Holiday Baking

December 13, 2012

in Kitchen and Bar

I haven’t had time to bake much, and I’m not really eating grains so pastries really aren’t my thing right now.  But I loving giving gifts and creating, so I set up a secret santa cookie exchange with the ladies.  I wanted to come up with a paleo treat for myself along with a great cookie that would allow me to create a bunch of flavor combinations with simple ingredients and not a lot of time.  I barely have time to sleep these days, so the last thing I wanted to do was slave over a really fussy recipe and create a disaster in my kitchen.

One of my favorite cakes is german chocolate, not because of the cake, but because of the FROSTING.  Seriously, I would just eat that stuff plain if it was acceptable and I didn’t feel disgusting doing it.  Enter these “cookies” which are really no-bake treats that are gluten and dairy free with only maple syrup to sweeten them.  I actually had no idea that they would taste like pecan coconut frosting, though it seems silly now to think that.  I just happened to have all ingredients on hand, so that’s why I made them.  They are crazy good, and I have to remember to EAT THEM IN MODERATION.

Well, then I had to figure out what to do for my secret santa.  The answer? Shortbread.  I’ve never made this, but it is probably the most versatile cookie dough you can imagine.  You can flavor this simple dough with anything and everything.  I’m planning to make some frosting for a few of them, and embellishing some with candy canes and other holiday cuteness.  The best part is that I also made a savory version.  It’s like a homemade cracker.  Doesn’t everyone get sick of all the sweet treats out there during the Holiday Season?  It’s nice to have a savory option, and unfortunately for my diet (and my recipient), I’ve been snacking on them all day.

Most any recipe will do.  It’s a mix of flour, butter and sugar (for sweet dough) OR flour, butter and salt (for savory).  I mixed in what I had on hand (coffee, lemon, vanilla, almond, pecans, CHEESE) and they were done in no time.  I put them in the fridge overnight and baked them today.  I can’t wait to try other flavors!  And how cute are the “coffee beans”?

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