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Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

It’s March which means its time to gather up those St. Patrick’s Day ideas. For some reason, some people inexplicably thinks this means green things flavored with mint. Yeah, I don’t really understand what mint has to do with the holiday but I don’t understand green beer either. Rather, I tend to think beer, real beer, specifically Guinness Stout. Good stuff, that beer but it’s a bit tricky to cook with. Reduce it and the bitter notes become more pronounced and unpleasant. It’s much better added to batters right from the can or used to deglaze a pan for a wonderful sauce. I’ve added it to cakes, breads and candies with great success and have made a rather fine chicken boxty dish with it. Today, I add it to biscuits and it’s a great decision.

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My mother and I went out for dim sum last week, probably one of our very favorite things to do. We both are huge dumpling fans and while ordering off a menu is just fine, there’s something so much more fun about dim sum places that wheel the carts around, allowing you to pick and choose from what cruises by. In typical form, we ended up with far too many little plates and steamer baskets on the table and loved every minute of it. As the carts made their rounds, the one typically filled with the more dessert-y options stopped at our table. I don’t particularly enjoy the sweet options but the woman maneuvering this cart was pretty adamant that we should get the coconut buns, puffy hot dog shaped rolls filled with coconut. I was indifferent but damn she was persistent. I took the plate mainly to make her go away. But she was right. Warm, soft, tender and filled with a sweet coconut filling, these things were delicious. Dang it.

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So this is it. Day 12. We did it. We now have a full 36 different cookies made from a single simple butter dough in our holiday – or anytime – repertoire. Nicely done folks! Today as the capper for the final day of the 12 Days of Cookies, a very simple, easy and rather Christmasy one too … Classic Molasses Cookies. (more…)

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I tripped over all the crap in my entryway. Bags and bags of stuff – work stuff, Christmas stuff, wrapping stuff, stuff stuff. My home is officially a hazard course and I’ve have reached critical meltdown point. So it’s probably a good time for a shot of caffeine, right? How about getting that from a cookie? The sugar has got to help too. Put a pot of to brew, grab a handful of cookies and exhale. Today for Day 11 of the 12 Days of Cookies … Espresso Crinkles. And not a day too soon. (more…)

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One week people. One week until Christmas Eve. I am nowhere near ready but that’s neither here nor there because we are officially ¾ of the way through this year’s 12 Days of Cookies and that is cause for celebration. To date, if you count previous years, we have 33 completely different cookies made from one basic cookie dough, and 33 is a very lucky number in my world. So huzzah to us all! Even better, today’s cookie has one of my favorite ingredients AND a glaze. I do so love a glaze. For Day 9 … Black Walnut Cookies with Maple Glaze.

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Day 8 people. We’ve come around the bend and are heading home. Sure, there are five more to go but we’re making good time. Today, for Day 8 of the 12 Days of Cookies, we have another classic: Date Nut Swirls. It’s an old fashioned flavor with a new fangled twist. (more…)

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You know what we haven’t had in 3 years worth of 12 Days of Cookies? Biscotti. Right? Let’s fix that today. To the basic butter cookie dough add cornmeal for crunch, egg whites for structure, a little honey, some additional leaveners and for flavor, lemon and black pepper (because why not?) For Day 7 … Lemon Cornmeal Biscotti.

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