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Cookie-Nanza Begins!

December 18, 2013

Every year I follow the tradition of my mother and bake a mess of different Christmas cookies to enjoy and share with our friends and neighbors.  I realized the other day that 1) Christmas is NEXT WEEK!!! and 2) I haven’t started baking yet!  I had been working on what recipes I wanted to make, but I just hadn’t actually made any cookies.  So this week, I got started and when I looked at my record book I saw that I didn’t start until December 17 last year, either!

Orange ShortbreadYesterday I made two new cookies – I like to try a couple of new recipes each year just for variety.  First, I made these Almond-Orange Shortbreads from Martha Stewart.  Instead of making them rectangular as the recipe calls for, I rolled the dough into a log and cut slices.  I think these could use more orange peel and I could have rolled the log a little smaller.  The cookies did spread a little in the oven, so they’re a little bigger than I might like.  The last few on my small baking sheet also got a little over-browned when I left them in for the full baking time.  But, they are nice and crispy shortbreads!

Pecan SandiesI also made a batch of these Browned Butter Pecan Sandies from Better Homes & Gardens.  I also made these a little different from the recipe instructions.  I left off the pecan pressed into the top of each one – a little too much fuss, and pecans are expensive!  I also rolled about half of them in coarse white decorating sugar (all I had left) and the rest got rolled in regular granulated sugar.  These don’t spread much, so they were just little lumps when the baking time was up.  I ended up gently squashing them with the bottom of a glass when I took the pans out of the oven to make them a little flatter.  These are pretty tasty – rich and buttery with a nice crunch from the nuts in the dough and the sugar on the outside.

More baking to follow!

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