Holiday Baking 2011

Reporting back:

YES.  Holiday baking with Mamma rejuvenated and grounded me for the next two weeks before Christmas arrives.  Funny how a favorite tradition can do that and help a person [me] hit “reset.”

We were busy little baker elves yesterday!

We started first thing in the morning.  We measured, mixed, rolled, dipped, tasted, and baked our patoots off all day long.

utensils 1

utensils 2


A table full of provisions

I started with one of our holiday/everyday favorites, dried cranberry and white chocolate scones.  Yippie!

scone mixture

Crumbly scone mixture

scones before baking

Scone dough brushed with milk and topped with a dash of sugar for some sparkle....ready for the oven!

scones in oven

Bake bake bake

About 15 minutes later….drooooll!!

baked scones

Meanwhile, Mum has started the truffle mixture so it can cool for a few hours.

truffle prep

Beautiful, velvety chocolate melting on the stove:

truffle mixture

The mixture is poured into a square pan and left outside for the rest of the morning to set.

truffle mixture set

I dipped half of the truffles in unsweetened cocoa powder (left) and the other half in finely-ground espresso (right).

cocoa and espresso

Here are my very imperfectly-rolled-non-spheres-dipped-in-espresso:

espresso truffles

But ohhhhhh LORDY!  The rich, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate paired with the coffee flavor is to DIE.  FOR.  (No matter what they look like.  🙂 )

We made approximately 1,482 almond cookies (well, okay, not that many….but pretty darn close).  And for good reason….made with margarine, baked low and slow (250 degrees for 45 minutes – caused a bit of an oven bottleneck with our mass quantity), then rolled in powdered sugar – these are like doughy almond drops of heavenly goodness in your mouth.

almond cookie dough

Tray of almond cookie dough ready for the oven....notice how Dad stole one from the bottom right corner?!

When they are [finally] done, look how pretty:

baked almond cookies

Speaking of I-want-to-bathe-in-sweet-almond-everything….we also made Swedish Rusks.

Rusk dough is first rolled into logs and baked for a spell.

Rusk logs

The logs are cut into mini Biscotti-like shapes and baked bit longer….to add that cookie crunch.

Rusk slices

Rusks in oven

Dunk these in your coffee, folks!  They are PHEE-nom.

Our second scone of the day is that of the pumpkin.  Here, the batter mixture:

pumpkin scone mixture

Once baked, a spiced icing (including cinnamon and nutmeg) is drizzled atop.

scones with icing drizzle

They are glossy and beautiful!

pumpkin scones

We made refreshing lime bars that made us think of summertime (and reiterated that I will eat two dozen pieces of key lime pie on our stop to Key West in a month….).

A mealy, limey crust is first patted into a rectangular pan, then baked until golden brown.  A mixture of sugar, lime juice, and eggs (plus a few other things) was poured over.

lime bars before baking

Then baked, then the 1/3 of the remaining crust crumble was sprinkled on top, baked 10 minutes more, and dusted with powdered sugar.  It looks like this (and tastes heavenly):

baked lime bars

Now, the thumbprint cookies….our most colorful in the bunch.

The dough is similar to shortbread, and here rolled out into balls that will be dipped in egg whites and rolled in crushed walnuts.

thumbprint dough

An initial dent is placed into the dough balls, then they bake for a bit.


Then they’re re-dented and baked some more (I used the back of a table knife).

denting thumbprints

Meanwhile, I’ve whipped up some icing made of confectioners sugar and milk.  Drops of red and green food dye are added.

thumbprint icing

Vibrant!  I need sunglasses!

thumbnail icing

When they came out of the oven and cooled a while, I drizzled icing into the thumbprints.  And they looked like this:

colorful thumbprints

Oh – and the snowballs, for lovers of coconut (e.g. Dad and DT).

Melted chocolate chips, butter, sweetened condensed milk, and crushed walnuts.  Chilled with the truffle pan outside, then rolled into balls and dipped in coconut.


Let’s not forget about the pumpkin bread!

Mini loaves like David’s Grandma Roberta used to make.  🙂

mini loaf pan

pumpkin loaf

Cute little pumpkin loaf!

It was a fantastic, full day of creating our favorite holiday sweets.  Mom and I were trying to remember what year we started our little bakefest….has it been 10 years?  We think at least that long.

Mom and me baking

The best Mother-Daughter baking team EVER

Happy holiday baking, one and all!  I hope it brings a sort of reprieve during this busy time of year….I know it did for me.  I love our baking tradition, and am so thankful to have it with my mum.

‘Tis the season for sugar overload!  🙂


4 Comments on “Holiday Baking 2011”

  1. Susan Taylor says:

    My coworkers and I think there is no way Lori is your mom…she looks like your sister!!!!!

  2. yennilb says:

    Love the pic of you and your mom!

  3. Mummy says:

    Loved our baking weekend, Leigh, and look forward to many, many more! It is always a highlight of my Christmas season. Hugs!

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