Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas & Hanukkah

I, normally, cannot stand for anyone on any level to do anything Christmas related before Thanksgiving. It is not that I have anything against Christmas, I don't I adore the holiday more than I can express but in this day and age it seems people are trying to shove it down your throat earlier and earlier each year so by the time it is finally Christmas Season you are just about Decked The Halls out.....

Usually I reserve anything Winter themed until at least Thanksgiving Day. Then we would break out the tree, and the ornaments. After which, while trying to fight off a Turkey induced coma we would decorate. Yet as with all things in life, things change. Besides just having to get holiday cookie designs out in time for people to order I find myself wanting to pick up where Ma left off.

This will be the first Christmas without her and this was her holiday. Certain foods had to be made each year, decorations out and more. I'm the eldest daughter, so it feels as if I need to really be the Matriarch now of our branch of the family tree. Whether I am or not doesn't matter and even if all my family is back in Ga seems to be of little consequence. I swear this Christmas Clock ticking is worse than any biological one I have dealt with.

So here I am...Preparing for Christmasfest 2012. Cookies are being decorated, menus for the holidays are being planned, lists being made of what to make and send to family and right now my house looks like a Holiday Tornado went through it as I am trying to pull down Fall and put up Winter. Taking a small break from all that right now. Got pictures taken of my first holiday cookies and wanted to share those.

Now, onto the cookies. First up I have the one I am most proud of! A Cookie Advent Calender! I am so happy the way this turned out. Now the size of the calender backing is 9x11. It is a cookie and is roughly 3/8 inch thick without the flooded icing on top. Each of the days is a smaller cookie, about the size of a US 50 cent piece.

 This was a really fun piece to make. I hand cut the background and used some mini cookie cutters for the smaller pieces. If you enjoy cookie decorating I would really suggest you try one of these yourself. I have a large cellophane clear gift bag I will be wrapping ours up in each day while it hangs to keep it fresh for the month. (Remember sugar cookies and royal icing hold up very well!!! Much better than most cookies)

Now, this second set started out as something totally different but ended up as something I just adore. I made several other sets. Some small ones, some regular sized ones and some giant. All were going to be different sets but as I got to looking at them all completed I felt they worked better together. So a few found flats together and some thick royal icing and suddenly I had found I have created a full 3d Winter Scene. It was just too cute not to share!

Now this took a few days to do and was actually really easy. (Most of it was just drying time) Thing is that it is already mostly gone and I just finished taking pictures. It wasn't that it didn't hold up. It was that my youngest wanted a cookie house really bad it seems and ended up devouring the small one with the house on it. He did feel guilty and managed to make me a lego version of it to replace it. (After he found my forgiveness he went and ate the bigger one. -_- So I gave up having it last any longer. LOL I am sure Mongo there and Gingy will be the next to go. Their days are numbered and there is a gallon of milk in the fridge. I can hear it now, "Beeeeeeee goooooood."

And finally, the last set I completed will be on Etsy for sale later on. (The others are just too fragile for shipping but hey, if you are in Moses Lake and want me to do something like that, contact me for prices.) These are my first Hanukkah Cookies. Many may not be aware of it but I am half Jewish, so I figured it was about time that I let my Jew show :P (Now me being good in math makes sense LOL Oy-Vey!)

Aren't they precious! I had a lot of fun doing those and I hope to do more. (Just so hard to find any cookie cutter that is Hebrew. Will have to keep an eye out for more.)

Now for the reason I know many are reading this. New recipe time! Oh yeah! I did these cookies in 2 flavors. One is a Chocolate Buttermilk that is just smashing but I ain't sharing. :P The other is one I think many would enjoy making this holiday season. Eggnog! Now this this a variation on another recipe that is not my own. It is Georganne from LilaLoa. This Eggnog recipe is a variation of her The Vanilla Variation, yes the same one I did a Churro version of. This is my Holiday Eggnog and I hope you love it as much as my family is!

Holiday Eggnog Rolled Sugar Cookie:
1 Cup Unsalted Butter - room temp 

1 Cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Eggnog
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
4 Cups All Purpose Flour

  1. Cream the butter and sugar
  2. Add in the eggnog, mix to combine
  3. Sift together 1 cup of the flour with the salt, nutmeg and cinnamon
  4. Add to wet mix, combine
  5. Slowly add remaining flour
  6. Roll out between pieces of wax paper to desired thickness
  7. Refrigerate 2-3 hours
  8. Cut out designs, place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  9. Refrigerate another 30 (helps keep from spreading)
  10. Bake at 375 for 7-10 minutes - depending on size. 
  11. Remove from oven, cool a couple of minutes before moving to a wire rack.
  12. Cool fully and decorate!

Well, there you have it! Enjoy!


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