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Continuing in a festive annual tradition, Debbie Macomber returns with a new original holiday novel full of romance and cheer—and the magical prospect of finding love in even the most guarded hearts.

Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. No matter how hard she’s tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her at every turn, preferring to keep to himself. But when Julia catches Cain stealing her newspaper from the lobby of their apartment building, that’s the last straw. She’s going to break through Cain’s Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness.

Join Debbie in making these delicious chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa, inspired by her newest book, Twelve Days of Christmas!


Chocolate Chip Cookies and Hot Cocoa

  

Cream room temperature butter with both sugars until fluffy.

  

Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until well blended. Mix in vanilla.

  

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the dough, using a spatula to mix just until combined.

  

Mix in the chocolate chips.

  

Scoop dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12-14 minutes, until they’re light brown on top. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

  

Yum!

  

To make the hot cocoa, heat milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally so the milk doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.

  

Meanwhile, quickly whisk your cocoa powder, sugar, and a pinch of salt together in a small bowl.

  

Once your milk is hot, whisk in the cocoa powder mixture. Continue to heat for a minute or two more, until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in vanilla, then take off the heat and pour into mugs.

  

Top with marshmallows and enjoy with your freshly baked cookies.

  

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 2 dozen

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Mix in vanilla. Pour in flour mixture, and use a rubber spatula to combine the dough. Fold in chocolate chips.

Scoop with a 2 tbsp cookie scoop onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top. Transfer cookies to cooling rack and cool completely.

 

Hot Cocoa

Serves 2

2 cups milk
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, breaking up any clumps.

When your milk is hot, whisk in the cocoa powder mixture until all the sugar is dissolved. Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat and immediately pour into two mugs. Top with marshmallows or freshly whipped cream.