Christmas Cookies for Dawn

These cookies are for my friend Dawn.  Dawn loves coconut, and I've been promising her some sort of cookie that incorporates coconut.  She really enjoyed the chocolate cranberry oatmeal spice cookies I made last week, so I decided to do a riff on that recipe, using whole grain flour, less sugar, butter, and of course, coconut.   They really turned into a completely different type of cookie.  The edges are still crispy, but these are chewy and soft and delightfully coconut-y.


My Grandma's Toffee Bars

This is my all time favorite Christmas cookie.  My Grandma has made these since I was little, and there is nothing that evokes the feeling of Christmas more for me.  One taste of these cookies and I am overcome by a wave of nostalgia...I can smell the Christmas tree and see all of the ornaments that have always been there, hear the laughter of my family all around me, see us all gathered around the large table that is still at my Grandparent's house, and feel my sister's hand in mine as we would sneak out of our beds to open our stockings before anyone else in the house awoke on Christmas morning.  I don't see all of my family on Christmas anymore since we're all spread out around the country, but I will always have these memories  and a sense of tradition that they each helped to instill in me.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

My Grandma's Toffee Bars
Toffee barsToffee bars with pecans


Chocolate and Peppermint

Chocolate and peppermint may be my favorite flavor combination year round, but I can't think of any other flavors that are more Christmas-y.  Here are two of my favorite recipes that combine chocolate and peppermint and are great additions to a holiday baking session.  Erica and I made both of these during our Cookie Marathon last weekend, and they have both been a hit with everyone.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies (aka Brad's favorite Christmas cookie)
based on a recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookie Book
Chocolate peppermint cookiesChocolate peppermint cookies


Cookie Marathon!

Welcome to the blog I've been meaning to start for the past two years!  In honor of the season, I'm going to kick things off with a holiday baking post. 

This past weekend, I got together with my lovely friend Erica, and we made nine different varieties of cookies and candy.

Cacao nib shortbread from Orangette

Cacao nib shortbread
Cacao nib shortbread

Notes on cacao nib shortbread:
  • We used whole wheat pastry flour and they turned out beautifully.
  • These are hardy cookies - they would be great for shipping.