|NUTS AND COOKIES READY TO MAIL|
This has been a wonderful holiday week at our house! There has been the usual baking, Christmas caroling, friends dropping by with their Christmas greetings and special gifts, Christmas stories and music, shopping, wrapping, service projects, Christmas movies, kids taking their college finals, year end work, making crafts, decorating, putting up the tree, raking the leaves (yes, about mid-December in Arizona, some of our trees lose their leaves for a month or two), family time, and best of all, my sweet daughter #3 gave birth to her firstborn, a healthy son. He was 2 weeks early, just 6 1/4 pounds, 18" long, with a healthy appetite, a great set of lungs, and he is the sweetest and best gift to our family during this season of joy and love. We are so blessed!
|CREAM THEE WET|
|SIFT THE DRY|
|MIX IT ALL TOGETHER|
My terrific son-in-law is taking great care of his little family way up in cold and snowy northern Idaho where they are in school. He is taking his final exams and will have a couple of weeks off before school resumes in January. I plan to travel up to help them and to meet my new grandson the first week of January (if I can wait that long?); after a couple of family birthday parties, a family outing to the Charles Dickens play, The Christmas Carol, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, house guests, and a 1/1/11 wedding for my almost daughter, a lovely young woman who we brought here from Eastern Europe on a student visa who helped us with the adoption of two of our daughters 6 years ago. Never a dull moment at our house!
|WRAP THE DOUGH FOR REFRIGERATION|
|SPRINKLE WITH POWDERED SUGAR = NO STICK|
The Speculoo Cookies were fun to make. I tried a shape similar to Dorie’s, and then found some mini Christmas shapes that also worked well. Hubby loved them...reminded him of an old fashioned Christmas...brought back childhood memories for him. He was excited that I would make lots to sent to his brother, Jimmy as a special holiday treat.
For easy roll out, I used powdered sugar instead of flour. The sprinkling of sugar took away the stickiness and very little is absorbed into the dough...and what does just added a little sweetness and that is OK with me! I had planned to do some fun things with some of these cookies, like dip them in chocolate, etc...like I saw another blogger do...but they just all got mailed away in their simple goodness. I will definitely be making more.
|CUT THE COOKIES OUT WITH PRETTY SHAPES|
|CUT CHRISTMAS SHAPE COOKIES|
|JUST FOR FUN|
|THEIR AROMA FILLS THE HOUSE--AHHHHHH!|
It was my Dad’s birthday this week and he loves nuts. Since he lives in another state we wanted to make some yummy treats for him that would survive the mail...the FFwD nuts are perfect! We also have Uncle Jimmy who never married and is alone for the holidays. We traditionally mail him a nice Christmas box with lots of goodies and fun packages. We made several flavors of the nuts and made a 4 X batch of the cookies, packaged them up in little bags, enclosed them in bubble wrap, and both my Dad and Jimmy should have received their packages today or at least by tomorrow. And...Uncle Jimmy who graduated from Culinary Arts school in Baltimore has been a chef on Hilton Head Island at a fancy resort for the past 25 years...so sending him our foods can be a little scary, but I know he will like these treats...they are great!!!
|AN EXPERIMENT: ROLL DOUGH INTO LOG, REFRIGERATE, SLICE|
|AND DUST WITH POWDERED SUGAR--HEAVEN!|
For the nuts, I followed Dorie’s recipe exactly except for one change...so that is not exactly. But after reading many fellow FfwD posts about the nuts and shaking the egg whites off each one or posts about “mess” , etc., I decided to add more nuts...enough to use up the egg white without any excess. I added about 2/3 cup more nuts to each recipe which means that there was just enough egg white to coat the nuts with no excess and yet the spices stuck to the nuts really well. Then all I had to do was spread the nuts on the silicone mats and roast them. I did add more spice/sugar amounts to compensate for the extra nuts. Also, I read some posts complaining about the mess left on the baking mats...there was none. A couple of batches needed an extra 5 minutes of roasting time, but at that point there was no gooey mess left behind and the silpat mats clean up with just a quick wipe. Totally easy.
|NUTS: ALMONDS, PECANS, WALNUTS|
|SUGAR AND SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE!|
I also roasted the cardamom recipe...and I tried another with cardamom, cinnamon and cayenne...and I just kept playing with other yummy flavors. All the combinations I tried were great. The trouble: just keeping hands out of the nuts so that I would have nuts to mail away...these nuts were getting eaten by everyone in the house, including neighbors who came to bring their Christmas gifts ..they seemed to smell the nuts from blocks away and after tasting they just all had to take home their own little bags of spiced nuts. Made me totally happy! I made 15 batches (kept 2 ovens going) while watching the old Alastair Sim’s version of the Christmas Carol movie.
|USED ALL THE EGG WHITE TO COAT THE NUTS|
|SPRINKLED ON THE SUGAR AND SPICES JUST A LITTLE AT A TIME, THEN MIXED ALL TOGETHER|
|ROASTING IN THE OVEN|
|HOT AND SPICY COCKTAIL NUTS|
|SNEAKY...JUST CAN'T KEEP HANDS OUT! WAY TOO YUMMY!!!|
|15 BATCHES OF NUTS--AND I NEED MORE!|
|SUGAR AND SWEET SPICE NUTS|
|ALL PACKAGED UP AND READY TO MAIL--I WOULD ENJOY RECEIVING SUCH A GIFT|
I have the carrots remaining for this month. I have enjoyed all the other December recipes and will make them all again. I am especially fond of these two that I tried this week...they are just perfect for the holidays. Thanks, Dorie, for 2 more great recipes that I will add to my permanent baking repertoire.
Merry Christmas to all my Cyber Friends! See you next time around when I post my carrots.
Oh, you want to see my new grandson? Well, ok...he is absolutely adorable!
|ONLY AN HOUR OLD---CAN'T WAIT TO GIVE HIM A HUG!|