Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Baking 2009!!

As much as I love baking throughout the year, no other time of the year is my baking more prominent than during the Christmas Holiday Season. I love giving gifts of cookies and other treats to friends and family and since this year was dedicated to the "homemade" and the "handmade", gifts of homemade sweets just seemed like a "good thing"!

I generally pick a few recipes from literally hundreds that I have saved, online or in recent publications I receive. The following is a sample of some of the items I did this year:

Festive Holiday Bars

Italian "Oil" cookies (an old family recipe)

Here are some treats boxed up for my employees and friends. Made up 60 of these altogether consisting of 4 different items each!

I was also asked to bake and donate an item to be sold at a Charity Bake Sale. The item I made was the "Gingerbread House" Cake featured in the 2009 Martha Stewart Living Holiday Baking Issue.
This consisted of a gingerbread cake with chocolate butter cream icing and adorned with actual gingerbread pieces for the roof shingles, trim, windows and door. Though the version in the magazine had a more "log cabin" look, I was going for a whimsical, cartoonish look!


  1. You do all this baking AND work full time!!! Isn't it amazing how this time of year we FIND the time to get it all done?!

    Beautiful gifts!

  2. Kenn - yes, I don't know where I find the time, but I have to say, like Martha, I tend to be able to function only a few hours sleep! I have to admit, sometimes I can "con" my mother into helping me, LOL! I'll make up many different cookie doughs, keep them in the fridge, and if I find I'll be at work later than I expect, I'll ask her to slice or portion up the doughs and bake off the cookies!

  3. Everything looks so good. I have never seen or heard of the Italian Oil cookies before, John. They look so festive. I love your gingerbread house!

  4. Elaine - Have you ever had "S" cookies? Not sure if it's a regional thing or not. My grandmother, aunts, mother, have been making them for years and they sell them in all the Italian bakeries around here. "Oil Cookie" may be the name my grandmother called them as that's what she wrote for the title of the recipe. It's the only name we've ever known! It's basically like a variation of a sugar cookie recipe but does use a bit of vegetable oil in the recipe.

  5. Hi, John. No, I have never had an S cookie or an Oil Cookie - only sugar cookies without vegetable oil.