Each year at this time the women of my family have had a tradition of baking together for the holidays. We have had as many as six of us in the kitchen at a time, making dough, washing dishes, taking hot cookies out of the oven. We share what we have made and everyone goes home with more variety than they might have made on their own in one day.
This year schedules are so tight that we are foregoing the larger get together. One of my nieces joined me today, and another will cook with me next Sunday.
The day started out dreadfully. I whipped up a batch of brownies. I put them in the oven and then headed for the shower, asking DH to take them out when the buzzer went off. Usually you cake test brownies to be sure they are done, and I guess DH doesn't understand about that. They weren't cooked enough, and by the time I came back to the kitchen, it was too late to save them. I guess it was lucky for DH that I used the wrong chocolate in them. I ended up dumping them down the disposal. What a waste!
The next thing I tried was a Peanutty Cereal Bar. The recipe mimics the taste of a Snicker's bar. It's not difficult to make, but I was distracted and left the peanuts out of the base of the cookie. I found a way to add them in, and went on to the next cookie.
Mexican Wedding Cakes, or Russian Teacakes are those wonderful little nutty balls of dough that are rolled in confectioner's sugar. They are a staple on the Christmas cookie platter at our house. It's a VERY simple recipe. I was creaming the butter, and threw the nuts in....and cussed. The nuts were supposed to go in last. I was able to save that dough, and it's chilling in the fridge.
The next few things went well. I made Peanut Butter Blossoms. They are small balls of peanut buttery dough that are rolled in granulated sugar and baked. When they come out of the oven, you put three chocolate chips, or kisses on the top.
Then I made Fanciful Raspberry Ribbons, a recipe from Midwest Living. You divide dough into eight parts and then roll each part into a nine inch log. Before you bake them, you press an indentation down the center with the handle of a wooden spoon. Part way through the baking time you fill the indentation with raspberry jam. The cooled cookies are drizzled with glaze and then cut on the diagonal into bite sized pieces.
My niece and her son made chocolate-maraschino cookies, spicy Christmas cookie cutouts, and a wonderful tiny chocolate thumbprint cookie that was rolled in chopped walnuts, and had a drop of glaze in the indentation, with a Hershey's kiss on top.
So, I have a variety of cookies to put out for a party this coming Friday, and I've had a wonderful day with my niece and her son. Despite the goofs that were irritating at the start, the day has been a good one.
Do you have family traditions for the holidays?