This year I took the slow boat towards Christmas and only started really thinking about holiday baking and decorating this past weekend. Friday night we put up our shiny little tinsel tree, drank a few amaretto sours and basked in the glow and shimmer of pink lights and oodles of vintage ornaments. My favorite holiday movie, The Shop Around the Corner, has been watched and my cupboards and fridge is now full of flour, butter, sliced almonds and chocolate. Time to start the all important holiday baking!
A couple of years ago, I compiled a mighty list of great holiday baking ideas and gifts and figured I’d provide a compendium to my original list filled with great seasonal treats from 2010 + 2011. And because that older list also included a lovely little gift tag set to print off and use, I figured I’d add another one for the collection! All you need is a PDF reader and a printer. Just download the PDF, print onto card stock and cut out your cheery checked circles! Use them to top mason jars filled with treats, or use a hole punch and tie on some ribbon to tag your edible gift! The design matches the recipe cards in my etsy shop, you know, in case you were curious.
Now, onwards with the holiday baking, candy & kitchen book ideas!
Bars & Squares
Butterscotch confetti squares - a Canadian classic aka “marshamel”.
Butterscotch cashew bars - buttery & delicious.
Cranberry lemon squares - tart & festive.
Seriously intense cocoa nib brownies - for serious chocolate fanatics!
Cakes & Loafs
Walnut & cranberry zucchini bread - a favorite!
Banana espresso chocolate chip bread - a classic combo of flavours!
Coconut lime cake - tart & tropical.
Coffee & spice cupcakes - spicy and dark.
Candy & Nuts
Candy Cane Crisp Bark – white chocolate, rice crispies & crushed candy canes do Christmas up right!
Chocolate coconut almond bites – like little balls of Almond Joy!
Last-minute peanut brittle – Today I saw a small box of peanut brittle on sale for $14. It’s a snap to make, so make it yourself!
Salted caramel pretzel almond popcorn – what a tasty mouthful!
Salty sweet candied peanuts – what’s not to love?
Spiced caramel corn with pepitas, almonds & pecans - just a little spicy…
Cranberry rum shortbread cookies – slice and bake & perfect for the holidays!
Chocolate puddle cookies - decadent!
Salted butterscotch oatmeal cookies - in 2011 I discovered a serious love of butterscotch!
Vegan-ish sandwich cookies - like oreos, but better!
Bittersweet chocolate cookies - holy moly.
Vegan garam masala cookies - like gingerbread, only more interesting.
And because I’m an avid reader (you can follow me here on GoodReads – though be wary, I do read a lot of YA), here are just three great kitchen books that I read this past year:
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef – Honest, open, no BS memoir. Loved it.
Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys – A gorgeous cookbook that I think is a must in anyone’s collection.
Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits – This book will make you want to drink more (not necessarily a bad thing).
elsewhere: After all this sweetness, maybe you want to curl up with something a bit more healthy. And maybe you want a tutorial on how to shred cabbage. Well, you are in luck! Over at Poppytalk, I make a fantastic apple cabbage slaw and show you the proper way to shred cabbage (no finger loss!).