Holiday Baking 2014

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Today was the annual holiday baking extravaganza for the women in my family. Three generations of women came together to make an embarrassing amount of cookies, fudge, and holiday treats. These are always my favorite kind of days!

Here is a run-down of what we made this year:

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Peanut butter blossoms are always the star of the holiday baking for my family; we have been making them for years and they are far and above the favorite cookie. I mean who can resist with a soft, creamy peanut butter cookie adorned with a dark chocolate kiss?! Not I, said the fly. (Did you read that book in elementary school too??) We made a total of 6 batches of peanut butter blossoms to distribute for family gatherings, co-workers, friends, and other events. I have a freezer stash also, don’t you worry…

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Next came the candy cane cookies that remind me so much of visiting my great aunt when I was younger. She was a serious baker and always had the most delicious holiday treats. I looked forward to the candy cane shortbread when we visited her, and my sister had the idea of including them in our baking tradition this year. They are a little labor intensive, but so so worth it! Since I don’t have my great aunt’s recipe I used this recipe from the Lovely Little Kitchen blog; it turned out wonderful. I did not add the frosting to my cookies, but I’m sure it would be great!

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Ultimate Ginger Cookies from Ina Garten have been on my holiday baking radar for a few years now and I find that I crave them as soon as the Christmas tree is put up. Which it is; last weekend we went on an adventure through the fields of the U-Cut tree farm down the street and came home with the most beautifully proportioned Frasier Fir I have ever seen. There is nothing better than a fresh Christmas tree to usher in the holiday season. I love to sit in the front room and just look at the lights; so beautiful!

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Then came the walnut ball cookies, also known as choke cookies because sometimes thats what happens when you get a big delicious mouthful of powdered sugar. Ha! I shared the recipe a couple years ago; click the link above to view. I would like to think my photography skills have improved since then. I could very easily re-photograph and update the post, but there is something to be said about looking back on the infancy of this blog and feeling proud about how far I’ve come.

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A new addition to the holiday baking was chocolate covered pretzel rods. My sister is in the process of finishing her undergraduate degree and will begin student teaching next semester. She plans to take the chocolate covered pretzels to a holiday party at the school she is currently working in; I’m sure they will love them. We melted a whole bunch of dark chocolate and then dipped the pretzels about 3/4 of the way into the chocolate, letting the excess drip. Then we sprinkled them generously with sprinkles, crushed candy canes, or a white chocolate drizzle.

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I used a squeeze bottle found at the craft store to drizzle the white chocolate and was so impressed with how professional they look. And they are dangerously delicious; I’m hoping enough make it to the holiday party…

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Last, but not least, I made fudge with my Grandma yesterday. Grandma and Grandpa came from Indiana to visit and celebrate Christmas and I couldn’t miss an opportunity to include my grandma in the holiday baking tradition. She taught me how to make this fudge and it remains one of my most beloved holiday recipes; it receives rave reviews wherever it goes. We, of course, added lots and lots of walnuts to the fudge and enjoyed it for dessert. Click on the hyperlink above for the recipe, but beware it makes a LOT of fudge. You must share with friends!

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I’d love to hear if you try any of my recipes, or if you have a holiday recipe that I should add to my list! Happy cookie baking (and eating)! Enjoy! :)

 

 

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