Since I don’t eat much sugar, I’m real picky about what I choose to splurge on at Christmas. It must have chocolate, and if the treat contains peanut butter as well, then it’s worth the splurge!
Yesterday I made Peanut Blossom Cookies, and I hope to get a batch of Buck eyes made, as well. Those peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate are my absolute favorite, and I will use Xylitol in them so they won’t be too naughty. 🙂
I usually make a large batch of biscotti from this recipe – Orange Almond Biscotti. I drizzle them with melted chocolate – so much fun! Not everyone is a fan of biscotti, but both my brother and my Italian brother-in-law crave them! They each get a package wrapped up in cellophane tied with Christmas ribbon.
Each year I make another cookie that isn’t my especial favorite, but it’s especially for giving away – Mexican Wedding Cookies are my mom’s favorite. I always make her a batch, which she gets all to herself! Jesse helped make them this year – he loves the mixer!
Here is Jesse helping to make Beppe’s Christmas cookies.
Another favorite recipe is my mother’s Spiced Cranberry Bread. Unfortunately, this recipe has about as much sugar as flour! As much as I love it, I knew I couldn’t indulge in too many slices of this unless I adjusted the recipe. So I sweetened it with honey, used 100% whole wheat flour, and soaked the batter overnight as I usually do when I make baked goods, and it actually turned out well! It has a completely different consistency than Mom’s loaf (still good, just different), but the same distinct flavor. I am satisfied – and have eaten a whole loaf myself this week! 🙂
Here’s my adjusted recipe (The original remains a family secret! :))
1 c. honey
1 stick butter
2 Tbsp. yogurt or vinegar
In another bowl, combine
2 c. fresh ground whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
Beat into honey and butter mixture, cover, and let set on counter 8 hours or overnight (to let the enzymes begin to break down the wheat flour, making the loaf lighter and easier to digest.)
The next day, stir in
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Lb. fresh cranberries
1 c. raisins
Pour into two greased 9x5in. loaf pans and bake at 350 for aprox. 50 min – till browned and center bounces back when pressed lightly with a finger.
For Jeremy I also make pressed spritz cookies, a Holden family favorite. But I don’t have a cookie press or a working oven right now, so I went up to my in-laws yesterday and spent all day making and baking and decorating cookies with them! It was a yummy day – thanks, guys! 🙂
So, what recipes to do you pull out at Christmas time? What particular cookie shape or flavor says ‘It’s Christmas Time!’ at your house? I’d love to hear – I still have some sugar and butter left, and just might try a new recipe if you really make my mouth water! 🙂