I have shared countless times that one of my favorite childhood memories was getting in the kitchen and baking with my Mom. In particular, I loved the holidays because we always made cookies together as a family. And while no holiday was forgotten when it came to our cookie decorating shenanigans, Christmas was always our favorite.
You see, even though my Mom was a super busy working Mom, she always made time for us and always made sure we felt special and had fun traditions to look forward to, especially during the Christmas holidays, since that was her most favorite time of year. No Christmas season passed without a visit to the local Christmas tree farm, hanging our hand stitched stockings (that our Grandmother made when we were born), or driving around to look at Christmas lights and having hot cocoa, to the covenanted cookie decorating.
Unlike the other holidays, the Christmas cookie decorating was the most spectacular, as in addition to sprinkles my Mom would buy special cookie decorations and candy, like her favorite M&M’s® in festive holiday colors, for us to use to decorate our cookies. To this day every time I get in the kitchen to bake a treat, I think of these memories.
And even though I love spending countless hours in the kitchen baking cute cookies, sometimes there is just no time for that! Like recently, when I was asked to bring a festive holiday dessert to a get together. Yup my friends, the holiday season is so jammed packed that people are having their holiday gatherings earlier and earlier and we had one to attend the Sunday after Thanksgiving!
When I am thinking of a fun and festive dessert, a Funfetti® cake always comes to mind. So when I saw the holiday baking display at Walmart, with the Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix I knew just what I could make! A Holiday Funfetti® M&M’s® Cookie Cake (served with a tall glass of Great Value Milk, of course!)! Not only is this cake easy to make and always a favorite, but I learned when purchasing two (9.4 oz bags or larger) bags of M&M’s® (like M&M’s® Holiday Peanut or M&M’s® Holiday Milk Chocolate) up to a gallon of milk will be donated to the Great American Milk Drive which provides milk to families in my local community (such a small task that makes a big difference).
My Mom not only did her best to provide and make sure we had everything we needed, she instilled in us kids at a young age that many children and families have a difficult time and how important it is for us to help if we can, not only during the holiday season but all year round. In fact, more than 46.5 million Americans rely on Feeding America food banks each year to help them provide for their family. And while many people think to donate canned goods, one of the most requested food items is protein packed and nutrient dense milk. In addition to buying M&M’s® at Walmart this holiday season, you can help families get the milk they need by making a small donation.
I am grateful for these memories my Mom gave us by spending time with us in the kitchen. I am even more grateful for her example to give back to the local community. What are your favorite holiday memories? I would love you to share in the comments below!
- Cookie Cake:
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 (15.25 ounce) Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 (9.9-ounce) package M&M's® White Peppermint
- ½ tablespoon holiday sprinkles
- Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4½ -5 cups powdered sugar
- ½-1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 4-5 tablespoons Great Value 1 or 2% milk
- Cookie Cake Decorations:
- 1-2 tablespoons holiday sprinkles
- 1/3 cup M&M's® Holiday Milk Chocolate or M&M's® White Peppermint
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Spray a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with baking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy. Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and extracts, mixing well. Gradually add in cake mix and cornstarch, a little at a time, mixing until combined and dough has formed.
Fold in M&M's® White Peppermint and holiday sprinkles. Press dough into prepared pie plate.
Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cookie cake is light golden brown and set in the center. Do not over bake. Allow cake to cool completely before decorating.
While cake is cooling, prepare buttercream frosting. In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter until creamy. Beat in peppermint extract. Slowly add the powdered sugar one cup at a time alternating with the milk, mixing until desired consistency is reached.
Fill piping bag with prepared frosting and pipe stars around border of cooled cookie cake. Top frosting with sprinkles and M&M's® Holiday Milk Chocolate or M&M's® White Peppermint.
For more information about how Feeding America and The Great American Milk Drive are providing nutrient-rich gallons of milk to families who need it most, visit milklife.com/give. And to learn how your small donation can make a big difference visit pourmilklove.com.