12.22.2011

sweets of the season...

Christmas is nearly upon us and our life from early November to now has been a whirlwind of G's second birthday preparations, a bout with the croup, getting our nursery ready to fit both our growing toddler and our baby-to-be, holiday shopping, crazy work schedules, my sister's wedding and a partridge in a pear tree ;-)

Though juggling all of this has had it's challenges I have also been very aware of our many blessings:
  • a healthy pregnancy and feeling this new life move and grow
  • a happy, healthy, energetic and sweet as can be toddler
  • a warm home that we own and enjoy
  • gainful employment
  • the love of family
This past Sunday we attended church and gave thanks for all of your blessings while celebrating Advent.  After mass, we walked over to the church hall where a coffee hour and luncheon was set to begin.  George was enamored with the lights on the christmas tree and, of course, the many cookies ready to sample.
 Look at the joy on his little face!
And, speaking of cookies, this year I attended my very first cookie swap.  Though there are favorites I bake nearly every year, I wanted to try something new and festive for this event.  In one of my online groups another mom had posted a recipe for Peppermint Meltaways that seemed to fit what I was looking for.  Though more time and labor intensive than I had anticiapted (note: take butter out to soften before leaving for church), I was happy with how they turned out.  If you have a few hours of dedicated baking time before the Christmas festivities this weekend, you might want to give them a whirl...
Cookie:
1 cup unslated butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (or more to taste)
2 to 3 drops red food color, if desired
Candy canes or hard peppermint candy, crushed
Combine butter, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour and cornstarch. Beat until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate until firm (30 to 60 minutes).

Heat oven to 350°F. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls (I used a small cookie scoop for uniformity) of dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets (be gentle with this as the still warm cookies are quite delicate). Cool completely.

Meanwhile, combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl. Stir in food color, if desired. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy. Alow to set out until glaze/icing hardens.
 
Note: I made a triple batch and decided to ice the cookies rather than use a looser glaze.  The frosting set up/hardened nicely when set out overnight. I ended up adding at least three times the recommended peppermint in the frosting as I preferred a stronger flavor.  Add more to taste as you mix and decide on the consistency you'd like.
 
MERRY CHRISTMAS
and may all the blessings of the season be with you and yours...

3 comments:

Aurie{OurGoodLife} said...

Yum! Really hoping there might be a few of those left tomorrow :)

Lynn said...

Merry Christmas back to you and your family!!!

nfaband said...

Yummy ... those cookies look terrific, I may have to add them to my stash of recipes for next Christmas. Sounds like you had a great holiday, and little "G" is just gorgeous is those photos Jen.

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