Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Baking Conundrum

Speaking of planning ahead, I'm currently struggling with what to do about Christmas baking. Christmas is my namesake, and my favourite holiday. My Christmas baking plans are usually pretty ambitious and friends and family look forward to gifts of baking. But this year, with a three and a half month old, I'm going to have to curtail things a bit. So I've made a list:

Christmas fruitcake (with real dried fruit), since my inlaws have said they love fruitcake.

Spiced truffles (a stand-by of dark chocolate, dusted with cocoa, cardamom and black pepper, that my non-sweet-eating sister-in-law can't get enough of)
Cherry almond truffle squares (layers of white and dark chocolate, which suit my available time because making them requires short bursts of activity followed by chilling in between each step)

The truffle collection is rich enough that a few bites go a long way, meaning I don't have to fill up huge gift containers--small boxes will suffice.

Since D, my two-year-old, is finally old enough to help a bit, I've decided to make whole-wheat sugar cookies that he can help me decorate. Good gift option for grandparents and great-grandparents.

The jury is still out on two of my staples: peppernuts and almond roca. The almond roca is my dad's favourite, but it's fussy and expensive, not to mention that D's penchant for grabbing things on the stove make me a little nervous about bringing boiling sugar to 340 degrees F. The peppernuts take several days to complete, but they produce a lot, and they're very popular, so I'll try to see if I can fit them in. My husband suggested I get in touch with one of our babysitters who is interested in cooking, to see if she is interested in helping out. That might be a good solution.


2 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
2 eggs
3 T. sour cream
1 t. soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. pepper
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ginger
1/4 t. cloves
1 t. ground aniseed
4 c. flour

Mix in order given. Chill 1-2 hours, or overnight. Roll into sausage-like rolls, wrapping each roll in wax paper. Freeze overnight. Removing one roll from the freezer at a time, slice in 1/2 inch rounds and bake on a slightly greased cookie sheet for 10 minutes @ 350 F.

Someone thought the peppernuts were worth climbing for (December 2009)

1 comment:

  1. mmm...spiced truffles. Peppernuts or roca, geesh, if I take Daniel for an afternoon can I vote for both?