Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thursday 13: Holiday baking/party list

This week I've been working quite a bit on refining my baking list for the holidays. I know, nothing like waiting until the holiday is UPON us, right? There's a work event next week-- half sweet and half savory bites--and two cookie exchanges as well, so it is definitely time to get hopping!

I've always relied a lot on various food blogs and now Pinterest to bring new ideas my way, and they have not disappointed. Here are 13 items that are on my must-make list this holiday. My hope is to actually blog about them as I make them, but we all know how that goes around here lately... But, hope is a good thing.

 Marshmallows! Homemade! The top spot is currently held by this adorable candy cane variety...

Chai latte cookies

 I'm torn between making red velvet cake balls, or these red velvet cookies... still undecided.

Oreo cheesecake cookies? Yes, please.

My sister-in-law Kim is a torrone fan. I'd tell you exactly how big a fan she is, but I promised I'd stop teasing her about eating the whole bar of it she brought to Thanksgiving. So I won't mention it again. Ever. But I have promised to figure out how to make a home version. I think it looks doable... somewhere between a nougat and a fudge...

Whimsical spiral cookies... how fabulous do these look?

Eggnog is a seasonal favorite--I've made pound cake and cheesecake and custard pie--and so this year I'm going to try a fudge of eggnog. Sounds pretty yummy to me!

I love the buttery-ness of shortbread, and this recipe with the additions of cranberries, nuts and white chocolate would tip it over into holiday heaven.

A couple of years ago I dipped little apple balls into caramel and nuts, and put them on sticks like mini caramel apples... this year I saw a recipe that will have similar flavor--but with a cheesecake twist: Caramel Cheesecake Apple Dip. Yum.

Cranberry and nut nougat slice: doesn't this picture look almost vintage? The rosy color of this sweet bar totally won me over, and the cranberries sure don't hurt. So pretty.

Macarons have been on my to-do list for a long time. I am always compelled by their look, their color, and of course, the imagined flavor as well... I finally overcame my silly intimidation and gave them a whirl just yesterday--last night--and while I was distracted and moving too quickly (a beloved family dog passed away yesterday), they were passable and I learned quite a bit about the process. Certainly not perfect, and not as puffy as the pictures, but I am going to get right back on the macaron horse later this week and give it another gallop. I had been thinking about doing a hazelnut variety when I happened upon the picture and recipe above... voila!

I have been wanting to play with this idea for awhile, the stuffed baguette... Not sure what exactly I'll put in the middle, but their jumping off point of cream cheese and olives and such is a good one. Perhaps I'll figure a way to turn my old sundried tomato-pesto torte into this clever appetizer?

Also utilizing our friend the baguette, this little clever vehicle for the fresh veggies is cute and unique. I think I will take the extra time--it's more work than throwing together a crudite platter, for sure--and do this for the work event next week...

I'm looking forward to getting started on my lists--lots of groceries to buy, for sure. I will also haul out the old standards of fruit and nut fudge, cake truffles/balls (coconut ones were very popular last year), and maybe something that has lemon curd in it--there are a lot of egg yolks that will be looking for a home when I get done with whipping whites for macarons! And I noticed in my recipe list that I've never posted my flourless chocolate bites... what's with that? Those are a must EVERY year... this year I've been thinking I might mix it up a bit, but they'll definitely get made!

Happy holiday baking! What are you making? I'm still open to suggestions... tell me what I'm missing.

For more Thursday 13s, go here.


  1. ohhhh, those marshmallows on the right look amazing! I clicked on the recipe, but alas, no candy thermometer! The cranberry nut nougat looks lovely...I think I'll make those to bring to Dave's family party!

    Love love love red velvet!

  2. I had no idea you could make your own marshmallows. That veggie tray is adorable! I gotta try it.

  3. too busy to properly comment...hands still sticky.

  4. Wow, those all look great. Hard on a girl on a diet!

  5. Incredible list of cookies, etc. So many delightful taste treats in one place... and so creative.

    I would love to try them all!

    Love the presentation of veggies and the apple with dip.

    At last we have home made oatmeal and raisin cookies here... sooooo good! "Ask and ye shall recieve"'s in the Book.

  6. GOOD GRACIOUS! *Now* I remember the magic of baking. Wow. I am inspired and in awe and my mouth is watering and just... wow.

  7. I'm making the chai cookies tomorrow. I will only tell you how it goes if it goes well :)


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