This entry was supposed to have been uploaded in December, but various things prevented me from posting in time. When reading, you will notice that the tense is not right. I apologize for this.
It’s that time of year again, and although it’s the same time every year, it always hits me in the face! It’s here before I know it, and here I go again rushing to get this and that done.
Well into October, I’ll have stocked up on all my baking essentials, readying for the cookie exchanges … what will I make this year …. tried and true, or something new? As much as I’d like to try something new, a cookie exchange is not the time to do so. What if they don’t turn out? What if they look hideous? And, and, and ??? Too many factors, better not chance it.
This year, I’m only involved in one cookie exchange. I had my heart set on more, but time does not permit. That’s why I’m considering hosting another in the spring!
I had nine participants and the rules were simple:
1 Choose a cookie to make;
2 Share the recipe; and
3 Wrap beautifully, as I had a contest for the best dressed box.
Save the date: November 29th!
As usual, the holidays are a busy time. I felt rushed to wrap them beautifully, had to go to Plan B, which was a decorative box but did not compare to decorating plain white boxes and wrapping them up with chiffon, attaching with it an ornament or two.
I will add recipes as I get them. This is what I have for now:
Aunty Pansy’s Cherry Almond Shortbread
1 c butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 c sifted flour
1/2 c glaced cherries, sliced
1/2 c blanched almonds, sliced
Cream butter; add sugar gradually. Add vanilla & flour. Add cherries & almonds.
Mix well (kneading with hands is best) – shape into logs and wrap in wax paper – chill for one hour. Then slice and bake for 11-15 minutes.
1 c. butter, softened
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
2/3 c. confectioners’ or icing sugar
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 pinch pink Himalayan sea salt
Preheat oven to 300F. You can do this by hand but I find that with a mixer, everything is better incorporated. What I like to start off doing is getting a medium bowl and adding the cocoa, icing sugar, flour, and sea salt – I then take a fork and “cut through” the mixture, adding a bit of air. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Blend in remaining ingredients one ladle at a time. Optional – chill for one hour. Drop with a scoop (1 inch scoop) onto parchment lined cookie sheets, about one inch apart. Then bake for 18-20 minutes.
Yield: Approximately 4 dozen
Pumpkin Raisin Scones/Cookies
3 c. flour
1 c. spelt or whole wheat flour
4 t. baking powder
1-1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. allspice
4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
1 t. salt
3/4 c. butter, softened
2-1/4 c. sugar, plus 4 t. for sprinkling
1 can (15-oz) pumpkin (If roasting and pureeing, measure 16 oz)
1-1/2 c. pumpkin seeds, toasted
1-1/2 c. golden raisins
Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. In a large bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, allspice, 2 t. cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Add raisins and toss to coat, and set aside. Put the remaining 2 T. cinnamon and 4 t. sugar into a small bowl and mix. Cream together butter and sugar. Once combined, add in eggs and pumpkin. Then gradually add in dry ingredients. Stir in pumpkin seeds, and then using a 1-T. measure, drop dough onto cookie sheets (lined with parchment), leaving an inch inbetween each scone. Slightly flatten the scones, then lightly sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake for 11-13 minutes, depending on your oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
Makes 84 scones
Crispy Butter Cookies
(credit: Best-Ever Christmas Cookies & Candies)
Preheat oven to 375F.
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
5 egg yolks
2 c all-purpose flour
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Blend in egg yolks. Add flour, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition (note that dough will be very stiff). On a heavily floured surface, roll out dough and cut into preferred shapes. Place 1/2″ apart on ungreased baking sheets and sprinkle with coloured sugar.
Bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
Yield: 6 dozen
I had to insert this aerial view of the cookies all packaged up – beauties!
Hope this inspires you to get involved with a cookie exchange next Christmas.