Thursday, December 19, 2013

Here Comes Santa Claus

Are you ready? Ya. Me either as evidenced by my lack of posts. Thanksgiving seemed to be my breaking point. Moving, unpacking, renovating, holiday-ing. Blech. I feel quite Bah Humbugish. Not good.

So... how to motivate myself. 

Well, having moved to the great Up Nord - we have that. Lots of that. Strangely, we love it. Slippery as an eel roads? We navigate it. Thigh high snow? Ok, that hasn't quite happened yet but I've got some killer boots. Learning to live in layers - cinchy. 

It's up. kinda.
 We are calling it the leaning tree of Piza. 
We fussed for 3 days trying to keep it upright.. Just as the Italians did, we decided to live with the lean.

Christmas music? 
 Pandora is probably sorry they offer a free service. I will run back and forth all day long to click those cute little thumbs up, thumbs down buttons. Not only do I get free music....I do believe I'm losing weight from all the scampering.
 Yes. I scamper.
 It makes me endearing.

Holiday treats?......?........?...............................?
Ah HA! Cookies! Marshmallows! Cakes! Pies! 
This may be whats missing.
 Every year I've made batches of this or that to give to friends & neighbors. 
This year I haven't. All our nesting has kept me so busy that I haven't met any neighbors.
 Ok, we are only on a street of about 5 or 6 houses. 
Yes, it's a long street so we don't see each other.
 Plus, as a renter, not many people know we are here (I think I sorta like that tho). 
So while I plan to wave wildly as a car, or tractor or horse and buggy pass our house next Spring - we're kinda outta luck this year.  However, I can send treats to work with Mr. Mutt. AND living in the frozen tundra does offer me an excuse to warm up the house baking time. 

So, I'm gonna share some recipes with you. That's an un-Bah Humbug thing to do. You may need to do some extra scampering. It's worth it. Nothing better than some sugary sweetness to get rid of those Humbug blues. 
Shake your fist at me all you want...just remember if you do shake your fist....
you're burning up calories!

Here are three of my go to's when whipping up some Christmas cheer.

The first I tore out of a Martha Stewart magazine.
 I no longer remember if it was my magazine or not. There's a strange thing that comes over me when I see a winning recipe. I just take it. Others be damned.

The second is an ancient chocolate chip cookie recipe that I've had since...well way back from.....ok nevermind - just know it's been kicking around my recipe book for a

Lastly, marshmallows. Always a crowd pleaser.
 Always nerve wracking to make....but worth pleasing the crowd.

 Almond Lace Cookies

Stuff You Need:

4 TBS unsalted butter
2 TBS heavy cream
1 TBS orange liqueur or flavoring
3/4 cups whole unblanched almonds - ground medium fine
1 TBS AP flour
1/2 cup sugar

Stuff You Do:

Heat your oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, cream & orange liqueur.  When the butter has melted, stir in remaining ingredients using  WOODEN spoon. Cook until gently bubbling - 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat & keep warm.

Place 5 half teaspoons of batter 1-/2 inces apart on baking sheet.  Bake until lightly browned and crisp (about 6-7 minutes).

Remove from oven and let sit for 1-2 minutes. RESIST temptation to try one. They are like molten lava.
At this point I leave them alone, let them cool on a wire rack and then dip half in chocolate later. BUT if you want to get all fancy the recipe goes on:

Working quickly, lay each cookie over a cone shaped object (I don't own any cone shaped object hence leaving them alone) and press edges together.  OR you could roll the warm cookies around the handle of that WOODEN spoon you used earlier, pressing the edges together to for a cylinder. Then lay on a wire rack to cool. 

Hmmm, if they are tube shaped I supposed you could squeeze some yumminess inside.  I may try that next year!

Ancient Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Stuff You Need:

2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
24 oz. chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice but if you ask me - - - PECANS!)
2 tsp. vanilla 

Stuff You Do:

Cream the butter and both sugars. 
Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. 
Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. 
Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
 Makes 112 cookies. If that's too many - this recipe can be halved...but why - really.

Magnificent Marshmallows

Stuff You Need:

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Stuff You Do:

Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and *whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

With a sieve, generously dust an 8 by 12-inch nonmetal baking dish with confectioners' sugar. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth the top, and dust with more confectioners' sugar. Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out.

Turn the marshmallows onto a board and cut them in squares. Dust them with more confectioners' sugar.

*Stuff You Do For Fun:

Add 1/2 cup of liquor to the marshmallows when whipping
Kaluah, ** Baileys, Chambord, Amaretto - use your imagination!
 These adult marshmallows are the shit - toats!

**This is a special add on to the marshmallow recipe for my bloggy friend Lynne whose Baileys recipe is AHHHHHhhhh inspiring. Click the link - you'll thank her later.  

Don't know about Lynne & her awesome blog Design The Life You Want To Live
Go Now.  
Go - I'll wait.  Yuppers. She's that cool. Plus, she loves dogs. J'adore Lynne.

Ok enough sugary sweet love. Go forth & sugar-fy!



  1. Oh, these look wonderful, and no, I am far from through this year. So what am I doing about it? Blogging!

    1. That's the attitude Sheila! Glad you are back at it♥ I do believe there was a calendar conspiracy this year...someone stole a week out of December.


Merci♥ J'adore your comments & I'll be sure to get back to you tout de suite!