Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's 7:25...

It's 7:25 a.m. and the house is still quiet.  It has been a wonderful week of celebration, visiting, eating, and fun.  Soon I'll hear the bedroom doors open and will want to get that coffee pot going, but first I'll send along a quick post of gift projects made this Christmas season.  They were simple, but fun.
Pillow cases for Mom, and...
a pair of furry-lined slippers. (NOT so simple!)
Pillow cases for my mom-in-law.  I made a set for Auntie as well, but I haven't been able to download those pictures yet.
A bag, given to my harp instructor.  Thank you, J., for unlimited amounts of patience!
A pair of pillow cases I kept for the guest bedroom.  :)
I hear a bedroom door opening, so time to get that coffee made!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Let the baking begin!

The smells of cookies have begun to waft through the house.  So far I've made Russian Tea Cakes, Bizcochitos (Anise cookies), and Chocolate Krinkles.  In between the baking, I've been finally getting to some Christmas sewing projects, wrapping, and doing laundry.  What a great way to begin the Christmas holiday vacation.  The next cookie on my list is Peppernuts.  My mom and siblings reading this will most likely remember the peppernuts we received every Christmas in packages from both of our Grandmas.  Grandma K always made the cinnamon spiced kind, cut into small nuggets.  They were hard and crunchy, and oh, so yummy!  Grandma S made a lighter colored peppernut with more of a pepper spice.  These were a bit larger, and not quite as crunchy.  These were good, too, but my favorite, and the ones I like to make, are the Grandma K peppernuts.  What is your favorite Christmas cookie to make -- or eat!?
Chocolate Krinkles

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cardamom Almond Biscotti

The other evening I made Biscotti.  Yum!  In my opinion, the best way to eat Biscotti is to dip it in hot coffee.  After sending some off to our Faculty Follies fundraiser, and taking some to school today, there are just a few left here at home.  ... a perfect treat for tomorrow's morning coffee!  I promised the recipe to some friends, so here it is (taken from Taste of Home's Treasury of Christmas Recipes, p. 233).

Cardamom Almond Biscotti
1 cup butter,softened
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 t. almond extract
5-1/4 cups flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cardamom
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream (I substituted plain yogurt -- the Greek kind sold at Costco)
1 c. chopped almonds

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in extract. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, and cardamom; add to creamed mixture alternating with sour cream. Fold in almonds.

Divide dough into fourths.  Shape each into a ball.  Roll each ball into a 15 in. log on 2 greased cookie sheets (2 per pan).  Bake at 350 for 30 min.  Transfer to a cutting board, and cut diagonally into 1/2 inch slices. Place with cut side down on greased baking sheets.  Bake for 10-12 min. or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.  Makes about 7 dozen.