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HO, HO, Santa Needs his Cocoa… Cascara

Christmas is about spending time with your family, watching holiday movies, decorating, and of course waiting for Santa to come down the chimney with presents (and hopefully no coal)! Christmas cookies might just be his favorite part about the holiday, and what's a better way to serve them than with our Cocoa Cascara tea?! Whidbey’s Cocoa Cascara tea is the perfect holiday tea because of all the delicious and decadent flavors -- it reminds me more of a hot cocoa than a traditional tea! The combination of cocoa husks, cinnamon, orange, chocolate, and cascara just screams Christmas! Just think about it... instead of sipping on cold milk Santa will have a nice cup of hot, holiday tea to dunk his cookies in!


Every time I sip on a cup of this tea, it takes me back to my childhood when I would be sitting in front of my fireplace, surrounded by the ones I love most, snow falling on the ground, and impatiently waiting for the arrival of Santa. The taste of this tea reminds me of the chocolate oranges I would get in my stocking every year, which makes it the perfect option for Santa! This creative blend is a must have for St. Nick, but what about the cookie?


I recommend pairing classic gingerbread cookies with Cocoa Cascara!! The mouthwatering combination of cinnamon and ginger compliment the Cocoa Cascara’s flavor perfectly. They’re also fun to decorate, a personal touch I’m sure Santa Clause will appreciate. Growing up, my favorite way to decorate was with icing and then adding a ton of festive sprinkles, creating little gingerbread men and women! You can get pretty creative, so it’s a lot of fun for the whole family! 



I’ve put my favorite recipe below in hopes that you’ll decide to follow along with my recommendation and make a fun family night out of baking and preparing for the big man to arrive. The recipe will leave your cookies with a soft center, crisp edges, and just the right amount of spice. I know many of you are shocked at the thought of not following tradition in leaving cookies and milk, but trust me when I say this year Santa will be thanking you!

Now head to the store, pick up your favorite holiday sprinkles, and get baking! Wishing you all a very happy holiday and a healthy new year! 


Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Ginger, Ground
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Cinnamon, Ground
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

Directions:


Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla;mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.


Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


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