I love to cook, but I’m not much of a baker. I make birthday cakes throughout the year, but that’s pretty much it. And those start with a box mix. BUT, Christmas time is a different story. It’s the one time of year I love to bake. Which is good, because I make so many scrumptious cookies and treats, we’d all be 20 pounds heavier if I did this more often.

I have some old standbys that I make every year, many of which my late sister-in-law, who passed at the young age of 34, used to make for the whole family. So they’re a tribute to Sheree.

Last year, though, I kind of hit a wall of boredom. And I realized it’s because almost every single thing I made consisted of chocolate and peanut butter. Now, don’t get me wrong. What better combination is there, right? Chocolate and peanut butter wins in my household every.single.time.

Lately, though, I’ve noticed a lot of turtle-type treats. For years, everyone in my house, including a nephew for the last two years, asks for a turtle cake for their birthday. I have two boxes of turtle brownie mix in the cupboard this very moment. When we buy refrigerated cookie dough, it’s almost always the turtle variety. (Oh, yeah, I guess I do that kind of “baking” a few times throughout the year, but that doesn’t really count.)

So this year I’m on the lookout for new recipes that aren’t just chocolate and peanut butter. Apparently, caramel is also a fave in my house, so here are a couple yummies I think I’ll give a go this year, although I’ll start out with my own dough so I don’t feel like I’m cheating. That’s what the rest of the year is for.

Hmm…still sticking with that chocolate and peanut butter trend, just adding in caramel, too. I’ll be making these (and will let you know how they are), but I’m still on the lookout for new ideas.

What are your favorite cookies and treats you make at Christmas? Any trends in your family? Care to share any recipes? Is your mouth watering just looking at those? Mine is! *Hands out napkins for the drool*