Holiday Treats

Working freelance means I'm always on a budget and watching what I spend. This lifestyle can be tough around the holidays so I put a little extra effort into homemade gifts for friends and family. This year I've decided to tackle the wonderful world of cookies.  We've had this book, Celebrating Cookies, laying around for ages so I decided to crack it open and give some recipes a try. 

I like planning ahead whenever possible so I've been a bit of a baking fiend over the past week trying out a selection of goodies from Snickerdoodles to Chewy Orange Brownies.  It helps keep the kitchen toasty too which is an added bonus now that the nights are getting colder.

One family favorite so far are the "Heart Cookies" reminiscent of the scrumptious Italian cookies I used to buy in Brooklyn bakeries. They're filled with raspberry jam and have a distinctive almond taste... sooo delicious!  To make things festive I used seasonal cookie cutters and dusted them with powered sugar.

The cook book that's been nothing more than an extra dusting spot in past years is now getting loads of attention and I'm pleased my efforts have been such a success.  It's nice to know I'll have something extra special to hand out this year.  Now I just need to figure out how to avoid ganing 100 pounds between now and December 25th. Oy!