Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Cookies, Cakes and Gingerbread Houses...

Happy Christmas to all or should I say Happy Baking Season! 

My homemade Peppermint bark to rival Williams Sonoma

I am from a long line of 'fill the biscuit tin, in case someone pops in' women. Traditionally we also delivered Christmas biscuits (cookies) to a few lucky folks at Christmas time. So when the calendar hits December, I start big time planning. Who am I kidding, it happens long before December.

So you'll understand, we've been busy in this house over the last few weeks. Like many others, I love to give cookies at Christmas. The giving list gets longer every year; and despite having some tried and true Christmas cookie recipes I always feel compelled to try out a few new ones.

This year I am linking the recipes I have used alongside a few snaps of the final products. This is as much for me next year as it is for any readers so apologies for poorer grammar than usual. I'm in a rush to get back to the kitchen action.

Here goes:

My particular favored new recipe is for Peppermint Bark. I was determined not to pay $25 a box this year at Williams Sonoma, so found a recipe for me to make my own. Success!!

I have a ginger obsession at this time of year so one of the many recipes I use is the following Ginger Chocolate Chip Blondies. They are so good...

Continuing on the theme and desperately trying to harness my control frickery, my girls and I got up to gingerbread men and house making, using the following healthier recipe from Heidi at 101 cookbooks. These are wholewheat gingerbread men!

This is the girls playing with the scraps at the end

House components and little guys
Decorating time
The finished product; again an exercise in self control for me!
My Mum usually makes me my Christmas cake, in fact, I'm ashamed to say, I've never made one before. This year I was going to skip it as we are not having any family visiting. However Nigella got the best of me with her Chocolate Fruit Cake from Feast. It looks amazing, is soaking in Kahlua as I type and boasts one of my favorite combinations prunes and chocolate. Haven't tasted yet but can't imagine it will disappoint. It did take me a whole morning on my own to complete though; even the lining of the tin requited a lot of concentration and 25 minutes! 

These little fellas below are ready to go out; in the packages are Chocolate Crackle Cookies, a recipe. surprisingly, from McKormick spices. They include Roasted Saigon Cinnamon and Ancho Chile Pepper but are basically a double chocolate cookie with a kick. Yummy adult cookies but my kids love them too. They freeze amazingly too.

The other cookies in the packages are a recipe from the boys at Baked. The cookies are Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate chip from "Baked; New Frontiers in Baking". Very delicious.

Oatmeal Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today, Nigella linked to her Christmas Chocolate Biscuits, and they looked so easy and sounded so simple, I just had to give them a go:

They're similar little chocolate shortbreads with chocolate frosting...mmm
One last link; as yet I've only made the dough (it's sitting in the fridge) but no mention of Christmas cookies/ biscuits whatever you want to call them, is complete without these. This recipe for Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies was posted by me way back in March, but it is "Christmas in a cookie" for me.

Happy Baking!
Merry Christmas! 
Happy Holidays!


  1. Gosh you've been busy, I'll post my pics of the boy's gingerbread house on FB and you'll feel a lot better about your masterpiece!!! Tasty sounding recipes love the peppermint bark :-)

  2. Thought you might enjoy this one. Definitely busy but fun. As yet no plan for Christmas dinner though. The things I sacrifice in the pursuit of a good cookie!