What’s Better Than a Cup of Hot Cocoa? This Holiday Hot Cocoa Cookies Recipe!
The holidays are in high gear here at Brit HQ. From festive garlands to yuletide cocktails, we’re getting into the holly jolly spirit in a big way… and it’s not even Thanksgiving! Up next? We’re getting a head start on our holiday baking. Since nothing says winter like a warm cup of hot cocoa, we decided to add a tasty twist to the traditional sugar cookie. Introducing our Hot Cocoa Cookies. It’s time to stock up on your marshmallows, folks. We guarantee one “cup” won’t be enough.
– 1 bag sugar cookie mix
– 1 tablespoon hot cocoa
– 1/3 cup butter, softened
– 1 egg
– 1 9-ounce can chocolate cupcake frosting
– 1 9-ounce can cloud white cupcake frosting
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine cookie mix, hot cocoa, softened butter, and egg. Use a hand mixer to stir together. Roll dough into a ball.
2. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out on a floured surface until 1/4-inch thick. Use a mug or teacup cookie cutter to cut the dough into shapes. Place the cookies onto a greased baking sheet.
3. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
4. Using the white frosting, pipe a few rosettes across the top of the cookie. Use the chocolate frosting to decorate the rest of the cookie. Top each cookie with a few marshmallows, and sprinkle with hot cocoa. Enjoy!
Let’s get started. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the cookie mix, hot cocoa, softened butter, and egg.
Mix to combine, and then roll the dough into a ball. How easy it that?
Roll the dough out on a floured surface until 1/4-inch thick.
Use a mug or teacup cookie cutter to cut the dough into shapes.
Place the cookies onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Let cool.
Time to decorate! Start with the white frosting, and pipe a few rosettes across the top of the cookie. Use the chocolate frosting to decorate the rest of the cookie.
Top each cookie with a few marshmallows, and sprinkle with hot cocoa.
Make sure every cookie gets a generous dusting of cocoa.
Place your cookies on a colorful holiday plate and serve them with… a cup of hot cocoa!
We guarantee these festive and oh-so-adorable cookies will be a smash hit this holiday season. I mean, who could resist these decadent “cups” of cocoa topped with marshmallows? We certainly couldn’t!
What are your favorite Christmas cookie recipes? Talk to us in the comments below!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com