#WIAW Christmas treats

I usually go a bit nutty over the holidays, baking up a ton of treats to dole out to friends. This year I had #elf4health, and an infant, to keep my baking at bay. But I did whip up some goodies that are share-worthy. But I didn’t snap pictures, so I’m borrowing these from the blogs I found them from. Meh, sorry about that. But their photos are prettier anyway.

My first batch was white chocolate topped chewy gingerbread.

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I tried not waiting til the end to add the white chocolate chips, and instead topping them in the beginning. It did not work out well. Do not do that! Follow the directions as is!

White Chocolate Chip Peppermint

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I didn’t have white chocolate m&m’s, so I did a cup and a half of white chocolate chips and a full cup peppermint pieces. I also used dark brown sugar instead of light, and an extra half cup flour to increase the chewiness. These were bomb dot com.

I also whipped up two favorites from last year: soft chewy sugar cookies, and peanut butter filled pretzels covered in chocolate.

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This year I made the pretzels with Rold’s Gold tiny twists, which are surprisingly large. Last year I used Costco pretzels, and I think they turned out better.

And finally, I attempted to make an almost flourless chocolate cake for New Year’s Eve. I thought the recipe called for semi-sweet, but it needed bittersweet. I didn’t have any on hand, but I did have a Costco sized bag of chocolate chips, so I used those instead. I was pretty impressed with myself. I totally thought I’d botch the cake, but it was delicious! Now I need to figure out who I can gift half a cake to…

Almost Flourless Cake

What was on your holiday treat menu this year?

Merry Christmas!

In the past I was a skeptic,

although I really should have only been skeptical of early 90’s fashion…

but this year Mr. Clause brought me a fancy shmancy sewing machine. So I guess now I believe 🙂

Skittles were also exchanged.

Merry Christmas from the whole Spinach and Skittles family!

The original Libb says hi too 🙂

How did you celebrate this year?

p.s. don’t forget to enter the Firebird Chocolate giveaway – it closes tomorrow at 11:59 p.m. (PST)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

…well not really. It is dry here in Yakima. Not a speck of snow to speak of. Sigh. But my parents house is decorated with many items from my youth, which make me feel all warm and cozy inside.

Seriously, how cute is this little guy?
German glockenspiel – I really want one for my house – you light the candles and the figures in the center spin around
Santa stocking from when my Grandma taught in Japan, circa 1948
My brother, Jake, was obsessed with nutcrackers when he was a kid. For a while he got one every year for Christmas.
This little house was always filled with candy…not this year. I’m a little upset by this break in tradition.
These dolls are from when my Grandma was teaching in Germany, circa 1950.

Something else that makes me feel warm and cozy inside is a mug of locally roasted (and personalized!) coffee and fresh out of the oven cookies. I’ve never been a fan of snowballs, or Russian tea cakes as they are often called. I think it is because I’ve only ever had them made with walnuts. But they are the hubs favorite Christmas cookie, so I agreed to make him some. And guess what? Made with pecans they are actually quite scrumptious.

Snowballs

yields 30 cookies

Recipe from my mother-in-law

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar *
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups pecans, finely chopped

*Additional powdered sugar for rolling

Directions

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl cream butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. In another bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to butter/sugar/vanilla mixture. When thoroughly combined add pecans and distribute evenly.

Roll mixture into 1-inch balls. Space evenly on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. Do not brown!

Let cool 2 minutes and roll in powdered sugar.

Once fully cooled, roll in powdered sugar a second time.

Enjoy!

Don’t forget to enter the Firebird Chocolate giveaway – it closes on Monday at 11:59 p.m. (PST)

What holiday treat do others around you love, but you aren’t a fan?