I’ve been baking, and I expect to bake all this week. I started with Turtle Pecan Shortbread. The picture looked wonderful, and the shortbread, which had almond extract, smelled heavenly! But, the caramel was a problem. You’re supposed to melt 24 caramels, and then dip two sides of the pie-shaped cookies in the caramel, and then in chopped pecans. The caramel is so hard and chewy you could break your teeth on it!
I have about 18 shortbread left that didn’t get to meet the caramel. I’m going to use chocolate to glue half a pecan on the center of each, and then drizzle them with chocolate. I’m thinking about dredging one edge in the melted chocolate and then in pecans, but I may opt for the easier version.
On the more successful side, I’ve baked Russian Tea Cakes (the little confectioner sugar snowballs), Peanut Butter Blossoms (which aren’t really a Christmas cookie, but are something my family likes at Christmas) and Thumbprints. I’ve frozen the Thumbprints, to be filled with jelly and/or icing later this week. I followed the directions, but they still turned out to be a two-bite cookie. I’ll have to talk with my youngest sis to see how she does them, because hers are one-bite.
I’ve also made fudge with semi-sweet chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and walnuts. And, I’ve made Haystacks with milk chocolate. I’m thinking about one more run of fudge, with milk chocolate.
I’m working on Kolache, the kind which are made from LOTS of butter, cream cheese and flour. I plan to use raspberry and apricot fillings, and I’m going to create and fill the cookies and then freeze them. They can be baked Christmas Eve morning.
I also plan to make “Fanciful Raspberry Ribbons,” and Sugar Crisp. (LOTS of Sugar Crisp.) That should be more than enough to create gift trays and have plenty for our house, too. I hope I manage to get them all done, and artfully arranged on the trays by Christmas Eve!