Christmas Baking

With the Christmas season upon us, I thought it would be appropriate to share my favorite cookie recipe with you.  It’s shortbread, and it’s super easy to make.

You will need:

1 lb of softened butter

3/8 cup of brown sugar

3/8 cup of icing sugar

4 cups of all-purpose flour

Mix these four ingredients together well.  Use your hands to work the dough until it’s nice and soft.

Scoop out teaspoon sized dough balls and place them onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Leave some room for expansion, maybe ½ inch or so between the cookies.

Press them down a bit with a fork and sprinkle Christmas colored sugar or other decorations over the top.  OR don’t press them down with a fork, but rather push ½ of a red or green candied cherry into the top.

Bake at 325F for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.  Do not over bake.  This recipe makes around 6 dozen cookies, depending on size.

I remember my Grandma having shortbread at her house at Christmas time and I just wanted to eat handfuls of these….I probably did too!

Yum!!

I added this batch of baking to the freezer, and looking inside I feel a sense of accomplishment.  In this freezer you will find home-made cookies and candies, preserved vegetables and fruit that I have bought from local fruit growers in preparation for winter.  Let’s call this the ‘Martha Stewart freezer’.  It’s the one that I will inadvertently leave open when company arrives.  It’s the one that I will send a visitor to fetch something from, and then act all nonchalant when they comment on the homemade baking and preserves.

The freezer's almost full - must be close to Christmas time!

….but don’t be fooled….I’m not Martha.  For one thing, she would have defrosted her freezer before posting pictures of it for all the world to see.  

The pre-packaged 'home made' baking - sanity savers.

We also have another freezer.  It’s in the basement.  It’s the one that I have as ‘backup’.  When the homemade baking starts to get a bit thin, I prop it up a little with some stuff that comes in a box wrapped in plastic.  Here is where you will find my dirty but yummy little secrets.  There are bought and frozen pre made perogies, cabbage rolls and baking…..and….oh, what’s this??

I found some 'extra' goodies hidden in the freezer this year...

It turns out that someone else is storing their dirty but yummy little secrets in this freezer as well!  I guess it’s a sign of aging.  Either because I have started putting liquor in the basement freezer and forgetting that I did, OR because our boys are getting older and have started a stash of their own! 

This isn’t the first time I have found things that the boys have hidden in my freezer.  Years ago I remember finding a beaver’s tail in the freezer, and another time a duck’s foot.  I remember a young boy’s excitement while showing me how he could make the duck’s foot move by pulling on a tendon.  Don’t get me wrong, it was fascinating, but after the beaver tail incident we had a little conversation about what things belong in the freezer near our food, and what things don’t.  

I guess the days of ducks’ feet and beaver tails are gone, and now we are on to something new.  Not exactly hidden, but in a place where they can be sure to find them later untouched by anyone else….probably.

Back to the baking – You can feel great about buying your baking for Christmas for many reasons, not the least of which is that you will have more time to spend with your family and friends.  The baking that we buy is relatively local, bought from a Saskatchewan based; family owned small business called ‘In Good Taste’.  Our 4-H club has an ‘In Good Taste’ fundraiser every year, and this is an opportunity for us to support our local 4-H club while also endorsing a local small business and finishing our Christmas baking at the same time.  Their food is delicious and they are great to work with.  If you would like to order something for your baking supply, here is their website:  http://www.ingoodtastefoods.ca

I hope that you are enjoying this wonderful Christmas season.  There are so many opportunities now to get together and enjoy the company of friends and the beautiful sights and sounds of concerts and other events.  Seize these opportunities for fun, and buy some baking to take the edge off of your preparations….and if you have young adult children, check the basement freezer for a little extra Christmas cheer.   

Our gingerbread house

“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.  In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall!”    –  Larry Wilde

<Terra>

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2 responses to “Christmas Baking

  1. What a great ending comment about Christmas trees – come to think of it, it’s so true. Parents worry too much I guess. (Not quite ready to let go of Christmas – thanks for the refresh. Happy New Year.)

    • It’s true about the tree isn’t it? We as parents get all wrapped up in making things perfect, when the kids are pretty content with only half perfect, maybe even quarter perfect. I’m happy with the way it always turns out though. Happy New year to you!

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