Ah, Christmastime. The perfect time of year to practice being a “Domestic Goddess”.
Decorating and crafting and, of course…baking.
Prior to this year, my “Christmas baking” has basically consisted of melting chocolate, mixing it together with things like nuts or chunks of cookie or peanut butter, then swirling it back together on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet and cooling it to make bark.
This year, though, I tried my hand at making some cookies and truffles, too. I found some recipes on-line that I wanted to try that were different from my mom’s traditional Christmas treats (why attempt to duplicate what she already does so well, right?), bought all the ingredients, and discovered that…well…
They’re not as good as Mom’s. Of course.
So far, I have made:
And so far, this is what I’ve learned:
- When my mother insists flour should be stored in an air-tight container and not just left in the bag in a cupboard, she isn’t telling lies. You don’t even want to know how I found that one out… (And fear not. No cookies fell victim to this faux-pas. Thank God. That woulda been gross.)
- When buying pistachios for baking, make sure you don’t buy the ones that are salt-and-pepper seasoned. My Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Bark did fall victim to this faux-pas, and thus, is gross and nobody’s allowed to eat it but me. (haha!)
- When my mother tells me, despite the recipe instructions, that a heaping tablespoon is too big a size for shortbread, I should listen. The White Chocolate Cranberry shortbread cookies are massive and too rich. The Toblerone shortbread cookies are smaller, and pressed down with a fork as she told me to do; thus, much more enjoyable.
- When my mother tells me the shortbread recipe on the Kraft website sucks and I should just use hers, I should probably obey. My shortbread pales terribly in comparison to hers.
- Crushing candy canes is a little harder than it sounds. I will probably be finding candy cane smithereens in my kitchen for weeks…
So…yeah. I’ve had my challenges in the kitchen in the past week. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve learned a lot of valuable tips that they just don’t tell you in the recipes; that apparently only someone as wise as my mother in the kitchen would know. Or at least someone who bakes more than once or twice a year would know.
And probably the biggest lesson of all?
Listen to Mom.
Now, with all of this baking going on, you should know that Bieber’s Under the Mistletoe album has been in steady rotation at my place. And originally, I thought “Mistletoe” was my favourite song on the CD. It’s still a heavy favourite, but my absolute #1 new favourite Christmas song – straight from his CD – is this collaboration with The Band Perry.
LOVE! this song. Trust me, Bieber haters…give it a chance…you might change your mind! :)
Have you all been busy in the kitchen? What are your favourite holiday treats to make? And what’s your favourite Christmas song/album to listen to while working away?