|304 Shortbread cookies|
So the enjoyment of Christmas baking started for me with my trip to visit my brother's family in October up north in Manning, Alberta. There was a Christmas cookie exchange on Saturday morning and we stopped in to see the Legion hall with tables of cookie sheets (fairly picked over) with a fantastic variety of cookies. You could fill a paper bag and pay by weight - a good way to get a first taste of some cookie classics. On the table by the weigh scale, was a large pickle jar of tiny shortbread cookies in the shape of snowmen, candy canes, stars, trees and gingerbread men. For a toonie you could guess the number inside. Later that day, that big pickle jar was sitting on the dining table at my brother's place - his youngest - Lorena guessed the closest and won the whole jar! It became far too easy to just snack on a tiny bite-sized snowflake or candy cane shortbread as we played games, made crafts or just sat around visiting.
When we were saying our goodbyes, Lorena brought over a car care package for us with a ziplock bag of cookies decorated with a snowflake and an envelope of "Things to do when you BORED on your rode trip" with some mad-libs to do on the drive home.
This Christmas I am still incredibly behind in any Christmas decorating, baking or shopping. My favourites to make are caramels, shortbreads, cheese balls and fruit slush. I also like to bake up some orange cranberry muffins.
Our family tradition has been making and dipping chocolates but it gets harder to do over the years and so far, it isn't happening for us this year. The weather is a factor - the fondant is usually made on a very cold day and so far this year, the weather has been too warm whenever there has been time. My favourite part of the dipping is when we are done and we dip mandarin orange pieces into the melted chocolate. Yum!
Tomorrow, I'll be heading out with the Young Men and Young Women of the Wildwood ward to deliver plates of cookies to some members of the ward. It is our "hug on a plate" to let them know we love them. Follow the link below to find a cookie calendar from The Globe and Mail. Do you have a favourite recipe you save for this time of year?
The 24 Cookies of Christmas