Categories
cooking adventures

Christmas cooking and baking

WIN_20150107_103128
(Christmas breakfast)

I did a lot of baking and cooking over the holiday season and I thought I’d share some of those recipes separately.

Cookies
Black Forest Christmas cookies: I liked these but I halved the cherries and next time I wouldn’t; mine spread a bit and there wasn’t quite enough cherry to cookie.
Bachelor Buttons: RJ Anderson’s recipe, which I changed by using pear butter instead of raspberry jam. Quite a different effect, but a nice one! And now I want to make the raspberry version too.
Honeyed Rosemary Shortbread: These are definitely for people who like that sweet/savory combination, but they’re really good if you do like that.
Rum Currant Cookies: There is nothing about these that is not good. Bonus: the recipe makes a lot of little cookies, which is great for filling in the cracks on a cookie plate.
– Cranberry Shortbread: This was a bit of an experiment–namely, shortbread with chopped up bits of fresh cranberry. That part was successful, I thought, but the shortbread recipe I used for this one turned out a little too dry.
– Lebkuchen: My family has always done a lot of German Christmas cookies. Lebkuchen are the only ones I attempted this year, but I thought they turned out quite well!
– Cream Cheese Dainties: This is a staple of my mom’s Christmas baking, with rice krispie treats and a maraschino cherry. I didn’t have either, so I left off the rice krispie treats entirely and topped them with a walnut piece. It’s a different effect, but I thought they turned out well.
Nutmeg Maple Butter Cookies: SO GOOD. Obviously not if you dislike either nutmeg or maple syrup, but the flavors are more subtle than you might expect

Other desserts
– Hazelnut Chocolate and Orange Tart: From Cooking Season by Season. If you like the combination of the three flavors, you’ll like this tart. Also nice for people who don’t like desserts that are very sweet.
Chocolate Swirl Buns: SO GOOD. SO MUCH CHOCOLATE. SO GOOD.

Savory things
– Hungarian Mushroom Soup: From the old Moosewood Cookbook; this is probably my favorite mushroom soup recipe ever. Creamy, a little on the thick side, and very flavorful.
– Potato Refrigerator Rolls: An old family favorite from Betty Crocker. I did half plain and half rolled up with cheese and herbs. I liked that effect a lot, but they needed more filling to really be effective.
Mushroom dumplings: I attempted to cook mine in a sour cream-garlic sauce and they completely fell apart. Lesson learned! Cook the dumplings separately! But they still tasted pretty excellent.

By Maureen LaFerney

My name is Maureen. I currently work as a library assistant in a public library in the Indianapolis area, and also just so happen to be a voracious reader. I frequently end up under a cat.

13 replies on “Christmas cooking and baking”

It was a very chocolate-oriented menu for some reason. BUT HEY!

Thank you! It’s been quite nice so far. πŸ™‚

I love Deb’s writing. πŸ™‚ One of the recipe blogs I read with pleasure. And I totally recommend the buns–putting a bit of cinnamon or orange extract in them would also be good, I bet.

Yum, yum, yum! I’m excited by nut-free Black Forest cookies – yay! And the maple butter ones sound divine.

I made several batches of soft gingerbread, cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast, buttery dinner rolls, and then meringues (for the first time!) with the leftover egg whites from the rolls.

The maple butter ones are really good! I just used Grade A because that’s what I had, but I’m sure Grade B syrup would be even better.

Mmmm, meringues. I want to try them, but they kind of scare me.

I think Grade B is what we usually get, so we’re good there…
I’d been intimidated by meringues before, too… but really the only hard part is separating the eggs, and I’d already done that this time. I confess I didn’t pipe them out myself- but my 10-yo did just fine. Everyone loved them and now I’m thinking this will be my go-to recipe for a gluten free dessert. I combined the recipe for the meringue nests (to match the number of whites I had, and the soft interior) and the baking instructions for the regular meringues, both from “The Weekend Baker” by Abigail Johnson Dodge.

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