Monday, December 24, 2012

Santa's Whiskers

Santa would love these cherry filled cookies!

Guess what? I made something with cherries in it.... Again!!! I know hard to believe. I love cherries! Some of my friends must love cherries too because quite a few of them requested this Christmas cookie that I have adopted into my regular Christmas baking routine. No cherry cookie will ever outshine the Cherry Bonbon that is always in the center of every Christmas cookie tray I send out, but this is a close second. I love the festive color of this cookie and its great chewy texture. I know that this is a cookie a lot of bloggers and bakers have spoken about and there must be a reason for that right.... because they are Yummy! And of course anything with the word Santa in, kids will love.

As I travel from the warmth of South Carolina to the the chilly temps of Pennsylvania, I am looking forward to seeing family and sharing in the holiday traditions that have made Christmas the most special day of the whole year for me. Although it was not the Christmas I expected to have this year, I am embracing the love from my family and the Hope that they will instill in me to start my New Year. This holiday I hope that all my readers are surrounded by those that they love and cherish, that good luck comes your way in the New Year and that your home is filled with love, laughter and plenty of Christmas cookies.
XOXO and Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Biscotti (Unscotti)

A family recipe that is a gift itself.

So we finally get to this recipe. It is the the second recipe that inspired my blog name. My original thought, as you can read in my About section, was to name my blog after my two grandmothers. This is my Gram H's  recipe- biscotti. My Gram used to make these anise flavored Biscotti during the holidays. The recipe is her mother's, my great grandmother's or my Noni's. This recipe is of Northern Italian roots. My ancestors are originally from Valle De Aosta which is in Northern Italy near France. My great Grandfather was born there and moved here in his 20s. He married a local Italian woman who was first generation and the began their family. Together they had 5 children, my Gram being the eldest.  In many ways for them, life was very hard but they kept their Italian heritage alive through family stories and baking familiar recipes like this one. This is one of the cookies that my Gram saw her mother make, my mother saw my Gram make, I saw my mother make and now I make yearly to remember them all. It is a family favorite and a taste that is truely unique. It is also my sister's favorite cookie so I make sure every year that she has a special container under the tree.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pecan Tassies

Every year, these cookies are made by special request for a very special friend, my best friend actually, Ginny. She waits for these cookies as part of her Christmas gift and as I learned this weekend, as part of her Christmas tradition. While not a baker herself, she does appreciate my desserts that are not "too sweet, or contain icing" and in most cases she is the first person who tastes most, if not all, of my recipes. She told me this weekend while sitting on my couch munching, that she will always associate me with a few things that I cook and then she proceeded to name them. These cookies were one of those recipes along with my pumpkin roll, stuffed cabbage casserole, and a few other specialties. That made me feel like I am making a difference in some one's life. Like I spoke about before, I am becoming part of some one's history. 

But the real truth is: Ginny and I are more part of each other's history than that. Our lives are so intermeshed right now and really for the past 8 years. We have been there for each other in good times and bad.  In the past year or so, we have been not only each others best friend but also each others unwavering support. Yes, times have been tough and much more so on her part. We have shared tears, hugs, and yet so many laughs. Without her in my life I am not sure where I would be.... Thank you friend! These cookies are made with love, hope and belief that all will be good in our lives soon. And if not we always have each other! And Wine!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

White Chocolate, Cranberry, Pecan Bites

I just wanted to share this quick little recipe. I have been getting some questions from followers about what they can take to their Christmas party. This is a great recipe because it is super simple and you only need to know how to use a microwave.  I don't know anyone who can not "nuke" something. Give it a try! Your friends and family will be impressed. I guarantee!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bourbon Spiced Shortbread Cookies

I am so excited to be participating in the Great Food Blogger's Cookie Swap 2012. I have received some great cookies in the mail from a few very talented bloggers. I have to give a shout out to for their delicious Chinese Chai cookies, for the scrumptious Peppermint Mocha Cookies and Praline Cookies from . I  must admit that this is the first time that I had to send food through the mail and was a little anxious. I typically make soft cookies or something fruit or cream filled which would not have worked for this purpose, considering one of my recipients was in Seattle. I had to put on my thinking cap.... I  asked a lot of friends who benefited from my baking in the past; what cookie that I make is their favorite? I began getting text messages, emails, and people bringing me new recipes that they wanted me to bake because they did not feel that they could. This really gave me a lot of great feedback but once again the "cookie suggestions" were not mail appropriate.

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

So, last weekend, after Thanksgiving gorging and Christmas tree engineering, I sat down surrounded by manila envelops of family recipes, cookbooks, and my horded recipes that I have cut and gathered over the years. Quickly, after I started digging,  I remembered this simple, little gem. I used to make this cookie every Thanksgiving in little maple leaf shapes. They were so cute and tasty and provided the perfect "not so sweet" alternative dessert.  For the past 2 years in my life's upheaval, I had forgotten this cookie. It had missed Thanksgiving.... but, unfortunately, so had I.

Sometimes, life changes and takes a direction that you don't expect. Mine really has.  From my experiences, I have learned one thing: the great things in life all come back into your life. They are ever-present. In the past 2 years, I have rediscovered great friendships, grown a lot stronger relationship with my little sister and parents, learned to reappreciate the little things and reimmersed myself in things I really love, including this blog. I believe that sometimes this circle of life and change gives you little signs of hope to keep you going. My little, lost cookie is back and although minor to most, it is a great sign.  With every little thing that reappears in my life now, I know that all will be OK. I know that I have come full circle.  I know that there is Hope. And isn't that what Christmas is all about....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...