Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Holiday Cookies

I had a long weekend, using up my vacation time before the end of the year. Decided to make good use of it and getting a head start on my holiday baking. But sometimes dreams are just dreams. Instead I ended up doing a lot for the restaurant but that's another post. 

I wanted to give out homemade marshmallows with hot cocoa mix. But I should a have started on Sunday instead of Monday. They needed time to set. With my copy of Baking from my home to yours in front of me, I thumbed through the pages looking for some baking inspiration. I usually don't like to baking holiday cookies. It gets overwhelming and can quickly spiral into madness with trays of cookies cooling and waiting to be packed. And the whole packaging/label craziness. And yes, it needs to be design-y. I am a designer. See what I mean . . .

But I decide to bite the bullet and made all my cookies from Baking from my home to yours.

Very dark chocolate-y
Been wanting to make Chocolate Crackle cookies and lots of the recipes call for oil instead of butter. [If I'm going waste my calories on cookies, then it better have butter in it] I figured Dorie Greenspan may have version of these cookies. Hello! Midnight Crackle. Where have you been all my life. But actually, it should be all my adult life, because it is more of an adult taste. More bitter than sweet. I love the all the spices in it, they round out the bittersweet chocolate flavor. I used Waialua Estate Extra Dark chocolate [what I had left in my stash] and Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate.

dusted with powder sugar
Filled with my blackberry jam
I love thumbprint cookies and the first half of the weekend I spent jamming. I decided to make the thumbprints using my last jar of blackberry jam, lilikoi curd and some peach butter [I made those as distractions for WG so he wouldn't eat the others]. Used ground almonds instead of walnuts. These are delicate and light--no eggs in it. I think they would goes perfectly with cup of earl grey. 

WG cookie sampler--he's the official taste tester
Last in the line-up, Chocolate Almond Meringue-top right in the picture. I had egg whites to use, thought I'd just make meringue kisses but found this recipe in the book. It has ground almonds in it. I really like using ground almond in my recipes lately. It lightens up the recipe. They turned out really nice, not too sweet, a light chocolate-y flavor with little bits of bittersweet chocolate bits. 

In between the cookies, I made a batch of apple butter cake as a holiday gift for a family friend. When remembered after they were done, they were allergic to apples. I guess the folks at my office will be happy about this.

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