Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Shortbread

Before we moved to Minnesota I spent an agonizing amount of time imagining who my new friends would be. Would I even have new friends? What would they look like?  Could they ever compare to and replace the friends I was leaving behind?  The answer is yes.  And no.  Just as I've learned that I love my children fully, equally and differently...I love and adore my new friends fully, equally and differently.  These women who invited me to join their lives, their play groups, book clubs and social events have completed my circle here.   I adore them, I adore their children, I adore how fully full they've made my life these past six months.  Blessed is the word that constantly comes to mind.

And did I mention one of these new friends of mine, Amber, hosted a cookie exchange party?  That's a sure way to get to my heart.  Nine women means nine different kinds of cookies.  Oh, how we've been buzzing around on a sugar high since Saturday night!

I also got to learn how to frost cookies using royal icing, and I am totally hooked.  This icing makes gorgeous cookies!  Thanks for the intro Dawn!

And I got to try an awesome new cookie recipe to bring to the party.  This one will be added into my holiday repertoire from now on.  Cherry shortbread dipped in white chocolate.  Oh my!  Although, the finished product looked a little bit like a Santa with a hat but no facial features, so I can't decide if they are cute or creepy. Thoughts?

Life is good.  God is good.  My heart is full.  I am blessed this holiday season beyond measure.


White Chocolate Dipped Cherry Shortbread
Adapted from BHG

Makes 30 cookies

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped finely
2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar, plus 1/2 cup extra for rolling
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, chopped into 1/4" pieces
12 ounces white chocolate, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Colored sugars or nonpareils for decorating

Preheat oven to 325F.

Spread cherries on a layer of paper towels.  Place another paper towel on top and press lightly to absorb excess moisture.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt and mix briefly to combine.  Add cold butter and mix on medium-low, or use a pastry blender, until the dough resembles coarse meal.  Add cherries, 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chocolate and the almond extract.  Knead the mixture with your hands until it comes together and forms a smooth ball.

Form dough into 1 tablespoon balls and then roll in extra sugar to coat.  Place on cookie sheet approximately 2" apart.  Dip the bottom of a drinking glass in the sugar and then flatten each dough ball.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until centers are set, then set on a wire rack to cool.

Once cookies are completely cooled, melt remaining white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl by cooking for 15 second intervals and stirring after each 15 seconds until completely melted.  Dip half of each cookie into the white chocolate, then dip in colored sugar or nonpareils for decoration. Lay on parchment paper to dry and harden completely.  Then, you should definitely...


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Guess Who's Home...

The pages of my blog have been silent this past week.  I have been enjoying this way too much to do anything else.

Mace returned home on Friday evening and Anna and I have been blissfully attached to his hip ever since.   I hope we never have to go 5 months being apart again, it just plain sucks.  But, we did it.  We made it through.  And being together as a family has taken on a whole new light.   I've learned with all my soul, during this Fall, that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.  I have a whole new appreciation for my husband.  And not just the things he does around the house (although I am so grateful for this too), but the love and laughter he brings to our family.  Our home feels warmer and cozier and more peaceful with his presence filling the walls.  This man makes my heart beat wildly, makes me giddy and giggly, makes me feel like every day is Christmas.  He's just so darn amazing.

So, besides being all googly-eyed at each other, we did some other really fun stuff this weekend.  We got our Christmas tree, the second tree we've ever gotten together.  We decorated and smiled as Anna stared at the tree in awe, and then tried her hand at some tree trimming. You know, for her first time, she did pretty good.

We ate some really good food.  I was a very naughty food blogger and didn't take as many pics as I should have, but I made an amazing savory galette for Mace's homecoming dinner.  I got the recipe for this butternut squash and cabbage galette from Mind Over Batter and it was out of this world!

I am going to make it again for Christmas Eve dinner, and if I can get my mind out of the gutter I'll take some action shots with my new Canon Rebel T2i and post my version of this recipe.

What's that?  Oh, the Canon Rebel?  Its nothing really.  Well, okay, its something.  If you really want to know...maybe I'll gush just a little...its pretty amazing...I like it a lot...okay, I am wild about this new toy!!  In crazy wild passionate love with this camera.  My early Christmas present.

I have no clue how to operate it.  Well, except the very basic point and shoot settings (which I happen to think still takes pretty phenomenal pictures).  If anyone has any photography tips regarding DSLRs I'd love to hear them.  I'm on a mission to conquer this Canon.

My tummy is butterflying like crazy in anticipation of Christmas.  We're spending it in Missoula, which we've never done before.  We are going to wake up in our own house, in our own bed, and have coffee on our own couch.  Together.  My in-laws are coming on Friday for the weekend and Danesa and her family are coming over for Christmas Eve dinner.  My mom-in-law and I are going to make one of my favorite meals of all time on Christmas Day.  Its a Tuscan recipe with spinach, mushrooms, homemade ricotta and fresh pasta.  Stay tuned, I am chomping at the bit to share this one.  Its a good 'un.

Have you ever seen one of these?

Such a cool gift for a cook.  My mama sent this to me for Christmas, its a Cooks Wreath from Williams-Sonoma, and the herbs on the wreath can be used in cooking.  I hung it on a wall in my kitchen and I've already used herbs off it a couple of times.  This theoretically will last up to a year...but I have a feeling it will last more like 3 months in my house.  Look at all those gorgeous bay leaves!  Can I say: SOUP all winter long?

I'm rambling today.  My mind is still blissfully foggy and lovey from Mace's arrival and I wanted to share this joy.  My heart is running over with all this good stuff.

What are you most grateful for at this very moment?  I'd love to hear the holiday jabber in your heads.