Friday, December 6

Christmas Baking Part 1

So first off, I'm going to just say what needs to be said - I lied. Today was supposed to be my 'tacky Christmas sweater' post...but it didn't get finished yesterday with everything else going on, so it's not happening today. We did get a lot done - so much holiday stuff that I felt that we were living in one of those warm and fuzzy Christmas specials! Christmas lights are done (and look fabulous!), presents to go out west were wrapped and dozens of Christmas cookies were baked...all of this to the tune of holiday music :)

So I thought, I'd share with you today the recipes that I made yesterday! None of these are my own (I'm not that handy in the kitchen, yet), but I did make some tweeks here and there; and as well some pointers.

Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies
First, are the most impressive looking of the batch! Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies (recipe here by Flamingo Toes blog). These look super impressive, but they were so easy to make! A perfect choice for cookie exchanges, as they will all think you slaved and slaved over these! My adjustments to this recipe, which you will find at the link - I don't want to repost something that isn't mine, is that I added some red gel food colouring to the mix to make it a little more red, and instead of the white nonperials; I just used regular Christmas sprinkles (of the circular variety). This was mostly because it's what I have in my cupboards, and they worked just as well and look super festive! 

Now, when melting the chocolate - if you find that it doesn't set well: put it in the freezer, or somewhere cold - I put it out in our cold garage. It will set, and it will stay set. The shortening just makes it take a little longer. As well, make sure that you are not using more shortening than is asked for. It just makes the chocolate smoother for dipping; but might affect how it sets. If in doubt, use less. It should be 1/2 tsp. per 2oz. of white chocolate. 

 This recipe made me 3 dozen.

Pistachio  Cherry Christmas Trees
I picked these Pistachio Christmas Trees recipe, mostly because it called for Pistachios, and I live with someone who loves them. They are originally referred to as Pistachio Cherry Meltaways, on the blog "I Heart Nap Time", but I made them into little trees, so I altered the name for my purposes :)

My alterations were some green gel food colouring to make them really green. And then instead of rolling into little balls to bake, I rolling them into a triangle log, and then sliced them into my dear little trees. An important step of the recipe is to make sure to 'dry up' all the cherry juice after cutting - this is a very, very important step - do not skip!

This recipe made me 3 dozen.

Peppermint Oreo Krispie Treats
Every Christmas cookie platter should have a rice krispie treat, and these Peppermint Oreo Krispie Treats, by, is a totally festive addition! The trick is to find the peppermint Oreo treats - which we found at Walmart, and then it's just like any other rice krispie recipe. The smashed candy cane and drizzled chocolate should not be skipped - they finish up the piece so well!

Store bought snowmen
 Lastly, are these dear little snowmen cookies. There is no recipe for them - go to the supermarket, and purchase a package of these Pillsbury darlings. Some of you made be shaking your heads that I've included these not-so-handmade cookies. But I love them, and they are too easy not to pass up. They remind me of previous Holidays - some where I was a student, and was only able to make these. So I include them :)

A package makes 2 dozen.

So there you have, the first part of my Christmas Cookie Extravaganza! I baked these all in one afternoon, even starting late as I was running errands. These 8 dozen cookies, plus squares, took maybe 4 hours to put together and bake. The trick is to do other cookie mixes while others are baking, and definitely clean up in between!

I'll be back with part 2. Hopefully this weekend. There are 3-4 more recipes that I'm going to make. :) Happy baking!

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