Tag Archives: cooking

simple holiday baking

Christmas Eve has arrived here and the weather is unseasonably warm for December. I’m spending a quiet morning reading and as you can see, writing.

Last night I pulled out some baking from the freezer to enjoy over the next few days. I remember how my mom would prepare weeks in advance. She made cookies, pies, candies, and several varieties of squares – actually you name it and she would have made it for Christmas. It was all so enjoyable to eat, but an awful lot of work for mom.

I also bake for Christmas, and other occasions, but my approach is different. I keep it simple. I choose to make one or two items only.

For example, I make pie crust in advance and freeze it so I can make tarts and pies when I want. I also make the pie filling in advance. I have found fillings that freeze well and can be ready when I need them.

This fall, I had apples given to me from a friend’s tree. With one or two days effort, while working in batches, I peeled and cooked up the apples making either apple sauce or pie filling. I’m then rewarded with a freezer full of goodies I can use for baking.

One of my favourite cookies is shortbread.  Scottish shortbread speaks to my Scottish heart. I’m actually one fifth Scottish but I tend to claim whatever ancestry suits me at the time. 🙂

There are several variations of shortbread you can make including rolled shortbread or shortbread placed into a decorative shortbread pan. You can put chopped candied fruit into the dough or put a candied cherry on top of the cookies. Whipped shortbread can also be piped onto cookie sheets using a cookie press if you like.

However, I really do keep it simple. I make a batch of the whipped short bread recipe and just drop the cookie dough with a teaspoon onto cookie sheets and bake. It is easy and delicious.

If you are interested here is my grandmother’s recipe I use. By the way, I’m sure my grandmother did not use a food processor, but I do…

Whipped Shortbread
Makes about 4 dozen cookies

1 lb butter, softened
1½ cup icing sugar
4 cups all purpose flour

Using a food processor, cream together the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Add the flour a cup at a time and pulse until mixed. The dough will get more firm as you add the additional flour. Mix well.

Drop with a teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Watch them carefully so they don’t brown too much.

Cool to cookies on wire racks and then enjoy!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Cheers, Catherine, Location:Edmonton, AB

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