Tuesday, December 29, 2009

And now, the actual 2009 baking list...



I thought I would take a minute to share what I actually baked for the Christmas season, and a little bit about each recipe. Quite a few of these items are still in my freezer awaiting a family Christmas party this weekend.

Cookies:

Pepparkakor -- Crisp spicy cut-out cookies. I made them in the shape of hearts and Christmas trees and sprinkled the tops with red sugar. Still have some of this dough left to bake, in fact.

Whipped Shortbread*-- round little molded cookies, perfectly white with tops dipped in sparkly red or green sugar. Easy to make and a great favorite. These are the cookies in the photo above.

Eggnog Logs* -- nutmeg-flavored cookies shaped like little logs. Frosted with an eggnog-flavored frosting with "bark" markings made by fork tines, and then sprinkled with nutmeg.

Sacher Torte Cookies* -- round chocolate cookies filled with raspberry or apricot jam and then the tops drizzled with melted chocolate.

Peppermint Tree Spritz -- pressed chocolate cookies in a Christmas tree shape, sandwiched together with green-tinted, mint-flavored confection coating and then half of each cookie dipped in the same. I only made these for old time's sake, but I probably won't be making them again. They turned out to be a LOT of work, much more than I bargained for. Delicious, though.

Almond Raspberry Thumbprints -- almond-flavored thumbprint cookies filled with raspberry jam and drizzled with almond-flavored icing. These are pretty and delicious and are fast becoming a must-make cookie. Would be good with apricot jam, too, but the raspberry is so pretty! (From Cook & Tell, my favorite recipe newsletter.)

Dipped Cherry Cookies -- round molded cookies filled with chopped cherries and white chocolate. Each cookie is dipped halfway in melted white chocolate and then in red or sparkly white sugar. From Country Woman magazine. This was my first time trying this recipe, but it won't be the last! Pretty and delicious.

Double Drizzle Pecan Cookies -- a molded brown sugar cookie topped with pecans and drizzled with penuche and chocolate. Easy, yummy and impressive with the two drizzles. From Country Woman magazine and fast becoming a must-make.

Hazelnut Shortbread -- super easy shortbread with toasted hazelnuts added. Made in a square pan and cut into tiny squares. Recipe (from Cook & Tell) suggested a confectioners sugar frosting drizzle. I had some of the penuche glaze left from the above recipe, so used that. Excellent choice!

Chocolate Mint Crisps -- easy chocolate molded cookies with a melted Andes mint swirled on top of each one. Delicious and easy -- the dough is made in a saucepan! Fast becoming a must-make cookie. From a special Country Woman Christmas magazine.

Fruity Lime and Raspberry Spritz -- used this recipe to test out a borrowed cookie press. These easy and colorful spritz cookies are made with fruit-flavored gelatin. Nice flavor! Recipe found on the internet. Nice fast way to make a whole bunch of festive-looking cookies.


Candies:


Heavenly Delight* -- our family's favorite layered chocolate and peanut butter fudge. Made 2 batches of this and may need to make another when family visits in January.

Four-Chip Fudge -- made with butterscotch, peanut butter, milk chocolate, and semisweet chocolate baking chips. No real cooking, as it's made with sweetened condensed milk; just heating and melting the chips, basically. Easy, yummy and makes a huge batch. From Taste of Home.

Chocolate Mint Candies -- I've been wanting to try these for awhile, but won't bother with them again. The photo (in a Country Woman Christmas magazine) showed lovely squares of milk chocolate candy with minty white chocolate sandwiched between. Mine turned out more like bark, or even shards. Not worth the price of the confection coating and chocolate chips used to make them.

I had also intended to make some little mini-loaves of bread and fruitcake for gifts. The first batch I tried failed so miserably that I scrapped the entire notion.

So there is my Christmas baking report! We'll have a houseful of family for several weeks in mid-January, so no doubt I will be doing plenty more baking.

* Recipes marked with a * are "must-makes" for the Christmas season.

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's snowing...

... and has been snowing most of the day here! Although I don't have time to post much today, I did want to share another card from my collection of vintage Christmas cards. A report from my Christmas kitchen will follow soon, I promise!

Here's today's card:
I love the lightly falling snow and the carolers gathered around the lighted tree! Hope someone else is enjoying these old cards too...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!


Mr. T and I would like to wish all of my wonderful readers the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years. God bless you all!

And here is today's vintage card... Enjoy, and
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Another vintage card...


This skating scene is another vintage card from my collection. I love how the snow is falling on the twirling skaters, and the scene is framed in snowy evergreen branches. I could get lost in a lovely scene like this one, couldn't you?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Here again at last...


Oh, how much I wanted to post in each of my blogs regularly throughout the Christmas season!! I love Christmas so dearly, and want to share my thoughts about it with others. But this season, for whatever reason, there just hasn't been the time to post the way I wanted to.

I've been in the Christmas kitchen a lot, and hope to post about my adventures there after the big day. But for the next few days, I'm going to post some scans of my favorite vintage Christmas cards from my collection. I will post a different card on each blog, hoping that these will inspire and delight my readers as Christmas draws ever nearer.

I love, love, love this card. It just evokes Christmas in days gone by, with all of the cards and packages piled on the mailboxes, ready to go off to family and friends. This is how it was in my childhood. How I wish my grandchildren could know this simpler way of life! I try to convey it to them the best that I can.

Hope someone else enjoys this card today!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just for fun


I do realize that angels don't actually look like these delightful little sprites. But I couldn't resist sharing this completely whimsical vintage card from my collection. This one is recently acquired and I think it is too cute not to share.

Here's the inside:

Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season so far!

Christmas angels... and shepherds too!


Last weekend was our hometown Christmas parade. The evening was snowy... just a perfect setting for the parade and really added to the festivity. Here are some of the little angels and shepherds from our church float. Notice how snow-covered they already are (and how bundled up under their costumes!) and the parade hadn't even started yet!