With their buttery soft centres and sugary cinnamon coating, Snickerdoodles are a real crowd pleasing cookie. So when I started toying with new ways to use traditional Christmas flavours, I knew I wanted to include them in some sort of merger. Pairing them with eggnog was a no brainer. Continue reading
Last weekend I watched the Toronto Santa Claus Parade (best one in years, by the way), and this week I’ve been cranking the Christmas tunes. So believe me, I am more than ready to kick things up a holiday notch around here! And I ask you, what better way to do that, than with candy canes?
I hope this doesn’t startle you, but…. First Christmas Post Of The Year!!!!! Whoo!!!!…. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’d like to say that I was actually concerned that I may be jumping the gun (just a wee bit). I mean, I know that our American neighbours don’t even celebrate their Thanksgiving for another couple of weeks. And I wouldn’t want to (possibly) add to anyone’s holiday stresses. But if we waited until that was over… well that would leave me with just (I think) 4 weeks for Christmas recipes. If you’re anything like me, then I know you’ll agree, that’s just not enough time. Continue reading
It has not been the most wonderful time of the year, not for our household. I look forward to Christmas all year long. I love the wrapping paper and the decorations, the carols and the movies, and (of course) the baking. But this year I wish the whole thing would just blow over.
The past week and a half have been a trying time for us, both physically and emotionally. From Dave and I contracting some mutant cold virus. To Harvey being diagnosed with struvite crystallizes (a potentially life threatening condition in male cats). To the very painful decision that it was in the best interest of both cats that Dennis be re-homed. We’ve known for a while that our apartment isn’t big enough for Dennis’s energy level, and he was attacking Harvey out of boredom (causing Harvey severe stress, which is a contributing factor in his condition)… Needless to say, I am not feeling my usual merriment. My heart is heavy, my chest is heavy, and I have no interest in eating or even more (or should that be “less”?) so baking.
That being said, I didn’t want you to think I have forgotten about the blog or closed up shop. So I decided to tempt your taste buds with a round up of my favorite Christmas posts from 2011 and 2012.
For (almost) as long as I’ve been baking for Christmas, I’ve been making a peppermint swirl cookie. It’s a relatively simple slice and bake cookie that’s seen many incarnations over the years, as I’ve improved it in appearance and ease of preparation. This year, though, I wanted to try something that was a little dressier but still embodied the peppermint swirl. Always feeling that piped cookies have a certain fanciness to them, I decided to try a technique that would pipe the white and green tones together.
To make these cookies as I have, you will need three piping bags. Two smaller ones (I used plastic sandwich bags with a corner cut off of each) and one large one, that the two smaller bags can fit into. You will also need a jumbo star tip.
What cookies do you bake every Christmas?
Peppermint Swirl Cookies
1 cup Margarine
1 cup Icing Sugar
1/4 cup Non-Dairy Yogurt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Peppermint Extract
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
Green Food Colouring
Course Sugar (optional, for sprinkling)
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Beat the margarine until smooth and creamy. Measure the icing sugar, then sift into the margarine. Beat for about 3 minutes (don’t cheap out on the beating!), scraping sides as you go.
Add the yogurt, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Beat for another 1 or 2 minutes.
Mix in the flour.
Divide the dough in half. Tint 1 half with green food colouring, until desired shade has been reached.
Spoon the white and green doughs into separate small piping bags. Place the 2 filled bags into a larger piping bag, fitted with a jumbo star tip… Pipe a little dough until both colours come out.
Pipe cookies, 2 inches apart, onto an ungreased baking sheet, and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Bake for about 12 minutes, until set and bottoms are just turning golden.
Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet, before transferring to wire rack.
Store layered between waxed paper.
Makes approximately 30 – 36 cookies.