.
- Allow the donuts to cool completely before frosting them.
- If coloring the frosting first stir together the desired food coloring and frosting until the desired color is reached.
- To frost, scoop the frosting into the remaining two Ziploc® brand sandwich bags.
- Cut the tip off.
- Squeeze the frosting onto the donuts in whatever fashion you (or your kids) want. The fun is in being creative and maybe even a bit messy.
- Decorate as desired with sprinkles, candy, etc.
- Enjoy immediately or allow to harden slightly and take to friends and neighbors to enjoy!
WINTER WONDERLAND GLOBES
Makes up to 12 globes
- 1 (16.25 oz) box cake mix of choice (we used Red Velvet)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 (16 oz) cans white frosting of choice (vanilla or cream cheese are perfect)
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 24 jumbo marshmallows 24-48 toothpicks
- 12 chocolate kisses
- 12 Ziploc® brand Twist ‘N Loc® medium containers
- 2 Ziploc® brand sandwich bags
- Black decorating gel (to create a face and buttons on the snowmen)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners; I find that parchment ones work the best.
- Lightly spray the top with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl whisk together the cake mix, eggs, water and vegetable oil for 2 minutes.
- Evenly portion the batter into the prepared cupcake liners.
- Bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before continuing.
- While the cupcakes are cooling you can assemble the snowmen by stacking two marshmallows and then carefully inserting toothpicks to hold them in place.
- Insert the tip of one of the toothpicks into one chocolate kiss to make a hat.
- Make sure to leave about ½ to ¾ of an inch of one of the toothpicks for helping the snowman to stand up.
- To make each globe, carefully pull the top of each cupcake off of the base.
- Reserve the base of each cupcake to use later.
- Place the cupcake top on the inside of the Ziploc® brand Twist ‘N Loc® container lid. This will become the base of the globe.
- Scoop the white frosting into a Ziploc® brand sandwich bag and cut off the tip.
- Pipe the frosting carefully onto the cupcake top.
- Evenly sprinkle the frosting with about 1 tablespoon of the flaked coconut.
- Place one snowman on top of the cupcake top and gently press the toothpick into the cake to stabilize the snowman.
- Gently invert the container and screw the lid on.
- Give to friends and neighbors to enjoy!