I have had a tradition of baking for the holidays since I was in high school. I used to bake with my mom but she has since retired from our tradition. Most years I do it all myself but this year my sister wanted to help. I usually bake about 11 or 12 different things, then divvy it all up to give away. I like to give goodies to my close friends, co-workers, neighbors, and my mailman. Oh, and the kids' teachers.
This year I made 11 different things. I keep a 3-ring binder with my favorite holiday recipes inside. I printed them up on holiday stationery and put them in page protectors so I can wipe them off if they get dirty. I usually make the same things each year but sometimes change one or two things out. I did that this year. I took out some Chocolate Pixies and the Chocolate Truffles and substituted Candy Cane Cookies and Lemon Drop Cookies. I don't think I'll do the lemon cookies again....too soft and wet from the glaze. Tasty, though. I love getting feedback from my friends as to which goodies they like best.
Here's a favorite:
These yummy Florentines have a wonderful, buttery crust and the filling has more butter, honey, and almonds. Super yummy! Sorry, I cannot share this recipe. I am sworn to secrecy! My mother would kill me.
My kids love my sugar cookies. I used to bake them from scratch but I have to make so many that this is the one thing I don't bake from scratch any more. I buy the sugar cookie mix at Costco and make the entire 6 batches in the box. My secret is that I add 1/4 tsp nutmeg to each batch. Then I make up some Royal Icing and decorate the cookies. The trees take the longest because they are filled. I have to wait until the outline dries, the filling dries, then add the yellow garland and "ornaments". When I get done making everything, I have to package it all up right away or my kids will eat all the sugar cookies before I can give them out.
Here's a picture of all my goodies packaged up and ready to be delivered. I swear my list of recipients gets longer and longer every year. Would you believe I have people on my list that have been receiving my goodies since high school?
Notice the cute little tags I made for the goodie packages! I used the A Muse Clear baking set. The great thing about using an acrylic set is you can bend the sentiments. I bent mine to match the curve of the circle I punched out. The fabulous ribbon you see was purchased at Packaging Specialities in Overlake (Bellevue). They have the BEST packaging solutions around!
In case you are curious, here's my list of goodies I made for this year:
Cranberry bars (like Starbucks Cranberry Bliss bars)
Butterscotch Shortbread Bars
Candy Cane Cookies
Lemon Drop Cookies
New Wave Rocky Road
Sugared Date Squares
Hope you enjoyed looking at the goodies. I have more pics I can share if you want to see them.
My little guy has been home sick with strep throat the last two days. I'm really hoping he feels well enough to go to school tomorrow, that is....if it doesn't turn to a snow day. We are supposed to get a good snowfall in the wee hours of the morning. I really need this horrible weather and ice on the roads to go away. I'm not done Christmas shopping and the weather is impeding my ability to get it done. I have never been so unprepared for Christmas before! It's making me panic!