I have a tradition of making Pepparkakor every year at Christmastime. My Grandma Norma used to make them, and I carried on the tradition. They are the Swedish version of gingerbread cookies, but thinner. However, the past couple of years my mom has baking them. I love them, but we don't need that many pepparkakors. This year I thought I'd try my skills on something different.
You may recall that I took a macaron class recently. I was super excited after the class, so I thought I'd make some macarons this year. To make them Christmas-y I decided on pistachio since it's green. Yay!
Let me tell you, macarons are not just mix the dough and throw in the oven type cookies. It takes time and patience. You need to be careful, and precise. These suckers took me all day. I ended up having to through three rounds of them too (the first time I accidently used blue food coloring, the second I mixed up 0.7 vs. 7 ounces, and the third time was a charm). On top of that, I had to make pistachio paste and buttercream. But I was determined, and the result was totally worth it. Now oogle over them please.
This isn't the recipe I used, but it's pretty close. If you're so inspirated. Check it out.
Candy Cane Cookies
I didn't want to leave it at just macarons. I wanted to make a cookie that screamed Christmas. I found these Candy Cane cookies and knew these fit the bill. To make them, I had to find the special kisses. Don't they look tasty?
Well, they are tasty. And they are even tastier in a cookie. They are sort of like peanut butter kisses, but pepermint style. And don't let the peppermint scare you; they aren't over-powering. (Note: I did use the peppermint extract, but I used only half what the recipe called for).
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oh no, it didn't stop there. For weeks Josh has been begging for chocolate chip cookies. Poor guy. I told him this is the holiday season and is strictly for holiday cookies. Chocolate chip cookies fall into the year around cookie category and shouldn't take up good holiday-cookie-baking time. But he looked so sad, so I gave in. The recipe I've picked up later is from Pioneer Women. The secret ingredient is instant coffee - you can't taste the coffee, but it adds a lil' something-something to the cookie. It adds depth to the cookie (oh yea, that sounds good...depth). Recipe: Click here. Adjustments: I used all butter (skip the margarine); used all semi-sweet chocolate chips; the instant coffee I used was VIA; the flax seed I ground in an old coffee grinder. Boom.
By the way, did I mention I made these cookies all in one weekend? Yes, I'm crazy like that. I think the next batch will be after Christmas.