Peppermint-Eggnog Punch + Christmas Cookies

by Jenn (eating bender) on December 3, 2008

I am breathing a big sigh of relief today. Two of my three classes are now over and done with – took the finals yesterday and hopefully did well! – and now I just wait until next week to take the final for my last class. Then it’s home for a three-week vacation! My school is on a slightly different schedule than everyone else since we’re on the quarter system, which probably explains why it still seems early to some of you!

The number of things I want to write about are OVERWHELMING. There is so much to say – and so little time to say it in! I will do my best to convey it in a way that is still coherent 😉 First, we’ve got to take a little trip back home…

Before I had to return to school 👿 my family and I decorated our Christmas tree. Disclaimer: If you are not a holiday lover – cough cough ANDREA! – then you are in for many groans ahead! I still love ya, though – and hope you’ll keep reading!!


Truth be told, it was actually just my brother and me who decorated this beauty. DON’T EVEN TRY TO DENY IT, PADRES!! The conversation went something like this:

Me: Come over here and help us!

Parents: But you two are doing such a good job!

Yeah. We did a rockin’ job. Around the Christmas tree. And now you have that song stuck in your head, don’t you?!

I can forgive them, though, because Mama Bender whipped up a batch of her awesome Peppermint-Eggnog Punch for the occasion!!


YUM! You haven’t given eggnog a real chance until you’ve tried this recipe. My mom gets it from this really cool old recipe book:


Yes, that says 1990! Hello, history! I think it’s from the days we lived in North Carolina. I lived there from when I was 2 until I was 6. Just a little fun fact for ya! Anyway, here is the recipe – I think this book is old enough that they wouldn’t mind me posting it!

Ingredients (makes 16 servings):


We make a few substitutions to make it slightly healthier.


Our peppermint ice cream is Dreyer’s Slow Churned and our eggnog is lowfat. Also, instead of using peppermint sticks, we add this:


The story behind raspberry flavoring is that we used to use RASPBERRY ginger ale with this punch. But then they stopped carrying it :( So my mom improvised, and it tastes just as delightful!


Pour all liquid ingredients into a pitcher big enough to hold everything.


Add 1 tbsp. of the raspberry syrup.


Add in the peppermint ice cream and stir!!


But here’s a BIG TIP: keep several big chunks in there for consumption 😉 This is why the punch is better when you drink it for the first time. Otherwise the ice cream melts and blends in.


Finally, make sure to test the punch for safety reasons.


Why yes, I am indeed wearing a bathrobe. I was on BREAK, ok?!?!

Separate the punch into glasses and serve! You are gonna love it!


Nutrition Information (per 1 cup serving):

  • 165 calories
  • 3g fat
  • 29g carbohydrates
  • 0g fiber
  • 5g protein

I really hope that you will try this punch sometime during the holiday season. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed – even if you normally wouldn’t care for eggnog. That’s the beauty of the ginger ale – it cancels out the eggnog-like taste! Please let me know if you do try it in the comments!!

Continuing the theme of the holidays and taking the trip back to school…

Last night, the roomie and I had a Christmas cookie baking extravaganza! Complete with Christmas music ringing through the kitchen. So what little treat did we decide to make?


Hershey’s Peanut Butter Blossoms!! These are my favorite holiday cookies of all time. I know that they’re probably not techically just for the holidays, but that’s when my mom would make them – so that’s what I associate them with! But K and I used her mom’s special recipe, which means I will post it here for you all to enjoy :) We also used Hershey’s Rich Dark Chocolate Kisses to be different.

Ingredients (makes 24 blossoms):

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1.75 cups all-purpose flour
  • 24 Hershey’s Rich Dark Chocolate Kisses

I used Maranatha Peanut Butter and it made the cookies so much more “natural” tasting! I love that stuff.


Preheat oven to 375* and combine the first four ingredients into a mixing bowl.


Stir until well blended. Then add in the egg, vanilla, salt and baking soda.


Stir again until well blended. Just follow the model:


That’d be my roomie :) Then add in the flour and mix until the flour is completely integrated into the batter. At this point, you will have legitimate cookie dough. Consume if you want to 😉 Haha!


If you can resist the temptation to dig in with a spoon, parcel out the dough into tiny balls. I’d say they are just slightly smaller than a ping pong ball in size. Roll the balls in a small bowl of granulated sugar.


Once they are coated, space them out evenly on a cookie sheet.


Bake them in the oven at 375* for 8 minutes, or until dough begins to crack. You still want them to be pretty raw when you pull them out for the first time! Do not overcook! Place a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie and push down lightly – the dough will crack even more.


Return the pan to the oven for another 2 minutes, or until the chocolate kisses are just slightly melted. Pull the pan back out of the oven and let cool for roughly 5 minutes. When cookies are movable, transfer them to a paper bag – this absorbs some of the oil from all that butter! It’s a neat little trick from K’s Mom!!


Now here’s the key: you MUST let these cookies cool for several hours! It takes a long time for the chocolate to set and hold sturdy, so be patient! For the sake of the blog, I tried one of the cookies with a glass of almond milk while they were still gooey…


And proceeded to get chocolate all over my face :mrgreen: No, you don’t get to see a picture of that. Muahaha. But in all seriousness, these cookies are THE BEST. We packed up the rest of them and gave them to some of our professors – because we are nerdy suck ups AWESOME – and I’m also giving some to Bobby because, you know, I think he’s ok.

Nutrition Information (per cookie):

  • 125 calories
  • 5g fat
  • 18g carbohydrates
  • 1g fiber
  • 2g protein

Whew! If you’ve stuck with me this far, I commend you. I hope that you were able to get some enjoyment out of this over the top holiday extravanza of a post!

Believe it or not, I still have SO much I want to tell you about. I will save it for tomorrow – but please know that it is something BIG. Something HUGE. And it involves YOU and something that YOU could potentially WIN!! Now how’s that for a teaser?

Last but certainly not least, be sure to check out the latest challenge that Mark and Heather have going on over at Hangry Pants. These two are so incredibly thoughtful – every comment left on this post during the month is worth 5 cents that will be donated to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. That, my dear readers, is the definition of a true foodie – one who loves to talk, eat and write about food…but is also working to find a way to make sure that others can have that same opportunity. Thank you to both Mark and Heather for being so inspiring.

1 Andrea December 3, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Bah-humbug! Of course I kept reading! But, if I visit your site, and you have Christmas music piping from it, I might have to stop visiting until Dec 26 :)
I believe my Mom still has all the ISSUES of Southern Living from about 1986 to 1997. I would say she’s a dork, but I keep all my Sunset Magazines, so I guess regional magazine hoarding is in the genes.

2 Sarah December 3, 2008 at 6:07 pm

FUN post! the tree is beautiful–you and your bro did a fab job : )

i would fail miserably at those cookies—there is just no way humanly possible for me to wait more than 37 seconds to dig in to a fresh out of the oven cookie. man, i wish i had some self-control.

3 VeggieGirl December 3, 2008 at 6:08 pm

FEW!! So glad that you’re almost FULLY done with school stuff until break – hooray!! :-)

Okay, the EXTREME abundance of holiday goodness in this post (everything from the decorations to the eats/drinks) is just TOO DELIGHTFUL!!! Love it.

Can’t wait to find out the big news!!! You teaser 😉

4 Jenny December 3, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Beautiful Christmas tree!! You and your bro did an amazing job, haha I WISH my little brother would put up decorations with me, but no, it’s left with me and my mom…and you look soo cozy in that bathrobe-that was totally me all throughout break! :)

Yummy recipes! Those Hershey’s kiss cookies ARE amazing, my mom used to make them all the time! My dad is a big eggnog fan, so maybe I’ll throw the recipe his way 😉

You can’t tease us like that Jenn!! I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got “cookin”!!

5 Betsy December 3, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Oh my! I saved that punch recipe! YUM!

6 Erin December 3, 2008 at 6:28 pm

That was wonderfully Christmas-y!
I loveeeeee those cookies. My mom and I always make them at Christmas too. But I never wait until they are set to eat them! Yummy!

7 Marianne December 3, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Cookies! I love those cookies! I must get on some holiday baking once I’m done my final tomorrow. Then I will need to find people to give it all away to, otherwise I will eat it all.

PS – can’t wait for the surprise!

8 Maggie December 3, 2008 at 6:43 pm

You DID do a rockin job, and I LOVE the bathrobe!

This post is amazing. I am getting so hungry now. I have to go eat a muffin or something.

9 Erica December 3, 2008 at 6:46 pm

The eggnog the cookies oh my! The egg nog recipe looks out of this world! So yummy! yayyyyy for you only having 1 big test left! That is so exciting! Enjoy yourself!

10 marafaye December 3, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Ok, gorgeous tree…and I can’t believe you’re calling a book from 1990 OLD!!! HA! I have my grandmas 1972 Southern Living cookbooks… now THOSE are old!

11 Nicole December 3, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Love the tree!!!!! Fabulous job on that!

12 HangryPants December 3, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Yay! Thank you so much for mentioning the food drive. I hope more peeps comment.

Pretty tree, bath robe, etc. You have a nice apartment for college kids. I like how your roomie gets in on the blog action.

13 HangryPants December 3, 2008 at 7:16 pm

P.S. Did you see the day before Thanksgiving I posted a cookbook that my mom still uses from the 1950s!!!!!!!

14 Amanda December 3, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Oh. My. Gosh. The eggnog concoction looks AMAZING.

Will be trying in the future. Tummy believes it will be happy. Brain agrees.


15 ksgoodeats December 3, 2008 at 7:40 pm

GORGEOUS Christmas tree girl!!

Those cookies are a true classic :) Can’t wait to see what you post tomorrow!

16 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) December 3, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Your Christmas tree looks gorgeous!

Thanks for the eggnog and cookie recipes! Both look amazing!

Can’t wait for your post tomorrow!

17 ttfn300 December 3, 2008 at 7:51 pm

that nog sounds fabulous. have you tried lactaid eggnog? *swoon* and i thought i didn’t like egg nog!
I just picked up special dark raspberry kisses and was trying to think of an almond base for them to sit on. Subbing almond butter might do the trick :)

18 Megan December 3, 2008 at 7:54 pm

What a fun Holiday post! That eggnog punch looks so tasty! The peanut blossoms always show up in our house around Christmas!

19 coco December 3, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Such a fun post!!! Great photos (you’re so cute!), great recipes, great everything!!!

20 sweetandnatural December 3, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Loved this post! First off, yay for almost being break! I’m counting down the days til my Christmas vacation from work. Second, the pic in the pink bathrobe is one for the books. Third, those peanut butter blossom cookies are TOTALLY Christmas. I was actually thinking of featuring a version of the recipe on my blog sometime this holiday season b/c we make them every year.

21 Melissa December 3, 2008 at 8:06 pm

milkshake/punch looks AWESOME!

my mom makes blossoms like it’s her job, they are fun!

22 Krista December 3, 2008 at 9:14 pm

I thought this was a GREAT post!

Thanks for the recipes and beautiful tree!

23 Melissa S. December 3, 2008 at 9:14 pm

hahaha…my mom has that exact same book! hehehe! i’ll have to have her try that recipe since she loves punch and eggnog (sorry, not for me though; i hate eggnog).

love this post…and btw the decor in your parents house look AMAZING!!! i always notice those kinds of thing…hehehe…

and those cookies…omg!

24 Andrea [bella eats] December 3, 2008 at 9:17 pm

So going to make that peppermint eggnog punch! Great post! :)

25 Sara December 3, 2008 at 9:19 pm

I’m a fairly new reader to your blog, but I find it very enjoyable! The Christmas tree is beautiful and your cookies look delish! :)

26 Fit Bottomed Girls December 3, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Such more to comment on. The tree looks fab, I love the bath robe and the punch and cookies sound delish!

I so miss college holiday break!!!

27 gina (fitnessista) December 3, 2008 at 9:55 pm

hooray for getting a sigh of relief and DOUBLE hooray that we’re both going home for 3 weeks! wahoooooo!
this post is chock-full of goodness… the tree (gorgeous!), mama bender’s peppermint eggnog (which i’m totally going to make for the fam), the cookies — they’re one of my holiday faves–, mark and heather’s contribution to an amazing cause, everything!
side note: i like the kokopelli (sp?) on the wall– my parents have a lot of southwestern stuff too. when the pilot first moved to az, he was so confused! he was like “what is that picture with the flute nose crazy hair thing?” and i had to explain to him, haha.
hope you enjoy your night!

28 Sharon December 3, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Haha, you and your brother did an excellent job on the tree! Lovely!

29 Leng December 3, 2008 at 10:24 pm

wow soOo many goodies! Looks like you had a blast making sweet goodies!

Pretty xmas tree!

30 Hil December 3, 2008 at 10:25 pm

Yay, Christmas! I love the picture of you “testing” the punch…it made me smile. :-)

31 seeleelive December 4, 2008 at 5:50 am

hey hey hey ! My mother gets those cookies every holiday season during her christmas cookie exchange, they bring me back to this time of year, too! thanks for the recipe-both of them for that matter-everything looks bangin! and il be back later to check out a potential CONTEST COULD IT BE?!?!?!

have a good one!

32 runningwithfood December 4, 2008 at 8:01 am

Bender – so many fabulous things in this post … beauty of a Christmas tree, peppermint-eggnog punch, kisses cookies … ahh!!!

I lerrrve Maranatha brand nut butters – da best!!

HOORAY for NC!!!

33 Aimee December 4, 2008 at 8:22 am

This post made me so happy.

First – that tree is amazing!! We didn’t start decorating yet (besides a wreath we bought from a boy scout on our door), so this picture makes be excited.

Second – kiss cookies are husbands all time fav. cookie, and I love them too.

Third – that punch sounds amazing, hopefully I can find a reason to make it soon!

Thanks for such a fun post!

34 bobbi December 4, 2008 at 9:59 am

what a fun post I am so going to try all these fun foods!!!! o and that punch mmmmm….I LOVE the TREE!!!!

35 Erin December 4, 2008 at 9:59 am

What’s up Cocopeli?! Love the AZ motif!
I loved this post Jenn!
First of all, don’t try to tell me you ate that cookie for the sake of the blog. 😉
Second, Andrea is a total bitch. 😉
Lastly, what is it with parents getting lazy when it comes to decorating the tree?! My parents aren’t even getting one this year! Blasphemy!

36 Halie December 4, 2008 at 10:19 am

Mmm…those cookies look delish! Those are certainly great all the time! I think I want to try to veganize them! I hope I can make them as delicious as the ones you have shared!

Thank your roomie for sharing her mom’s recipe!

I am excited for your next post! Fun teaser!

37 Grounded Fitness December 4, 2008 at 12:35 pm

haha no worries- i wear my robe constantly, except it NEON pink, really short and I lost the tie the closes it. so its a little bit more embrassing

I want to bake cookies now!

Kelly Turner

38 Meghann December 4, 2008 at 12:45 pm

You know I usually don’t like Eggnog, but this seems intriguing! Maybe I’ll make this for my family’s christmas caravan! Thanks for sahring as always. :)

By the way this post is tooooo CUTE! Looks like you enjoyed your time at home and the tree is fabulous!

39 Jillian December 4, 2008 at 1:32 pm

I just recently discovered your blog and wanted to say hi! Your peppermint eggnog recipe looks AMAZING! I am definitely making this for my fam. on Christmas Eve!

40 runjess December 4, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Those are some of my favorite cookies too!

41 Pearl December 5, 2008 at 1:00 am

omgod the tree is gorgeous! and thanks for sharing that recipe :)

42 glidingcalm December 6, 2008 at 11:10 am

Jenn you are so awesome! i loved everything about this post! :)

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