I am really still here! Normally by now, I would have the whole house filled with gifts that I had made already packaged and ready to go. This is all I have been able to muster together this Christmas. I spent all day yesterday baking for my kids teachers. This will be their Christmas gift from our kids. I have been struggling this season with all the stuff in our lives. Not to bore you with the details, but I will say that my dear sweet mother is in a battle for her life and it has just taking ever ounce I have to keep moving forward as normal for my kids sake. Cancer sucks! It was nice to just escape a bit and do something like bake all day. What I did make yesterday where some traditional goodies mixed with some new recipes I wanted to try. The first picture are pistachio finger cookies. They are divine and still need a coating of chocolate to complete them. The recipe was given to me by my BIL girlfriend and has become one of my holiday baking traditions.
These yummy little loaves are lemon pecan bread. They are soooo good. I make these every year as well. The recipe is from an old William Sonoma catalog. They are so moist and delicious.
This is a new recipe. It is from Martha Stewart and is a truffle brownie. The flavor is really good, but my ganache topping did not set like I would have liked it to.
This is another new recipe for me. It is Penuche. It turned out nicely and is almost like a praline. Delicious!
Finally, I once again attempted divinity. The story behind this one is every year for the past five years I have attempted divinity. Every year I end of tossing it. This years attempt is okay and tastes more like marshmallows than divinity. My grandmother made the absolute best divinity. I still remember the taste and texture of it. She never used marshmallow cream, but made it with the traditional egg whites and boiled sugar syrup. She of course never wrote down a recipe and when she died over twenty years ago, the recipe went with her. I will keep searching to try and find the right one, but this was the most promising result I have had so far. The recipe is from the December Country Living Magazine. There version was peppermint divinity, but I just made this one with vanilla flavoring.
Pistachio Finger Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 package pistachio pudding mix
1 (6 ounce) package of semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter, sugar, cream cheese, egg and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Mix together dry ingredients and add a little at a time to creamed mixture. Chill minimum 2 hours.
Shape into balls or finger shaped.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown- tops will not be brown.
After cookies cool- place onto a wax paper. Melt chocolate with shortening and drizzle over tops of cookies. Let set until chocolate has hardened.