Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas baking - my small contribution

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That orang flash on the right - is Ogre, our cat. Always loves getting in pictures.

I put this together today. it cost me about $3, and took me about 2 minutes. Ha! The branches are from our center garden that we are planning on taking out this summer, so I felt that taking a few branches out wouldn't hurt. The pot was existing - and is in it's prime during the summer. Then I found a box of 6 ornaments at a fabric store that were on sale for 65% off - so cost about $3. I already had flower wire that I used to put through the hook on the ornament and shove into the greenery and dirt. It helped cover a bit of an eye sore when you come to our front door.

Yesterday I made a couple of batches of whipped shortbread cookies. I have said this before, I am really not much of a baker. During the holidays, that doesn't change. If I do make treats for Christmas, it's either Tiger Fudge (yumma!!) or whipped shortbreads. I got this recipe from a friend in University. And the first time I tried them, I thought they were the most delicious treats. And when I learned how to make them, I liked them even more. They are easy. NO! Seriously! So easy. They are great to eat with hot chocolate, tea and a delightful little hostess gift.

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Whipped Shortbread

1 cup of softened butter
1 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. If you have a stand mixer, I would recommend using it. If not, a hand mixer works just as well. Beat the ingredients for 10 minutes - until batter is light and fluffy.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper*, and place a small drop** of the batter on the sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack and then eat them all up.

*I used one sheet with parchment paper and one sheet without, and I found that the cookies that baked with the parchment lined sheet, turned out just perfectly.

**For the last batch, I rolled the dough into small balls and then gently pressed my thumb into the center of each cookie. I really liked how they turned out - they were perfectly round on top.

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For the two batches I made yesterday, I 'altered' them just slightly. For the first batch I added the zest of one lemon. So delicious.

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For the second batch, I added 1 tsp of crumbled candy canes. Also very delicious.

Happy baking.

Loves.

Enjoy!

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