Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Cookies

IMG_0348It was a year of baking from Internet recipes, it seems:

Cottage Cheese Cookies

Chocolate Almond Spice Cats

Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread

Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies

Sparkling Ginger Chip Cookies

Aunt Fan's Caramels, chocolate and vanilla, both with pecans

Later addition, not pictured: Salted Chocolate Caramels

The stars, for me, were the Pistachio Cranberry Cookies, and the Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread. And the caramels, Aunt Fan's being a family tradition and the Salted Chocolate ones are very similar if a little fudgier.

IMG_0384Later note: over the weekend, younger niece and I made our first attempt at dipping chocolates, and used some of Aunt Fan's caramels (vanilla with pecans) and the Salted Chocolate Caramels. And a few dried cherries, to use up the last of the chocolate. Oh, dear, those are wicked. Takes the caramels to a whole new level. Our dipping-chocolate expertise has a way to go, as I had trouble maintaining the proper temperature to keep the chocolate (60% cacao Ghirardelli, from the "Intense Dark" line) properly tempered, but most of the results seem to have a good snap once completely cooled so perhaps we did OK after all. If we decide to do this next year, I'll experiment with using a heating pad to maintain the temperature. Sorry, bad pun, couldn't resist...

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