Christmas Baking Has Begun!

You know it’s going to be a good day when your breakfast involves pumpkin in two ways.

I layered my usual after-lunch pumpkin yogurt with chunks of the whole wheat pumpkin cake I made yesterday. Although I call this a cake, it’s perfect for breakfast! There’s very little added sugar, so it’s a good way to start your morning.

I didn’t have work today, so after grocery shopping in the morning, I busted out the ingredients to make the famous anise cookies my family loves. Unfortunately, the recipe is top secret! Let’s just say that it involves lots of shortening. I don’t think my kitchen will ever be clean again. It also involves stirring five pounds of flour (no joke) by hand into the mix. I am covered with flour from head to toe.

I doubled the recipe, so it makes at least a couple hundred cookies. For some reason, the dough is really hard to roll out. My arms were actually shaking from the effort! I was feeling guilty for skipping the gym today, but I swear to God, this was strength training and cardio rolled into one!

Cutting cookies can be dangerous. Just ask my bloody hand. The picture is blurry because my arms were shaking from being overworked…

I could be going crazy from spending my entire day in the kitchen, but does this not look like Zeus? Jesus? Cthulhu? I should have left this on my counter and charged people money to pray to whatever deity appeared on my floured counter.

I only baked about one hundred cookies or so. It’s so much effort to make these that I’m going to hold off on baking the rest until Christmas, to share with my aunt and cousins when they come here. They’re not making them this year- I don’t think anyone has time except me :)- so I’m sure they’ll be glad to see them. I haven’t frosted them yet, so they’re not very pretty. I’ll post pictures tomorrow!

After eating leftover veggie pie for lunch, I had pumpkin ice cream for dessert, topped with Fiber One (OBSESSED.)

I was so happy to see it at the store (and on sale!) that I couldn’t resist getting it. I learned my lesson last year when I put off buying it and it disappeared right after Thanksgiving! I still see the seasonal summer flavors at the store, so I’m hoping pumpkin sticks around for a while. I didn’t see peppermint, though. Bummer!

Between the ice cream, lunch, an apple with peanut butter, and a little bit of dough, I was still hungry! Even though I could feel a sugar high coming on, I set out to bake another batch of cookies. I made these last year on Christmas Eve, and I swear to God they are the best cookies I have ever made. I can’t take credit for the recipe, but I modified it last year to use what I had on hand. The result was incredible! I wish I had written down what I did, but instead of using unsweetened chocolate (which I didn’t have) I was throwing in chocolate chips, M&Ms, and cocoa powder instead. Besides, I promised my sister I would make these today, and I didn’t want to let her down! They’re that good.

Chocolate Peppermint Patty Cookies

(Adapted from Sunset.com)

For cookies:

  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces M&Ms (if you like your cookies with chunks, use the M&Ms- they don’t melt. If you prefer a smoother cookie, use 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate and leave out the M&Ms.)
  • 1/4 cupΒ  butter, cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)

Directions:

  • Melt the butter and chocolate together, using either a double boiler or the microwave. (I used the microwave this time… very easy!) Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
  • Mix in the sugar and eggs, stirring until combined. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt, if using. Cover the dough and chill for two hours, or until it’s firm.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit for 15 minutes. Roll into balls and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 8-10 minutes (mine took about 12 minutes, but they were pretty big.) Let cool before frosting.

For frosting:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 candy canes, crushed.

Directions:

  • Mix the first three ingredients until combined. Spread the mixture onto the bottom of one cookieand top with another cookie. Press them together until the frosting is coming out of the sides. Roll the sides in the crushed candy canes.

Unfortunately, all the pictures I took of the cookies are on my camera, but not my memory card, and I have no idea how to transfer them to the computer. But rest assured, although putting them together can be a little messy, they turn out very cute and festive! Be warned- these things are addicting. My hands are actually shaking from the sugar high I’m currently experiencing. If you make these, guard your plate- every time someone tried to eat one of these last year, I would snag it off their plate before they got a chance. Sorry, family. Maybe you can try these this year, if I don’t get to all of them first πŸ™‚

Does your family have any baking traditions? As far back as I can remember, someone has been bringing anise cookies to Christmas gatherings. My mom was lucky enough to snag the original copy of the recipe- that piece of paper has to be at least 50 years old!

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27 Responses to Christmas Baking Has Begun!

  1. Jess says:

    100 cookies! holy moley

  2. Mmm . . . I love pumpkin! I really think that pumpkin should be a year round thing and not just something that’s enjoyed during the fall. πŸ™‚

  3. I haven’t had pumpkin ice cream yet! Blasphemy!
    My mom always makes Mexican wedding cookies on Christmas Eve, and Swedish Pancakes Christmas morning.

  4. Every time I visit your blog I get SO hungry. Your breakfast looks amazing and fiber one on your cereal….you are brilliant! Loved the feet pic! You are a twin!?! That is so cool!

  5. Biz says:

    That’s some serious cookie making!! Truth be told, I love being in my kitchen all day – and my floor usually looks the same!

  6. Kat says:

    Holy pumpkin lol Your going to turn orange!! I havent had the pumpkin ice cream yet, but I did have the eggnog. It was as drool worthy as I had imagined πŸ˜‰

  7. I am totally addicted to pumpkin! I had to cut myself off for a week due to the lovely orange color that is creeping into my skin! We don’t have any specific baking traditions…just that we bake a lot!

  8. Errign says:

    Whoa, that’s a lot of flour & a lot of cookies! Crazy!

  9. Wow that’s a LOT of cookies! Love it! And you’re right- cookie cutting IS dangerous! I cut myself a few weeks ago doing it! πŸ˜›

  10. Erika says:

    It’s good to know that my Mom and I aren’t the only ones who try to crank out 100s of cookies in a single day. We have our cooking baking marathon scheduled for this Saturday. Wish me luck! πŸ˜›

  11. Emily says:

    I just made chocolate peppermint brownies! Your cookies sound super yummy though πŸ™‚

    and ughh, I hate when I cut my hand in awkward spots, they always take forever to heal 😦

  12. Kat says:

    Lady, I cannot BELIEVE that you’ve been baking so much. I do two dozen in a shot and that seems excessive.

    Our family tradition is to make peanut blossoms and gingerbread heart ornaments. Delicious, functional and wonderful.

  13. sophia says:

    My parents are Asian and never grew up with an oven, so unfortunately I have to family baking traditions. I was the first baker in the house though, so I’m proud of that! πŸ™‚

    Dang girl. You’ve been on a baking rampage! I wanna join you. I’ve been having baking cravings lately!

  14. beautyrun says:

    I think I need to try this recipe.

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