Sunday, December 18, 2005

All wrapped up and ready to go....

Whew! Baking complete and everything is packaged up. I promised to post everything we made to send out as food gifts this year so here is the round up of what was included in each box. Each picture is clickable to enlage. *Recipes will be posted during the next couple days

Almond Roca - Crunchy Toffee coated with Chocolate and Toasted Shaved Almonds

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Squares - Rolo's placed on a buttery pretzel square then warmed in the oven until soft. M&Ms and Kissables top these treats. Fast to make and a great snack combination

Chocolate-Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti - Deep Chocolate Biscotti with Dried Cranberries and Pistachios

Chocolate Malted M&M Cookies - I tinkered with this recipe from when I made them with the kissables and they stayed crisper longer. A faint hint of chocolate malt gives these a different but tasty flavor

Chocolate Molded Candies - Tempered Chocolate molded into festive shapes

Chocolate Topped Pretzel Rods - Tempered Chocolate molded onto pretzel rods

Cinnamon Fudge - Melt in your mouth and Creamy Cinnamon flavored Fudge

Cream Cheese Walnut Cookies - Buttery and nutty shortbread like cookies

Gingerbread Popcorn - Uniquely flavored caramel/toffee popcorn, heavy on the ginger

Layered Peppermint Bark - Real White Chocolate topped with Crushed Peppermint Candy Canes then layered with a dark chocolate/cream mixture and next a coating of White Chocolate finished off with more crushed candy canes

Nutty Linzer Cookies - Finely chopped almonds in the dough give these cookies such an intense nutty flavor - filled with smooth raspberry jam in the middle

Peppermint Kisses - Crispy peppermint flavored meringues

Popcorn Brittle - Great alternative brittle recipe made with crushed popcorn

Real White Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Ritz Bits - This is something we have made for the past 6 years and is always a hit.

Sugar Cookies - I've used the same recipe for the longest time for these cookies. Easy to roll out and always keep their shape. A hint of almond extact pushes the flavor up just enough to make people always ask for the recipe. I used a new Royal Icing recipe that will be the one I use from now on. The frosting sets up enough to stack, but is not rock hard and does not seem to chip when you bite into them.

Royal Icing Recipe

Two Toned Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge - Peanut Butter Fudge topped with a layer of Chocolate fudge. Not rock hard - Smooth, creamy and oh so good.

Wreath Doughnut Cookies - An attempt to make the Doughnut Cookies look somewhat like wreaths... A thick and crunchy butter/sugar type cookie topped with a simple thinned icing

So I think I'll go pass out now... So much stuff - but I did enjoy doing all of this which is the plus side! If I can keep my eyes open we will be watching Sahara with Matthew Mcconaughey and Penelope Cruz from Netflix tonight. Tomorrow I'll show you everything just before we started packing them up - it was quite a sight!


  1. OMG, those cookies look awsome and I bet they also taste delicious!

    Now I know what you needed all that butter for!

    Great Job! I wish I would live closer to you and could beg for some leftovers ;-)

  2. You have outdone yourself.
    I love the sight of all of them. I must simply have the recipe for the pb fudge and the Royal Icing.

  3. When you least expect it, I shall show up on your doorstep and carol my heart out! My reward?? I'll settle for a few of your enticingly tempting holiday treats.

    Terrific job!!


  4. Wow!!! Your holiday goodies look amazing. Fabulous job, I'm sure the recipients will be completely impressed.

    Now go take a break and relax. :-)

  5. I gained 10 lbs and 6 cavities just reading this post. By the way, um, just let me know if you need my mailing address!

  6. Everything is so beautiful, what a lot of work!

  7. joe, everything looks great. can you tell me what you did to make the malt cookie stay crisp longer?


  8. Wow, cookie mania. I like the look of the sugar cookies and would love to try the biscotti. I am also working on biscotti to give away. They are made from candied ginger and walnuts but are a tedious cookie since I can't really find candied ginger in Italy and have to candy my own, that takes 3-4 days. Yikes! Happy Holidays!

  9. Impressive selection of goodies!!! I must get much more organised:)

  10. oh, I also wanted to ask... did you use carnation chocolate malt powder or ovaltine? any thoughts on using plain (ie non-chocolate) malt powder?

  11. Beautiful job!! Could I please beg for the new Royal Icing and peanut butter and chocolate fudge recipes?

  12. Hey Joe - is the recipe for the Two-Toned Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge posted here? I couldn't find it.......

    As always, everything looks fabulous. I'm sure your lucky recipients will be thrilled with their booty. :)

  13. WOW!! Joe, so many wonderfull treats!! Yum! I wish I was on your mailing list! hehehe!!
    Wish you and Jeff the best hollidays you guys can have! Lots of fun and joy during Christmas time too!!
    Everything looks awsome, you are really a great baker!

  14. Haha! I just love that photo of the cream cheese cookies with the toys looking on. Too cute!

    Would it be possible to post the cream cheese cookies and the linzer cookies recipes? They look so good!

    Oh, let me be greedy and ask for the sugar cookie recipe too! ;-) I'm still looking for my go-to sugar cookie recipe, and would love to try yours out.

    Yeah, I'm interested to know too... how did you make the malt cookies crisper?

    Great job, Joe! Wish I was receiving one of your packages!

  15. I'm many yummy looking goodies. When did you find the time? I'm barely gonna get three types of cookies done this year.....

  16. My, my, my!! I always wanted to give my friends a variety of baked goods on holidays, but I can not even dream of baking so many wonderful things in such a short time. You've done a wonderful job for those lucky people on your list!

  17. Oh, my. And I thought I'd been busy baking, you have really gone above and beyond!! Very nice.

    Can't wait to see the recipes, and everything packaged up all nicely.

  18. You're a maniac!!! Look at these beautiful cookies- they are incredible. The peanut/choco fudge look especially great, and I know I would love the sweet/salty combo of the white choco/ritz cracker treats. You must be exhausted. You need to treat yourself to a massage!

  19. wow wow wow. maybe next year you could hold a contest or drawing and one of us could be a recipient of a package of these tasty treats!
    Exactly who do you send off all these holiday treats too?
    I can't wait for you to post the peppermint bark recipe- I would love some chocolate added to mine! And those peppermint meringues were TOO CUTE! love it!

  20. Sounds like I need to send you my address! Everything sounds and looks great - especially the Cinnamon Fudge.

  21. Tyroleancutie - Thank you, and I even had to buy more butter... can you believe it?

    Heather - Thanks! Recipes posted for both.

    EJP - How about next year? We sent out too many as is!

    Stubby - We'd love to hear you come over and sing!

    Erika - I hope so! I am awaiting to hear that everything made it in one piece!

    Mebeth - you and me both... thankfully I was too busy to eat!

    ilva - Thanks!

    Val - I noted the changes in the posted recipe - Basically I changed the butter to butter flavored shortening. I wanted to keep the butter flavor but I found using all shortening allows them to stay crisper when stored even longer than before.

    Gia - Thanks! I bet doing your own is a pain but think how much better it tastes! I'll be looking to see if you get a chance to post about them!

    Pille - Thank you!

    Val - I used Carnation - I wouldn't hesitate to use plain as I look for the malted flavor more than the chocolate. Next time I make them I will try to use plain and see what the difference is.

    Karen - Recipes posted!

    Anon - It is posted now!

    Ana -Thank you! Happy Holidays to you!

    Claire - Hee hee, it was fun trying to liven them up! Cream cheese cookie recipe is posted - look for the linzer tomorrow! See above or recipe for the crisp question.

    Biscuit Girl - I was able to freeze some of the doughs/cookies - but basically it was a morning to night work out!

    Zinnur - Thank you!

    s'kat - Hee hee! Thanks!

    Chloe - Recipes posted, i'll send you an e-mail and let you know incase you don't get this.

    Tokyoastrogirl - That massage would be so great right now let me tell you...

    Christina - That sounds like a great idea! I love that! The peppermint bark recipe will be up tomorrow.

    sweetnicks - Sure! Thanks - the fudge is really tasty but you have to love cinnamon

  22. Thank you so very much for the recipes, Joe!!

    I hope y'all have a super Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

    Best wishes,

  23. Goodness gracious, Joe. You've been a busy bee. Not that I expected anything less ;).

  24. Joe--Fabulous! I envy all of those lucky ones on the receiving end of these goodies! Merry Christmas!

  25. wow. otherwise speechless...

  26. Wow - you were busier than I was. I made 15 treats - some exact to the ones you did -

    1) Chocolate Covered Pretzels with holiday sprinkles

    2) Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with same sprinkles

    3) Chocolate Covered Candy Canes

    4) Peppermint Bark (also layered - make it every year)

    5) Chocolate Chile Truffles

    6) Chocolate CHip Cookies with cinnamon chips

    7) CC Cookies with holiday chips
    8) CC Cookies with organic cc
    9) CC Cookies with Raspberry chips
    10) CC COokies with Butterscotch Chips
    11) CC Cookies with Mini Kisses

    12 and 13) Caramel Corn - 2 different batches
    (one with cereal pieces in it and one with dried cherries and berries in it and white chocolate chips)

    14) Spicy Sweet Nuts

    and the 15) Pretzel/Rolo Candy thing with the Pecan on top

    I am glad it is all over.

    It was all delicious but took a lot of time to find packaging for it all. Everyone loved it all too.

    Big hits - especially the bark and the cookies (I made 126 cookies altogether and 100 of them got eaten in 1/2 hour)

    Your pictures are beautiful. I didn't take pics of mine.

    Good job.

  27. This is the first i've seen your Christmas food gifts from last year. Incredible. When do you begin your preparations? And you MUST have a huge freezer..something that i'm trying to justify buying right now. Love your blog...visit often.

  28. Spudugan - I usually start at the end of November or so - we do have a chest freezer in the garage! It's not too big though.

  29. Joe, I was just looking at this old posting and I was wondering what chocolate you would recommend for the Molded Candy?

    Maybe you can PM me at CLBB :)

  30. Dani - I use Callebaut when I'm tempering chocolate for molds.