The holidays are almost here again and I can’t believe how fast this year has flown. I look back and can’t believe how incredibly busy and crazy it has been. No matter how crazy life gets, I take time out once a year to bake for my loved ones. This year I added this new cookie to the mix and it was a hit. Soft and airy, with a bit of sour and spice that melds together so well. Enjoy!
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup marzipan Continue reading Almond Cherry Cups
This is my second year for making these cookies for my holiday basket. A recipe from the website epicurious that I follow exactly. My family really likes it and it adds a treat for all of my spice lovers.
These were my favorite new cookies in the basket. These were inspired by a visit to Porto’s in L.A. where I tried their “kiss” cookies. A delicious shortbread wrapped around dulce de leche. While not exactly the same, I put a holiday spin by wrapping snickerdoodles around dulce de leche. Enjoy!
1 cup soft butter
1 ½ cup sugar Continue reading Carmelita Cookies
This is a new cookie that I added to this year’s basket. A bright punch of citrus and blueberry is a nice change for the palette.
1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar Continue reading Lemon Blueberry Crinkles
I took a couple of days off from work and hunkered down in my tiny apartment kitchen to bake my annual holiday basket. This is my seventh year baking this basket and as can be imagined, the basket has evolved and grown (some may say, it has grown into a crazy endeavor.)
This year, I made sixteen treats over the course of four days. Even though it was well thought out with spreadsheets and I knew I would be excited to send off the goodies to my family and friends; halfway through, I was feeling the craziness of it all! But the beat goes on and so did my baking.
For my sixth treat for my annual holiday basket was a cranberry pistachio shortbread lightly scented with orange.
Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread
These are my family’s recipe for snickerdoodles that has been passed down from generation to generation. They are my absolute favorite cookie. Simple and sweet but not crazy sweet, it makes it into my holiday basket every year. The subtle flavors of cinnamon mix with the butter to make anyone feel like they came home.
Now, the secret to these cookies is the cream of tarter. For whatever reason, you mix int the cream of tarter and the cookies come out with a crispy outside and creamy inside. I have made them without the cream of tarter and while still delicious and edible, you get a coarser more crumbly cookie, similar in texture to shortbread.
1 cup soft butter Continue reading Snickerdoodles
Every cookie that I make for my yearly holiday basket is normally made for someone in mind. I am feeding about 20-25 people’s different tastes, so it goes to accept that every cookie that is sent out isn’t going to be everyone’s favorite, but someone will appreciate it. I try to keep tabs on which family likes what so that I can send them more of an item while lessening that item for another family that may prefer more of a different item, but everyone gets a little of everything.
My side of the family likes caramel and vanilla flavors, while my other side of the family is more into richer flavors of coffee and chocolate, my cousins family loves spicy flavors such as cinnamon and ginger, while I also also have a couple that enjoy fruity flavors. My husband’s sister really enjoys nutty flavors, especially peanut butter. This past year, I started making these peanut butter cookies that will be a perfect inclusion into the holiday basket. The creamy center of peanut butter makes it just different enough that it is elevates the cookie above the normal cross hatched peanut butter cookie, making it the perfect present. If you are allergic to peanuts, you could get creative and use a different nut butter to suit your taste. Enjoy!
Magic Middles Peanut Butter Cookies
This recipe was born out of a happy mistake. I was preparing food for the very first holiday basket and I was following a Paula Dean recipe that called for thin mints. What she meant was the girl scout cookies, but I thought she meant Andes Thin Mints. Not knowing any better I made these. It has turned out to be a keeper and is my nieces and nephews’ favorite holiday cookie. Just a simple sugar cookie dough wrapped around an Andes Thin Mint. And OMG, don’t even get me started on these suckers straight out of the oven. Warm, gooey chocolate mint oozing out of a fresh baked cookie. Need I say more….
Hidden Mint Cookies
Well, yesterday I was craving sweets and the day before that and the day before that. Try as I might, my sweet tooth is pretty relentless. One of my tricks is never buying pre-made sweets at the store. If I am going to have a treat, I have to get off my lazy rump and make something from scratch. This usually will work to stave me off for a few days, opting for fruit options or just eating a lightly sugared bowl of cereal. Sometimes though, you just have to have it, that wonderful hit of sweetness.
With a couple of oranges left in my fruit basket and equipped with plenty of golden raisins, I set out to make a new cookie. Something tart, sweet and delicious. The bright citrus notes permeating from the oven as they cooked, I couldn’t wait to bite into one of them. Boy was I rewarded, vibrant citrus notes held up front reminded me of the summer sunshine and the plumped raisins gave the cookie a honeyed caramel back note when accented by the butter. Truly delicious.