Christmas Treats 2012


This year I made six treats from the previous two years, and three new treats. My husband has been amazing and very helpful this year. I could not have pulled this years Christmas treats off with out him. He scored 8 out of the 9 bags of ginger bread men, and helped flood the sugar cookies. He helped with packaging the cookies, and took them over to his dad’s while I was at work.

While I am still do not feel 100 percent better I do feel better. However, all the treats we received at Christmas is in the freezer due to my stomach not being able to handle food as well this week. I become very hungry, eat, and feel awful.

I felt very disappointed that I was unable to do all the fine detail on the sugar cookies, and decorate the ginger bread men. I felt at the time like a failure because I was sick. Now I am just glad it is over and I can concentrate on getting better. I love making treats every year. I organize decide what I want to make, design everything, and sometimes I even change things at the last minute. I was finally able to use up 99 percent of my cellophane bags from three years ago. My inspiration for the snow flake cookies came from Annie’s eats this year. My inspiration for the macadamia nut shortbread came from two different pictures in my home and gardens cookie book. I hope everyone had a wonderful break and Christmas!

Chicken Dog Treats
Chicken Dog Treats

Chicken dog biscuits

The dogs love these biscuits so this year we decided to do chicken. Gizmo was glad to be the taste tester this year and gave the treats four paws of approval!

Snow Flake Sugar Cookies
Snow Flake Sugar Cookies

Snow Flake Sugar Cookie

While I was not able to do all the fine detail they came out looking very nice. I am hoping once I am better I can taking the extra royal icing I made and do a white flooded snowflake with dark royal blue detail and white pearls. I think it will pop with the different colors.

Gingerbread man Scored for decorating :)
Gingerbread man Scored for decorating ūüôā

Ginger bread men

These became a decorate your own kind of cookie. I was too sick to decorate 114, as my step sister in law put ;), an army of gingerbread men. Instead we scored the cookies with eyes a mouth, and some buttons.

Hot Chocolate Mix
Hot Chocolate Mix

Hot chocolate mix

We had to buy a new food processor because some one *cough, me* murdered the blender by adding too much too it. We found a food processor and a new blender on sale, plus coupons, and my discount for working there…it came out to around 11 dollars per appliance. The food processor whipped up the hot chocolate mix in no time flat.

Chocolate Pistachio Trees
Chocolate Pistachio Trees

Chocolate pistachio trees

If you make this dough beware it is finicky and difficult to handle. You need to have patience and move it around. I use hot cocoa mix instead of flour so the color matches when they bake.

Almond Biscotti
Almond Biscotti

Almond biscotti

Everyone loves this cookie. My husband loves it so much that when I thought about adding even more to the bags (which would have made them difficult to close) he said we don’t need to. I looked at him and said you just want to keep the last bit to your self don’t you. Yes I know my husband that well. He loves the almond biscotti.

Peanut butter fudge
Peanut butter fudge

Peanut butter fudge

Last year we made cappuccino fudge. While it tasted very good my husband wasn’t the biggest fan of it. Sometimes late at night I will smell peanut butter. I will wake up and find my wonderful husband eating peanut butter with a spoon, out of the jar, and in our bed. This year I decided to take his favorite mid night snack and make peanut butter fudge. Needless to say we currently are all out of the fudge at our house. This is super easy and amazing. Beware you will eat these and you will not be able to stop!

Yield: 64 1-inch pieces
– Ingredients
  • 8 oz. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 16 oz. confectioners’ sugar

– Directions

  • Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. ¬†Lightly grease with butter. ¬†Combine the butter and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. ¬†Microwave on full power for 2 minutes. ¬†Remove from the microwave, stir, and microwave on full power for 2 minutes more.
  • Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave. ¬†Add the vanilla and confectioners‚Äô sugar to the bowl. ¬†Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until evenly combined. ¬†The mixture will become difficult to stir and lose its sheen.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. ¬†Place an additional piece of parchment directly on the surface of the fudge. ¬†Refrigerate until cool, at least 2 hours. ¬†Use a large knife to cut into 1-inch pieces. ¬†Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Candy Cane Twists
Candy Cane Twists

Candy Cane Twists

My husband and I thought these were better than the peppermint biscotti from last year because it wasn’t as strong. I think I would have preferred a little bit more of the peppermint taste, but I will have to continue to experiment to find the right balance of cookie and peppermint. My husband isn’t the biggest fan of peppermint, but I am sure the family will enjoy these candy cane twists.

1 C butter, softened

1 C powdered sugar

1 Egg

1/2 t vanilla

dash of salt

2 1/2 C AP flour

1/4 C finely crushed peppermint candy canes

Few drops of red food coloring (I use gel coloring)

Granulated or colored sugar

1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar. Beat  until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, vanilla, and salt until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Knead crushed candy canes into one half of the dough. If desired, knead red food coloring into the peppermint dough to tint slightly. Leave remaining half of dough plain. Cover and chill dough about 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Work with half of each dough at a time, keeping remaining dough chilled until ready to use. For each cookie, on a lightly floured surface, shape a 1 inch ball of plain dough into a 4-5 inch rope. Repeat with a 1 inch ball of peppermint dough. Place ropes side by side adn twist together. Pinch ends to seal. Form twisted ropes into a cane. Place canes 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Repeat with remaining dough.

3. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set. Immediately transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Pineapple Macadamia nut shortbread
Pineapple Macadamia nut shortbread

Pineapple macadamia nut short bread

I went to the store to find the candied pineapple and they were out! I even went to plumbs and they did not carry it. In the end I used pine apple juice to flavor the cookies. They are buttery and light which is nice after so much sugary treats. I really enjoyed decorating these with Peace , Joy , and Noel.

2 1/2 C AP flour

1/3 C packed brown sugar

1 C cold butter

1/4 C finely chopped macadamia nuts

1/4 C finely chopped candied pineapple

1 recipe pineapple icing

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl stir together flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Stir in macadamia nuts and candied pineapple. Carefully form mixture into a ball and knead until nearly smooth.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2 inch desired shape cookie cutter, cut out dough. (re-roll scrapes no more than once) Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an un-greased cookie sheet.

3. bake for 15-20 minutes or until bottoms just start to brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Using a decorating bag, pipe pineapple icing on cooled cookies, as desired. Let stand until icing sets.

*Pineapple icing: in a small bowl stir together 1 C powdered sugar and 1/2 t vanilla. Stir in enough unsweetened pineapple juice (about 3-4 t) to make an icing of piping consistency.

whew! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
whew! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sources:

Annie’s Eats

Home and Gardens The Ultimate Cookie book

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Christmas Treats 2012”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s