On the 1st Day of Christmas: I meal planned, ate Cranberry-Orange Cookies and shared Christmas cheer!

On the 1st Day of Christmas, this mama was super excited and reallllly busy!  It’s the first Monday in December!  I’m having a HUGE party at my house tomorrow night, I have Christmas on the brain, an Elf on the Shelf to move about, presents to wrap, carols to sing, movies to watch, lights to view, and lots of Christmas cheer (with a tiny bit of anxiety thrown in!).  I can hardly contain my excitement!  
First things first…
…a simple, quick and yummy cake cookie that you can mix and match a million different ways this holiday season!  I made mine with dried cranberries, orange zest and pecans but seriously people…this little method should be your go-to the entire month!  You can have these prepared, baked and eaten in 15 minutes.  I promise!  
Here is my Cranberry-Orange version and then at the bottom, some mix and match options…
Shopping List
1 box of yellow cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 tablespoon orange zest
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, vegetable oil and eggs with a mixer until combined.  Beat in extract.  Stir in your zest, pecans and cranberries.
Drop by the tablespoonful onto a greased baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper for a quick clean-up).  Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until slightly browned.  Remove from oven and let rest on pan for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling. 
Store in an airtight container.  This recipe makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.
So simple, right?!?!  And let’s talk about this versatile method!  I found the original method in one of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks and started playing around with combinations.  Here you go…mix and match this method all season long for guaranteed delicious cookies (and go ahead and throw some store bought frosting on there if you’re really feeling festive!).
And those are just 4 options!  Go nuts creating your own cookie versions all season long!

And…it’s Monday, that means we need a little Meal Planning Monday, right?  During the 12 Days of Christmas, I’m keeping things really simple!  I don’t know about you, but I’m not cooking every night during December.  
Here are 3 great recipes plus a bundt cake and an extra dessert!
Here we go…
Mexican Meatballs are the perfect busy mom’s dinner!  Your family will love this supper too!
I’m putting my Chicken and Dumplings back on the menu because they will save your life during the busy holiday season!  Make them!  This week!
And a bowl of Lasagna Soup will make your cold day disappear.  Yummy!
My Bundt Cake #17 Candy Cane is the PERFECT way to kick off December!  Have you made one of my bundt cakes?  They are so, so, so simple and moist every.single.time.  You have to try this one!
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.  Did you read that?  Red Velvet Whoopie Pies!  My husband flips out when I make these.  They look fancy but they’re so, so, so simple!
This is going to be the best month!!  Crank up Nat King Cole, put on your cozy socks, grab the cocoa and let’s dive into December!  For my other Christmas recipes, click here.
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  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} December 2, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I CANNOT WAIT to try the cranberry orange cookies for myself. They are right up my alley for sure!
    And meal planning Monday is awesome as always!

  • Anonymous December 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I love cake mix cookies and will have to try this combo! One of my favorites this time of year is to use the Betty Crocker cherry chip cake mix with chocolate chips – it's like chocolate covered cherry cookies, lol.

  • Carole V December 2, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Yum! Cookies sound fabulous

  • vanillafrog December 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    The peppermint and chocolate cookies sound so good!

  • Sheri Banwart December 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I am so excited about your 12 days of Christmas!

  • jagard December 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Shay! Love your blog!!! Looking forward to making many of your Christmas recipes this holiday season!

  • Lisa December 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    i can't wait to try these!

  • Anonymous December 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I am so excited for these recipies!! I think I will be making the cake AND the cookies for family gatherings and the lasagna soup for my husbands birthday weekend this coming weekend! Thank you so much for the help and the giveaways!!
    -Jessie Smith jessiesmith353@gmail.com

  • Camden's Corner December 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    those cranberry cookies look amazing

  • Jill Clavin December 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Cannot wait to see all the recipes for the 12 days of Christmas! Starting out looking delicious 🙂

  • Danavee December 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I need to buy some cranberries……..STAT!

  • Anonymous December 2, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Love these recipes…especially the mix and match cookie recipe.

    Heather P.

  • Lauren Baxt December 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Love reading your blog – its a highlight of my morning!!!

  • Loris Ayoub December 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    This looks delicious, comfort food is the best!!!
    Thanks for the 12 days giveaways too….♥♥

  • lsadler December 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Sounds delish

  • lsadler December 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Sounds yummy!!

  • Amy K December 2, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    LOVE the cookies! I float between different departments and work and the cost to buy gifts for all individual coworkers would be crazy. Instead, I'm going to mix and match your cookies all month long to take in to say a heartfelt Merry Christmas! TY soooo much!

  • amy h December 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Love your blog!

  • Anonymous December 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Looks amazing!!!!!!
    Christa Fulton

  • Casey Hayes December 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Love your blog! Great giveaway you and Sheaffer have going on now! 🙂 Casey Hayes

  • Courtney December 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm


  • slee December 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes. Can't wait to make the whoopie pies.

  • Jackie December 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Loving the Nordstrom giveaway! Thanks for all the recipes!

  • lauren December 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    These look SOOOO good!

  • Autumn December 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Cake cookies are the best!

  • www.sharkyfamily.blogspot.com December 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Can't wait to try more of your recipes. We tried your chicken and dumplings last week! Very yummy!

  • Beve December 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I made the gingerbread pancakes for my family on Saturday morning. They were a little skeptical until One of them took the first bite…..that's all it took. They all completely ignored the plain pancakes!

  • April December 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I am going to try this recipe for a cookie swap I have coming up this weekend. Thanks!

  • Margaret December 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Love your blog!

  • MCC December 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Such an awesome giveaway, gals!

  • MCC December 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Such an awesome giveaway, gals!

  • Simi Botic December 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    This Nordstrom giveaway is so awesome!!! thank you for being so kind to your readers!!!!

  • Desaree Martin December 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Love your blog and I cannot wait to try some of these recipes!!!

  • A year of Change December 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I love those mix & match cookie ideas! And your Meal Plan Mondays have been making my life so much easier…thank you!

  • Nikki Thompson December 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Love it! Shared, emailed, commented, EVERYTHING!! 🙂

  • Katie Dacus December 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I am convinced that my family wouldn't eat if it weren't for your foodie blog…. so thanks, Shay!!

  • Liz December 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I hope I win the giveaway!

  • Michelle Schmid December 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I can't wait to try these! They sound delicious yet so easy to make!

  • Allison December 2, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I can't wait for all your recipes, they look so good!

  • Courtney December 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Chicken dumplings and red velvet whoopie pies are going into the rotation ASAP! ! Thanks for the awesome food and awesome giveaway! Merry Christmas!!

  • V @ X-tremely V December 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Those cookies…YUM! And you had me at Chicken and dumplings 🙂

  • Shelli December 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Going to try those cookies today!

  • Christy December 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Hello, I have made a few of the bundt cakes and they have been AMAZING. My only problem is once I take it out to cool, it deflates and isn't completely cooked. DO you know what could be causing this? Thank you!

  • Abby December 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    mexican meatballs…yes please!

  • Amy Madill December 2, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Can't wait to try those woopie pies!!! They look GREAT.

  • Alisa December 2, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Dear Shay,
    I went to gap like a crazy person to find the cozy plaid scarf b/c it was sold out online after the 10 dollar thing. I LOVE THIS SCARF. thank you.

    I also love your recipes, and appreciate the recipes all the time. My husband LOVES everything I make from your site. I think it's because he's southern… (i'm not!)

    Thank you!!!

  • lisa saheb December 2, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    The chicken and dumplings looks delicious! Beautiful pictures! Cannot wait to try these recipes!! Thank you!

  • Cristyn C December 2, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Mexican meatballs sounds delish!!!

  • MAK December 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    yay for the giveaway!

  • MAK December 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    yay for the giveaway!

  • Unknown December 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I love your blog! You have so many awesome things! Thanks for taking the time out to help the rest of us out.

  • Krissy December 2, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I am definitely going to try these cookies. Maybe even tonight!!

  • tara December 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I would LOVE to win this!!!

  • Abby December 2, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Crossing my fingers I win!!!!

  • Christel Asai December 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Definitely need to try the chocolate and peppermint cookie.

  • Monica B December 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Looks delish! Thanks for all the great ideas.

  • Kristi December 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I love your recipes and shopping posts!

  • spoonerbyrd December 2, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Wow! You're fun and generous! Merry Christmas!

  • spoonerbyrd December 2, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    How cool and fun!

  • Kate Gilbert December 2, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    What an awesome giveaway! THanks to you guys I'm spending way too much time scouring Nordstroms website every day!!

  • KG December 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Would love to win the Nordstrom giftcard!!!!!!!

  • Dana December 2, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    LOVE this giveaway!!! Keeping my fingers crossed!!

  • Lis December 2, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Looks yummy!

  • Jen December 2, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    So exciting! Great series and giveaway!

  • Sheryl December 2, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    awesome recipes!! thanks for all your hard work

  • Kellyann Rohr December 2, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I am dying to try these cookies, they look scrumptious!!!

  • TrishCF December 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Love your blog! You and your family are so lovely and you always seem to be enjoying life.

  • Ditto That December 2, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I have tried orange cookies before but not with cranberries… Sounds delicious!


  • MollyMcFarland December 2, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Love your blog! And I would love to win the gift card!

  • Sara Burnette December 2, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Love your recipes and ideas, thank you!

  • Sara Burnette December 2, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Love your recipes and ideas, thank you!

  • Prudence Blond December 3, 2013 at 12:20 am

    The cookie recipe looks delicious; can't wait to make them this year and have something new for my cookie swap!

  • Stephanie December 3, 2013 at 2:31 am

    I love cake cookies 🙂 Thank you for making dinner time such a breeze.

  • Meier Miller December 3, 2013 at 2:33 am

    These look amazing!!!

  • Meier Miller December 3, 2013 at 2:33 am

    These look amazing!!!

  • Jill December 3, 2013 at 3:15 am

    Thanks for the cookie ideas!

  • Shoshanah December 3, 2013 at 3:39 am

    I think the first version with the peppermint chips, and the second with spice cake are probably the ones I'd enjoy the most. But all sound delicious!

  • Cinder3209 December 3, 2013 at 4:09 am

    Can't wait for all the Christmas recipes!

  • neh December 3, 2013 at 4:21 am

    Love the meal planning series…I always need ideas!

  • Anonymous December 3, 2013 at 5:17 am

    I'm making the meatballs next week! Look great! You are very talented!

  • SouthernGirl December 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    What an awesome recipe! I love orange and cranberry together and am always looking for new (easy!) recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  • knmkendall December 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful giveaway with Schaeffer. I LOVE your blog!!

  • Kelliw December 3, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Those cookies look wonderful! adding the ingredients to my shopping list!

  • Lauren December 3, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Love your recipes!

  • Planned Style December 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for the fabs giveaway. Your Mexican meatballs recipe sounds easy to do and yet delicious!

  • Kristen December 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Can't wait to try the lasagna soup! I read your blog every day and love it!!

  • Pamela December 3, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Love ANYTHING with orange zest…especially with a cup of coffee to bring out the orange after-taste!

  • AmyJo December 4, 2013 at 2:14 am

    We had your chicken and dumplings last week!

  • Mama Relle December 4, 2013 at 3:10 am

    I LOVE winning things. Crossing my fingers and toes I've been good enough this year to be lucky!

  • Jessica Zuniga December 4, 2013 at 4:30 am

    Love your blog!

  • Chelsie.Swanson December 4, 2013 at 5:11 am

    I can't wait to try those cookies…and ALL the mix and matches! They all sound so good!

  • Karen December 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Great ideas!

  • Rebecca and Aric December 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway chance, and I think I'll be trying to make some of your goodies…yummy.

  • Keisha Dawson December 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I had some cranberry orange cookies a few years ago that I absolutely loved, and I have yet to recreate that delicious taste. Can't wait to try these!

  • Heather S. December 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Love your meal planning menu. Your desserts always look super good too!

  • Joanie December 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I've made several of your recipes and they have all been a hit. Love the weekly meal planning. 🙂

  • Kate December 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I can't wait to try this recipe! I love the combination of cranberry and orange, especially around the holidays.

  • Kimbra December 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I would love the nordstrom g.c!

  • Meredith December 6, 2013 at 3:29 am

    I love reading your blog!

  • Rob & Michelle Eberly Family December 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I made these cookies for a Cookie Exchange party I went to. I got the most creative award. I gave the credit to you, of course. So yummy. Thanks.

  • Anonymous December 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Can you make the cranberry orange cake cookies into bars?

  • Mix and Match Mama December 16, 2013 at 12:42 am

    You can try! I've never tried before but they would probably be delish!

  • Anonymous December 16, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Made the cookies into bars tweaking the recipe a bit. Turned out great! Also made the gingerbread chocolate bars. Yum.

  • Dawn December 9, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I made the orange/cranberry cookies using a sugar free cake mix. Delish!