Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Visions of sugarplums and rocky road

While I'm not a huge Christmas person, there are three things I really like about this time of year:

1) Extra days off work.

2) The license to consume obscene amounts of sugar and alcohol.

3) The spirit of generosity.

All of these things converge this week. Starting tomorrow, I have five days off, which is not as great as the two weeks some people have but is certainly better than no days off! Among the things I want to do before Christmas is deliver cookies around town.

While many people bring sweets to their friends and neighbors, I've gotten in the habit of delivering cookies to some of the people I appreciate all year round even though they're not friends. This sometimes includes the corner grocer or the local drycleaner, but it always includes the butcher and the vet.

This year's goodies include the fabulous array of cookies my friends and I baked on Sunday. Of course there were my Mexican wedding cookies, but there were plenty of other treats, truly something for everyone.

Peanut butter and jelly cookie sandwiches: a good excuse to eat two cookies masquerading as one.
Biscotti, for the adult in some of us.
Soft ginger cookies.
Thumbprints filled with homemade jam.

I'll happily risk losing a tooth for this toffee.

Cranberry-orange-pistachio cookies, in perfect Christmas colors.

My miniature black and whites (which were not nearly as photogenic as the ones on the Gourmet cover.)
Sugarplums, which I'd never had before. They were nutty, chewy, and delicious.
Shortbread with peppermint bark: buttery, minty, chocolatey perfection.
German cinnamon stars, crunchy and spicy.

And the divine rocky road.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Hungry Dog


  1. That's so nice! There are so many people who make a difference in our lives all year - great idea to show them that you appreciate them. And who wouldn't feel appreciated with this enormous assortment of treats??
    Merry Christmas!

  2. You are so thoughtful! Good on you. Those are some awesome cookies, the PB&J one sounds amazing :). Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year :)

  3. Wow, you are such a sweetheart! Many people have good intentions this time of year, but few people actually act on them. I wish I lived in SF to trade Christmas cookies with you....

    And I also wish I had the recipes for those sugarplums, German spiced stars, and shortbread with peppermint bark. Yum!! :)

    P.S. Love the line "the adult in some of us" ... yes, yes, yes! And doesn't the holiday season just bring out the kid in us all?!

  4. Holy cow, you are a cookie powerhouse! PS -- why is the huz in Kentucky?

  5. Oh my gosh - you make black and whites?!?! Those are my favorite cookies of all time (if made well). I must prevail upon you for some the next time I'm in SF at the holidays. And - you are so wonderful to bake for the people who make your life tastier and healthier. Merry Christmas!

  6. Thanks, everyone!

    nightowlchef: I believe the shortbread/peppermint bark recipe came from epicurious. The other two recipes I'll ask my friend Steve for if you'd like them.

    sean: He's from Kentucky, if you can believe it! Returned home today.

    Ash: This recipe isn't at all hard--I did it once before and they came out looking better than the ones I did this year. I think I was in too much of a hurry. They are very simple but can get messy with the icings and they are impossible to store/pack, as they stick to each other. Recipe is from Gourmet. I'll make 'em for you when you return to CA.

  7. I second all three of your reasons! ;)
    Love the cookie feast. I want a dozen of each kind, please.

  8. wow so many cookies!! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

  9. Heh, we just got back from making the cookie rounds. The chocolatier, the gelato shop, the butcher, the baker, the camera shop, friends, neighbors, I LOVE IT! It's not a Belgian tradition at all, so people are really surprised and happy.

    Merry Christmas, Hungry Dog!

  10. Hungry Dog, Now I'm hungry! Your cookies look divine! You must have baked all day. Glad the hubby is home.
    Merry Christmas!

  11. Happy holidays, Lady! How I miss your cookie treats, but not as much as I miss you!

  12. Merry Christmas to all of you as well!

    Kate: I love that you bring cookies to the chocolatier, the gelato shop, and the baker...that's brilliant!

    Cee: Happy holidays to you, too! Let's get together in January.

  13. Oh, I forgot: Congratulations on 100 posts! You don't look a day over 90... :-)

  14. OMG Sam this is incredible! I can't decide which one I would try first! Lucky dry cleaner ;-)

  15. Kate: thanks! that 100 went so fast... :0

    Alis: hey if you lived in the city I would have dropped some by for you too!

  16. Thanks, Hungry Dog!! I just found the chocolate peppermint bark recipe on Epicurious. I would loooove the German cinnamon stars recipe at least, if it's not a huge trouble. That is SURE to be an instant fave in my family. :D
    (wow, my mouth is kinda watering already ... is this a good sign or a bad sign??!)