Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Where've You Been?

Yeah, I recognize I haven't posted since Thanksgiving. I don't know where the time goes anymore. But I have been baking, a lot, and getting my holiday gifts together.

As November drew to a close I discovered I hadn't really been canning all year and had approximately three jars in my gift stash. Normally I need about 50! Clearly something needed to be done. I decided to try to make a variety of cookies this year and hand them out to my neighbors instead. I started with gingerbread (Day 1). Actually, I started with a gingerbread house, and then moved on to gingerbread cookies. We had a marathon decorating session (Day 2) and I set the cookies aside. Nine dozen.

Then I made shortbread cookies (Day 3). They were supposed to be spritz cookies, using my cookie press, but the dough was too thick (I vaguely remember that this was why I put the press back in its box for over a decade) so I rolled it out and made shortbread hearts which were filled with ganache and dipped in chocolate. Two dozen.

Next I made Biarritz cookies (Day 4), with almond and hazelnut flours and orange zest. These also were sandwiched with ganache and striped with dipping chocolate. Four dozen, I think. Maybe five. I lost count.

The next task was meringues with hazelnuts (Day 5), Rochers. The technical difficulty here was that the hazelnuts clogged the star tip while piping, so I had to change to a plain tip and they weren't as pretty. They baked overnight in a low oven. Six dozen or so.

Then I made chocolate crackle cookies (Day 6) which was really fun and easy. But the recipe was a little off for me so instead of five dozen cookies I got four and a half dozen.

Lastly, a double batch of Nanaimo bars (Day 7). This recipe I posted is similar but I use pecans and my Mom's recipe has slightly different proportions. These are traditional for our family at Christmastime. Roughly four dozen bars.

Today I assembled little gift boxes of all the cookies along with some kisses and other chocolates and have started delivering them to our friends and neighbors. I have more to do, but this takes care of the bulk of people on my list!

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