Friday, December 16, 2011

Caffeinated Christmas - Visions of Sugar Plums and other Christmas Goodies


What is it about Christmas that makes us think of cookies and chocolates?  Not that I am complaining.  It just seems a lot of work for once a year.  I keep reading on Facebook about how many of us are spending full days dedicated to Christmas Baking.  Some have even posted as to how they are going to keep the goodies safe from being eaten until Christmas.  I was also starting to stress about this this year, until I made some shortbread cookies.  I realized how easy they were.  I for some reason forget this fact.  I made 4 dozen and let the family eat 2 dozen in 1 day.  I did freeze the rest, but only because I double batched my gingerbread recipe and knew that I was going to have them eating these this week.  Why do we save our best for this time of year?  Why don't we bake like this more often?  Just things I am pondering.....

In the past I have hosted a Christmas Cookie Exchange so that I don't have to spend quite as much time in the kitchen.  I have very strict rules:  must be baked, must not be a chocolate chip cookie, and must bring 8 dozen.  I try not to invite too many people so that we can each get as close to 1 dozen of each as possible.  One year there was just 4 of us and that was a good cookie year.  I have had people actually get upset over my rules and then send store bought cookies.  I just rolled my eyes (privately, that is) and accepted them graciously.  I don`t understand why people wouldn`t want to bake 8 dozen cookies once and then have most of their baking done in one day.  The last exchange I had (2 years ago) was well attended and we had a lot of variation in cookies:  lime sugar cookies, chocolate coffee shortbread cookies, pfeffernusse (say that one 5 times fast).... We each went home with 8 dozen cookies of some variation and they didn't last long.  I had to fight the middleman for the good ones.  

Some of my take from the Last Cookie Exchange.  The chocolate dipped ones were yummy.

I usually make Eggnog Cherry Loaf for my participation in cookie exchanges.  I know it's not a cookie, but its festive and yummy.  It's always nice to have one available for when guests come during the season.  My Evil Twin now makes this recipe every year and gives them to her day home parents as gifts.  I am thinking I may be giving these to the teachers as gifts this year,  as well as a coffee card.  Who doesn't love Christmas Baking and coffee?

Eggnog Cherry Loaf
My gift to you this year is the Eggnog Cherry Loaf recipe.  My grandmother got the recipe from a Christmas card one year and made it on a lark.  She then had to send the recipe to me so I could try it and I did.  It is quite simple and as I said before, yummy.   I hope you try this recipe and share it with your family and friends.

Eggnog Cherry Loaf

2 1/2cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cup eggnog
6 Tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2cup chopped candied red cherries
1/2cup chopped pecans (optional) 
Preheat oven to 350 F for 45-50 minutes

Mix dry ingredients together.
Mix wet ingredients together, with cherries and pecans.
Mix dry and wet ingredients together until just moist.
Place in prepared 9 x 5 prepared loaf pan. 
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

Come join in the Caffeinated Christmas with your favourite recipie or randomness you would like to share.

PS:  Next week we will be discussing The Night Before Christmas and Other Stories....


Ashley Pichea said...

Would you believe I've actually never had eggnog?!? My husband would love that loaf recipe, BTW, thanks for sharing! :)

Andrea said...

I still think it's funny you make loaf for a cookie exchange! :P That was a good one that year - and now I am craving peppernuts, thankyouverymuch!

Anonymous said...

hi just registered ,, tina

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Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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