Every year I always make a slew of treats around Christmastime to give to various people in my life: the neighbors, my son’s teachers, the mail lady etc.  This year I tried my hand at making Chocolate Fudge with Walnuts (above left), and was surprised at how simple it was!  (I bought Nestle Carnation’s Famous Fudge Kit from the supermarket and I think it was the most hassle-free holiday recipe I’ve ever made!  Just add 2 T of butter, mix up the ingredients in the box, and it’s done!  Genius.)  I added some chopped walnuts for texture and it came out beautifully.

I also made Double-Chocolate Peppermint Bark (above right), which I make every year.  This year I tinted the white chocolate green to make it a little more fun and Grinch-like.  Recipe is here.

I also made Double-Ginger Mango Shortbread, which I haven’t made since we were living in Hawaii 4 years ago and I found the recipe on the side of a butter box.  I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free shortbread cookie mix, which did simplify the recipe a bit, but still…the worst thing about making shortbread is the endless creaming of the butter (I don’t have a stand mixer, so have to do it all by hand).  I guess because of the gluten-free-ness, it came out a bit dry and crumbly, but the cookies melt in your mouth with the tiniest hint of ginger and chewy bits of mango in them.  I thought I took photos but now I can’t find them; trust me when I write they looked (and tasted)  as good as they sound!

Tomorrow: homemade gingerbread cookies, following this recipe and subbing in molasses for corn syrup, as well as adding 1/4 tsp allspice…they always come out perfect and gingerbready when I do that.  Also: White Chocolate Cranberry-Almond Bark, some of which I’ll give to the neighbors (and some of which I’ll keep for myself!!), and white-chocolate-dipped ginger cookies (I just buy the ginger cookies but they’re still delicious dipped in chocolate!)

In other news, my little boy lost his very first tooth yesterday, and was thrilled to wake up to 2 quarters under his pillow in the little fabric bag he had placed his tooth in the night before.  Because of the missing tooth (and another loose one on the bottom), he’s been having some trouble eating, so hasn’t been able to enjoy all the treats I’m making as much as he wants to, poor thing.:-(

What’s YOUR favorite holiday recipe?


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