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Close your eyes and imagine yourself laying on a blanket – the sunshine warming your face and those you care about by your side. Listen to the birds chirp in a nearby tree and feel the warm kiss of the breeze as it passes by you – running and playing through the grass. That is my happy place – a warm summer afternoon spent having a picnic at the park with my family. What makes you joyful? My suggestion is to find whatever it is that makes you joyful and share it with those you love this holiday season.
As I sat down and took a look at what makes me most joyful in life (time spent with my family) – I was able to pull out a few key pieces that surrounded that joy and put them together into a small gift that somewhat formed my memories into something tangible. My idea was to create a winter picnic gift basket that the recipient could use to have a special indoor holiday picnic with those they love – maybe even beside a warm fire in the fireplace. Inside the basket they would find special holiday treats that combine our family’s special memories with the joy of the holiday season – such as Cherry Coke Cookies with white chocolate chips, dried cherries and a Coca-Cola chocolate drizzle (you can find the recipe down below!). This recipe was inspired by my mother’s chocolate chip cookies, which have been beloved by our family for many years, and now given a new holiday twist. We also added to the gift basket some Coca-Cola plates, holiday napkins, and retro glass bottles of Coke de Mexico Coca-Cola (made with real sugar and no high fructose corn syrup).
Featured Cherry Coke Cookies
I don’t think anything is more memory enticing than a batch of warm chocolate chip cookies. These cookies, however, combine an old fashioned chocolate chip recipe with a new holiday look of white chocolate chips, dried cherries and a Coca-Cola chocolate drizzle.
- 2 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 Tablespoons Coca-Cola
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
Coca Cola Drizzle
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 Tablespoon cocoa
- 1/4 cup Coca-Cola
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Using a mixer or handheld, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter on medium speed until creamy.
- Add egg and vanilla to the mixer – slowly add in Coca-Cola until blended. Slowly add in flour mixture until blended.
- Combine white chocolate chips and dried cherries to the mix until incorporated.
- Place spoonfuls of the cookie mixture to a parchment paper lined baking dish and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are slightly browned.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack – meanwhile prepare the Coca-Cola drizzle.
- To prepare the Coca-Cola drizzle combine butter, cocoa and cola in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted and combined.
- Remove drizzle from heat and mix in powdered sugar and vanilla. Immediately drizzle over cooling cookies.
Retro Winter Picnic Gift Basket Tutorial
This retro inspired winter picnic gift basket is really quite easy to put together – you’ll just need a few key components.
- Something to display your items in – I used an old wooden toolbox (amazon affiliate) which has been painted red.
- Coca-Cola Plates (amazon affiliate) and napkins – I kept with my retro Coca-Cola theme and found some melamine logo plates that make a nice keepsake afterwards too.
- A special treat – again with my theme I made Cherry Coke Cookies.
- 2 retro glass bottle Coca-Cola’s – you can find a 24 pack of Coca Cola in glass bottles at Sam’s Club!
- White garland to place in the bottom of the toolbox – it looks like snow!
Once I had everything collected – I simply arranged it all within the old toolbox. One reason I loved the toolbox as a container is because it has separate sections that held my Coca-Cola bottles and other items perfectly. Also, it has a handle for carrying – which I attached a pine cone mistletoe on for decoration.
Almost all of the items in this article were found at Sam’s Club – it’s where I go during the holidays to bake and gift give in bulk because sharing the joy of the holidays is so much fun, I never want to stop. Plus, while you’re picking up your retro glass bottles of Coca-Cola at Sam’s Club for gift giving, be sure to grab a four pack of 2 liter Coke and Diet Coke which have a special seasonal price of only $3.98 during the holidays – great for recipe making!