Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Christmas Cookie Recipe Bonanza

I don't know what Christmas is like around your house, but at my house it tends to be quite busy. And this year is no exception. My sister comes home this Saturday, and just like that Christmas begins. We are heading to the Christmas Pantomime on Saturday night. We have a Christmas Dinner with Jamie's extended family Sunday. I am working Monday and Tuesday. And then our full-on Christmas activities begin.

This year I am hosting a family dinner on the 28th and we are also hosting a group of our friends on New Years Eve. So I spent this weekend getting myself organized. I ordered my roast from the butcher and put together my menu and grocery list for each one. I also spent the bulk of the weekend baking. I made myself a little Christmas Cookie stock pile in the freezer so we are ready for entertaining.

I did a mix of gluten-free and gluten-y recipes, mostly because I wasn't convinced my gluten-free attempts would turn out.

Being gluten-free this year has meant I have had to rethink some of my typical Christmas Comfort Foods, but so far it all seems to be coming together quite nicely. My gluten-free baking was a complete success. So I wanted to share the recipes I used this weekend.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread
Gingerbread is my Christmas Must. My family knows I basically exist solely on Gingerbread and Peanut Butter Balls from December 25-28th. So when I went gluten-free, this was a primary concern for me. How would I be able to achieve my gingerbread quotient for this year. I inevitably went to Pinterest to solve this problem.

And I found This Recipe from Gluten-Free on a Shoe String. (<--- click here to see full recipe)

It is AMAZING! You would never know the cookies are gluten-free. And they have a soft/chewy texture which is hard to come by in the gluten-free world. I definitely recommend this one if you are looking for a delicious GF recipe.

Triple Chocolate Reindeer Bites
I saw this idea in Canadian Living and thought they looked so cute. So I modified them to make them gluten-free.

1 box of Glutino Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
2 bags of Glutino Chocolate Covered Pretzels
6 squares of semi-sweet chocolate (melted in a double boil)
48 Candy Eyes
24 chocolate covered cranberries
red icing

1. Mix up the Glutino Brownie mix, scoop into mini muffin tin, and bake at 350 for 20 min.
2. Melt semi-sweet chocolate in a double boil
3. Cut several pretzels in half for antlers
4. Dip 1 pretzel in melted chocolate, fix to bottom of brownie, dip top of brownie in chocolate, add cranberry as nose, 2 pretzel antlers, and 2 candy eyes.
5. Hold each piece until the chocolate starts to harden. Add red dab of icing for nose. And put finished product in the fridge to firm up.

Peppermint Bark
This one is always a classic. And chocolate is gluten-free! I have shared this recipe before.

Marshmallow Bars
This one was for the hubby so I left this recipe gluten-y! Marshmallows are not my jam, but Jamie is all about the baked goods that include any kind of whipped cream or marshmallow product. And these squares are Marshmallows, Coconut, and a Shortbread Crust. He ate 4 while I was packaging these up - so I think they were a hit.

This recipe is a classic courtesy of the Joy of Baking. (<--- you can find it here)

I often struggle with shortbread. It always sounds easy, because there aren't many ingredients, but it takes some finesse. I recommend keeping the crust thin and lining your baking tin with parchment paper for easy removal.

PB + J Blondies
These were also hubby's pick. They aren't exactly Christmas-y, but they are yummy!

I really love baking, but I don't often set aside specific time to do it. So this weekend was the perfect excuse to make some fan favourites while the Christmas Baking Ball was rolling.

3/4 cup of butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup grape jam

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking tin with greased parchment paper - with excess paper hanging over the edge, for easy removal.
2. Stir all ingredients together in large bowl with a spatula. Mixture should be moist. I needed to add an extra egg to this batch.
3. Pour batter into baking tin and ensure the jam is mixed throughout.
4. Bake until toothpick comes out clean - approx. 30-35min.
5. Cut into squares and enjoy!

I hope you guys enjoy!
Let me know if you try any of the recipes!
Merry Christmas!

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,