In the spirit a little early… (and a sweet giveaway)

Each holiday has its appropriate time period. I get that. Halloween gets October, Thanksgiving gets November, and starting on Black Friday, it’s Christmas everywhere.

But I’m one of the many committing the overly-excited holiday faux pas. Starting with this.


Hey, when you live alone in San Francisco in an apartment the size of a closet and are single, you do what you need to do to make home feel homier. So, I am owning the fact that I have the tree up already. Suck it, haters! : )

And spent the whole day listening to the Spotify Ultimate Holiday Playlist. Note to anyone considering this: I highly recommend listening to Dominick the Donkey by Lou Monte. It will ruin holiday music for you forever.


After my glorious and VERY much needed Lazy Sunday, I had a big choice to make:


Special shout-out to Angela for suggesting that baking = cross training. YES!

I decided on the perfect compromise: I’d go on a four-mile run that conveniently ended at the supermarket, where I could buy ingredients for cookies. Win-win!


I took my new shoes (Mizuno Wave Inspire 8s) out for their first spin today. My Brooks Adrenalines breathed their last breath during my 16-mile run yesterday so I knew I needed something fast. I was praying that these worked out. And it was just four miles, but they did just fine!

8:35/8:05/7:46/7:38 miles! Yes, they were downhill, but still, I rarely see anything in the 7s so I’m pleased.


Then I ended up at the grocery store for cookie ingredients! I recently received coupons from Duncan Hines via the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, so I figured I’d come up with my own holiday-ish recipe using their products as a base. I checked online and tried to adapt the Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies recipe slightly to fit my tastes.

The ingredients:

    • 1 box Red Velvet cake mix
    • 2 eggs
    • 6T butter, melted and cooled
    • 1t almond extract
    • 1C white chocolate chips
    • 1C powdered sugar
    • 1t cornstarch


Note to everyone: baking at my apartment is terrifying. My gas stove tends to smoke for the first ten minutes and the internal temperature is usually about 100 degrees hotter than what the dial is set to. Thank God I have an internal thermometer. But that’s why I’ve started fires…


Mixed the butter/eggs/almond extract together and then added to the cake mix box and blended. Once that was more or less smooth, I added a bajillion white chocolate chips.


Then, rolled the dough into balls and rolled them in a dish of the powdered sugar mixed with the cornstarch.


And you don’t actually need to grease the pan, don’t mind me not reading instructions for the first batch…


Put them in the oven for what was supposedly in the neighborhood of 350 for about 12 minutes and viola!


Mine didn’t have as cool of a cracked look—most of the powdered sugar seemed to disappear (sad). But numerous taste tests meant these cookies had my approval, I don’t like dry cookies, and these definitely aren’t—moist and flavorful. Yum.


I also picked up a can of DH cream cheese frosting and whipped it up with a bunch of powdered sugar to give it a more solid consistency and frosted those puppies up.

Deeeeelicious and was the perfect “milk and cookies in front of the tree” thing.



I want to sweeten up your life so I’m going to send two readers three coupons each for DH products of your choosing—that’s a cake mix, a can of frosting AND an extra brownie mix or something once the cake is gone Smile

To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite holiday dessert is. I’ll pick two winners on Sunday.

Have a great week everyone!



What’s your favorite holiday dessert? :)


  • Comments

    1. I totally need this for the cookie party bake off thing. Help a sista out! PS YOUR TREE IS SO CUTE!!
      Alyssa recently posted..SFM Discount CodeMy Profile

    2. Awesome shoes! And YUMMMMMMMMM!
      XLMIC recently posted..Jingle Bell Hell 2011My Profile

    3. i loveee pumpkin pie :)

    4. Those shoes look fast! ;) I love pumpkin pie and extra-fudgey brownies.
      Kimra recently posted..Runday Playlist and a 2:00 ExperimentMy Profile

    5. Pumpkin pie is yummy love your blog by the way
      kaliesthoughts recently posted..Fitness, health, food, and other random thoughtsMy Profile

    6. Carrot cake…Ghiardelli brownies…those red velvet cookies look goo too :) Sounds like you made a day of it and miniature tree? Why no go year-round? It’s cute!
      Victoria recently posted..12 Minute DistractionsMy Profile

    7. My favorite holiday dessert is pecan pie! What can I say when I indulge I really indulge!

    8. My favorite holiday dessert is my dad’s chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

    9. I had red velvet crinkle cookies for the first time last Friday. The store-bought kind, not homemade. But they were still so delicious, especially with the creme cheese frosting. I’m sure yours were divine!

      And hey, sweet splits on the 4-miler :)
      Sesa recently posted..Tapering, and the “Random Stuff Sesa Will Do To Ward Off Tapering-Related Anxiety” planMy Profile

    10. I love love love Christmas cookies!! The ones that are in the shape of trees and snowmen etc and frosted. Mmmm
      The Healthy Engineer recently posted..When Engineering Becomes InjuringMy Profile

    11. I am SO with you on the Christmas tree thing…Mine was up on November 4th!!! And as for the baking…Well, I am a Christmas baking FREAK. It’s the one time of year I bake my ars off AND eat more of it than I should!

      Last weekend I baked up some of Granmda Biss’s Whipped Shortbread cookies and whole wheat peppermint brownies with white chocolate candy cane glaze…

      This weekend we are heading out to my parents place where my mother and I will spent about 10 -14 hours baking in the kitchen! We are pretty hardcore ;)

      Break out the stretchy pants!
      Katie@Real Food Katie’s Way recently posted..Must Love YogaMy Profile

    12. That looks delicious. You definitely made the right call. :)

      Did you just walk back? I’ve occasionally run to & from errands, but only ones that didn’t involve carrying anything that won’t fit in my little pouch. That’s the main thing that stops me from jogging to the grocery store (which is otherwise a great running distance)!

      Curious to hear how the shoes work out!
      Angela @ SF Road Warrior recently posted..Marathon Training, Week 11: In Which I Manage My ExpectationsMy Profile

    13. christmas cookies are my favorite@

    14. Love russian tea cakes-I am going to give your recipe a try :)
      Happy Thanksgiving :)

    15. Pumpkin Pie
      rjs682 at yahoo dot com

      • Took me time to read all the comments, but I truly ejoeynd the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I’m positive to all the commenters right here It’s always good when you can not only be informed, but also entertained I’m sure you had fun writing this article.

    16. Favorite holiday dessert… sugar cookies with butter cream frosting.

    17. I LOVE holiday cookies. My favorite holiday dessert though is chocolate pecan pie!
      Jeffrey recently posted..Eyelid Surgery GuideMy Profile

    18. My favorite holiday treat is mom’s cookies…she makes a chocolate cookie that is almost like a brownie, with the same cracked powdered sugar top that you did on these!
      Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous recently posted..ThankfulMy Profile

    19. mine is sugar cookies

    20. My favorite holiday desert: salted caramel banana bread muffin!
      Sometimes I add some choco chips to it for variety. The key ingredient though, is the salt.

      Some of the above mentions sound very interesting. Would love to get those recipes!

    21. My favorite is iced sugar cookies
      tmc480 at yahoo dot com

    22. We always rock our “Christmas corner” in our little apartment — a small fake tree, with stockings on the wall. We’re thinking of getting a real tiny tree this year…but I am FREAKED OUT that the tree will bring spiders in the house. I had a traumatic incident as a kid…involving hatching spiders eggs…

      favorite holiday treat: whipped cream, shot straight in the mouth. yup.
      RoseRunner recently posted..Don’t Run Unless You Want to DieMy Profile

    23. Mike Stewart says:

      A delicious dessert for the whole family!
      Mike Stewart recently posted..Reason For Failure in Cake MakingMy Profile

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