Bake with Joy This Holiday Season

(Family Features) Everyone deserves a little bit of joy each day, especially during the holiday season. If you pour your heart into baking treats for family and loved ones this time of year, you’ll likely appreciate this inspiration for baking joy into each bite.

Work in advance. While a day in the kitchen baking to your heart’s content may be good for the soul, you can get some prep work done in advance to make your baking day more productive. Taking stock of your pantry staples, organizing your baking pans and filling in the gaps with a run to the store can help head off last-minute surprises. You can also prep some of the ingredients and many types of dough ahead of time so you’re ready for a baking marathon.

Use ingredients you feel good about. Whether you love them because they taste like sweet indulgence, contain organic ingredients you crave or reflect your commitment to sustainability, baking with foods that make you feel good can make for a better experience. That’s the thinking behind Joy Bites, Russell Stover’s assortment of chocolate bars that are carefully crafted with Fairtrade cocoa and select non-GMO and organic ingredients for deliciously joyful snacking. Made with stevia extract and crafted with no artificial flavors, added colors, artificial preservatives or added sugar, they’re ideal for those who follow a keto lifestyle. What’s more, the collection of breakable bites is wrapped in easy-to-use resealable packaging that is 100% recyclable.

Reinvent your baking game. If you’ve perfected your favorite recipes but always enjoy a unique twist on your baking adventures, look for ways to get creative with the tried-and-true goodies you love. For example, you might reimagine sugar cookie shapes by decorating a star like a snowman or putting a reindeer face on a candy cane shape. Try new mix-ins and combinations with your favorite cookie batter base, like chocolate mint shavings in place of traditional chips or crushed candy canes for some seasonal crunch.

Find more recipes and tips to fill you with joy this holiday season at

Chocolate Chunk Miso Brown Butter Blondies

Recipe courtesy of award-winning fashion designer and culinary creator Peter Som on behalf of Russell Stover
Yield: 16 squares

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white miso
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped Joy Bites chocolate bars, divided
  • flaky sea salt
  1. reheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line 9-inch square baking tin with parchment paper, leaving overhang.
  3. In saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, swirling occasionally, until it turns deep golden brown, approximately 5-7 minutes. Cool on countertop or transfer to sealed container and chill in fridge.
  4. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; whisk to combine. Set aside.
  5. In large bowl, use whisk or handheld electric blender to combine cooled butter still in liquid state with brown sugar, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla extract and miso until smooth.
  6. Fold in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in 1 cup chopped chocolate bars. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
  7. Bake 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and has few cracks. Center will set as it cools.
  8. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining chocolate bar chunks on top in even layer. Cool completely on wire rack. Top with flaky sea salt. Cut into squares and serve.



Russell Stover