Sunday, December 18, 2011

the cookies.

I really tried to exercise considerable restraint when planning my Christmas cookie baking marathon this year -- I limited myself to two candies, two bars, and three cookies. A feat, if you ask me! I started baking on Friday night, and finished up early this morning. I took breaks to sleep and eat, obviously, and also squeezed in a run yesterday morning, a short nap yesterday afternoon, and dinner out last night. I packed up piles of cookies for church choir friends this morning, and plan on taking a big tray of cookies to work sometime this week -- hopefully I won't have TOO many leftovers! :)

Without further ado, here's what I made this year:

Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels:

I didn't add quite enough coarse salt to the tops of the caramels! Oh, the horror! Don't worry . . . they are still fantastic. :) Just not sweet-salty enough!

Glazed Lemon Cookies:

SO easy, and so delicious! A simple slice-and-bake butter cookie, dunked in a super-lemony glaze. I added yellow sprinkles. It's Christmas, you know! Christmas calls for extra sprinkles, if you ask me. ;)

Triple-Ginger Cookies, from Fine Cooking:

These are super-spicy and deeply molasses-y, but I baked them a minute or so too long . . . I love nothing more than a soft ginger cookie, and these are not. Alas! I'll note in the recipe to pull them out of the oven a couple of minutes early in the future, but for now, I dunk them in my tea. :)

White Chocolate and Peppermint Brownies:

OH. HELL. YES. I did a little happy dance when I tried a bite of these last night! The brownie layer is perfectly dense, gooey, and chocolatey, yet sturdy enough to stand up to being covered in white chocolate and crushed candy canes. MMM!

English Toffee:

I make toffee every year, since I find it dead easy and everyone seems to go apeshit over it. I followed a recipe from Fine Cooking this year, and determined that the yield is a little too large for my 8-inch silicone pan, which I use for candy-making. No real complaints, it's just extra-thick!

Apricot and Coconut Bars:

These were on my to-try list last year, but got the axe . . . I'm so glad I decided to try these this year! I actually received a phone call from a church choir friend about an hour after church today, singing the praises of these bars. I love them lots, too!

And lastly, Sugar Cookies with frosting and sprinkles:

I was pleasantly surprised by an offer of help with the cookie-baking this year, and found that these roll-outs went much faster with two people! I really like this recipe from Real Simple -- the dough is basic yet flavorful on its own, soft yet sturdy enough to allow for plenty of decorations, and the yield is just right -- not too many, not too few!

Happy sugar time! Wee!


Amy P. said...

All of these treats look so good, nice work Catherine! I want to eat those white chocolate peppermint brownies.

Ali said...

Holy crap, I'm feeling inadequate! No, really - very impressive!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS, Catherine!!!!

tweal said...

Those look so tasty, especially the English Toffee. I did a lot of baking this weekend too. I still have lots more recipes I want to try, but perhaps I should practice some self restraint or I won't have any clothes that fit in the new year!

Sophia said...

Every single thing looks fantastic, especially that English toffee!
So yummy, it is so hard to narrow down the baking list every Christmas for me too!
I find I keep on adding to it, but I know I won't have time to make everything I wish I could.