Peanut Blossoms: thick peanut butter cookies with a Hershey’s Kiss on top.
Pecan puffs: kind of a Mexican Wedding with pecans rolled in confectioner sugar.
Empire biscuits: A buttery shortbread cookie. Rolled out and cut in circles. Baked then stuffed with raspberry jam. Frosted with buttercream and top with a maraschino cherry. Served on a silver platter. Always.
And Chex Mix of course.
I picked up a few 10 oz. bags of pecan halves on sale at the store today for $2.00. So maybe a pecan pie will be in the future. And Hershey’s milk chocolate chips for $1.50… Both are in the freezer.
One thing I made one Xmas was those Rollo caramel chocolate candies. Heated for a few minutes in the oven then press a small curly salted pretzel on top. Cool. They were popular but I never made them again.
Always a good idea for family. I used to make up a list of “Mom meals” when she was alive, and would freeze them in 1 or 2 cup containers for her after Christmas. For my sister and BIL, I’ll make them favorite meals of theirs and put in larger containers so they have something to eat when they go up to their cabin in Maine or get HOME from the cabin late and can just pull out of the freezer, defrost, and eat.
Holidays here start with Diwali, which is early this year, meaning October.
So far I’ve made a tester Shrikhand Tart and a full Mishti Doi Panna Cotta Tart for gatherings, a tester of a cheat recipe for Boondi Laddoo using couscous (whaaat!!!), and a trial blancmange for a different take on the panna cotta tart for a different event.
Goodies are still pending, both sweet and savory family favorites.
On the sweet side, Shakkarpara, lightly sweetened and cardamom-scented cookies (old pic here) are top of list. I may buy the first batch if I run out of time, in which case I’l make the homemade ones later (they taste vastly better). The other sweet snack only I like, so I may wait till later.
For savory, masala puris (fried flatbreads, so good with tea, but usually scarfed down on there own in a race to the finish, lol) and chakri (multigrain, spiced, crunchy spirals).
It’s not a coincidence that ALL these goodies are fried. I’ve tried increasing the fat in the dough and baking instead, but they are a poor substitute. For a couple of bites once a year, I’ve decided fried is just fine.
I’ll make some actual sweets too, still trying to figure out what, though. Only certain one is magaj / besan laddoos.
I do want to make some gingerbread cookies this year. I picked up a whole bunch of “fun” cookie cutters at Goodwill over the summer (including the actual gingerbread man cutter). I have a “Tasty 101” recipe from their TV show and I modified it slightly. I’ve had pretty good results with it. I’ll probably start my holiday baking in early December.
3 cups of Flour (sifted)
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
¼ teaspoon of allspice
2 teaspoons of ginger
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
½ cup of butter
¾ cup of molasses
½ cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 egg (beaten)
In a pot (over stove) medium high heat, melt butter, add molasses, add sugar and mix with wooden spoon until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat add vanilla and beaten egg, mix well. Mix dry ingredients well. Reduce heat even more, slowly add dry ingredients and mix well. Remove from stove, place mixture on cutting board allow to cool enough to knead. Knead slightly and wrap in cling film, chill overnight.
Next day, cut off a portion, heat in microwave 20 seconds. Flour cutting board and roll out to ¼ inch thickness. Utilize cookie cutters to cut out various cookies, place on parchment paper on cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Place cookies on cooling rack, when cool put in Ziploc bag and refrigerate.
Have to admit I’ve never been a fan of fruitcakes though I think my granny & mom made a decent version of dark fruit cakes. At least mom brushed hers generously in Grand Marnier. With a slice of cheddar it wasn’t bad. Still, have never felt inclined to make any! However, my SIL sends us a mini white fruitcake that I love! It’s so imbued with alcohol I’m sure a slice is like drinking a cocktail!! No one else even likes it, so I get it to myself, but it is small. Anyway, I might be motivated to make this version of fruitcake, but guess I better get started!
I’m going to give it a go this week – a chocolate version, first – and have narrowed it down to several recipes. I’ve read a lot of reviews, but still a bit mystified by the signs that will tell me when it is baked sufficiently (but not over-baked). The top is supposed to be dry, but the “cake” will not be set. Any advice or tips appreciated!
Yes, some years back I made the Epicurious chocolate-hazelnut one you’ve linked, and it was excellent (and very appreciated by folks I gave it to). I followed the recipe, except for using dried cherries in place of candied citron, which worked very well, flavor-wise, and baking it in several 4-inch disposable pans instead of in two 8-inch pans. I don’t think I had any issues with baking it, just kept a close eye on it while following the cues in the recipe.
That’s reassuring - thank you! I was leaning towards that Epicurious recipe. I have a lot of fruit from which to choose, including dried figs, glazed lemon peel, glazed orange peel and sour cherries (among others). I’m looking forward to making this.