No-Icing Poinsettia Platter and Whipped Eggnog Dip

As it turns out, I would way rather make cookies than do other "productive" things. You know, like making beds and buying actual food that doesn't consist of bagels and string cheese. Or shoveling snow. I used to like shoveling snow. And then I moved next to some magic mountains. And every time someone, somewhere in the world gets 1-2 inches of snow, TWELVE inches appears on every horizontal surface in my neighborhood. The piles of snow on the side of my driveway is now too high for me to lift another shovel full of snow to put on top. So that's a lot. Also, I'm lazy, so it's not actually as high as my head or anything. I play by hockey rules. Keep it below the waist.

I thought it was going to snow all day so I told my husband I was going to catch up on laundry today. But as soon as he left to take his last Law School final of the semester, I was magnetically drawn to my kitchen. Probably because I was hungry. So I ate some lunch. As it turns out, bagels and string cheese are way under-rated. And then I spent some time looking at lovely cookies. And a little bit more time wondering just exactly how much water would be in my backyard if all the snow suddenly turned to water. I bet I could float a boat back there. Not a big one, maybe a canoe or something. My kids would love that. And then I decided to make cookies. These cookies. And it took me exactly 1 hour and 25 minutes to make them and the whipped eggnog. And that includes taking pictures of them. So, these really are the most last minute cookies I can possibly think of. And if it's all the same to you, let's keep this between us. Don't tell my husband.

I used the Vanilla 2.0 recipe for the cookie dough because it makes delicious cookies that I don't want to stop eating. Pull about 15% of the dough out of the mixer as soon as the flour is fully incorporated. Add some red food coloring. (Because of the brown sugar, you don't have to add as much food color and the cookies still taste absolutely amazing! Trust me!) Wearing gloves, knead some leaf green food coloring into the dough you pulled out. I did it on some plastic wrap as well so I didn't have to clean my counters before my husband gets back. (You could also use Sugarbelle's Red Velvet recipe for the red petal cookies.)

Use any petal shaped cutter you have and then draw a line through the middle of each leaf/petal to create a vein.

If you want to go extra special, curve the tips and sprinkle with colored sanding sugar. Bake as you normally would. Click HERE to go see how Sweet Sugarbelle puts it all together... except place a small bowl in the middle and fill it with the whipped eggnog dip from below!

Whipped Eggnog Cookie Dip

8 ounces softened cream cheese
4 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon artificial rum flavoring
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 small box French Vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
8 ounces whipped topping

Whip the cream cheese, vanilla, rum flavoring, and nutmeg in the bowl of a standing mixer. In a separate bowl, stir together pudding mix and milk until well combined. Add to cream cheese mixture and whip on high speed until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping with a spatula.  (For the record... I would not recommend sprinkling with yellow sanding sugar like in the picture above. It just looks weird. Don't make weird food like me.)

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