Friday, December 30, 2011

A Last Little Bit of Christmas

The carols are off the radio, the boxing week sales are in their glory and I am thinking of taking down my tree.  No more Christmas.  Phew.  And boo.

But, before I say goodbye to the season, I have to display my last batch of Christmas cookies:

Mixed Fruit and Nut Cookies

And my 2011 wrapping scheme.

I never got around to making the fabric bags I'd planned on, but I did reuse the paper I decorated my office with last year (wrapping paper = wall paper in my cubicle).  I am happy with the cuteness that came together (and the gift receivers were too!).

There was old-fashioned paper and twisty string.

Used cards and scrapbook supplies became gift tags.

I loved the huge candy canes!

I hope that you had a Merry Christmas.  Best wishes for a Happy 2012!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chocolate Gingerbread

These Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies are a new recipe for me this year.  I wanted a change from the rest of the cookies I make at Christmastime, which tend to be fairly "vanilla" in their flavouring.  But, I knew that moving too far away from the family favourites would mean a lot of leftovers in the cookie jar and was hesitant to go too far afield.

I ultimately chose Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread because all of the Christmas spices make it different than the rest of my cookie repertoire and the CHOCOLATE CHUNKS should keep everyone happy!  They were easy to make and turned out beautifully.

I haven't had the chance to share these cookies with anyone else yet, but I think this recipie will be a keeper.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sugar Cookies


Sugar cookies are one of those cookies that NEVER taste good when bought from the store, but are delicious homemade.  And, they are so fun to decorate.  I've made snowflakes for the past two or three years and I think I am ready to move on, but they have to be one of the most admired cookies I have ever made.  

Chewy, crunchy, sweet, perfection.  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Candy Cane Shortbread

My most festive cookie of the season!

Candy Cane Shortbread became an instant classic way back when I first started experimenting with baking after moving out on my own.  The first year I remember making them was 1997.  Yikes!

I can't recall where I got the recipe I originally used, but I now follow this Icebox Shortbread recipe.  I replace the vanilla with peppermint extract and top each cookie, before baking, with about half a  teaspoon of crushed candy canes.    They are perfect.  Minty and buttery, crispy and crumbly.

Preparing for tea and cookies with a friend.
My new (to me) tea pot!

Just add tea.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

The fourth item on my Christmas baking agenda was Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti.   This is my favourite biscotti recipe although I've never made it at Christmas before.  Biscotti is delicious and sturdy.  I think it will be a great addition to my cookie tins!