Friday, 9 December 2011

Festive Baking

We're almost at mid-December, and I'm starting to get into the festive spirit. I've always enjoyed baking, and I think the Christmas season begs for some relaxing time spent in the kitchen. Yes, I said 'kitchen' and 'relaxing' in the same sentence!

Nothing brings me more joy over the holidays than setting aside time to listen to carols, while baking festive treats for friends and family. How comforting is the smell of freshly baked shortbread? What about ginger molasses cookies? These smells send me into a state of nostalgia —the good kind! The kind where every one of my senses gets engulfed in happy memories.

So I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some of my favourite recipes with you. These aren't family secrets (I'll save those for another post... maybe!), but they're a blend of tried and trues, and ones I'd like to attempt over the holidays this year.

Classic shortbread cookies, all dolled up for the holidays. Shortbread cookies are my standard go-to when it comes to baking. Easy, delicious, and SO much fun to decorate.

I get especially excited over Christmas time because Hershey's brings out their Candy Cane Kisses. These beauties are chocolate peppermint cookies with Candy Cane Kisses. A delicious blend of some of my favourite things!

One of my best recipes for family and friends is this delicious chocolate chip cheesecake, with an Oreo cookie crust. It took me a few tries to get it right, but now it's a recipe I turn to at almost any celebration.

My friend Melissa baked these fantastic vanilla bean cupcakes, with strawberry buttercream during a get together this past weekend. She found the recipe online. The cupcakes are delicious by themselves, but the buttercream is unbelievable. She took fresh strawberries and mixed them in a food processor, then added them to the buttercream. The result? Buttercream that tastes more like strawberries than sugar. Delicious!

Love 'em or leave 'em, no Christmas bake-a-thon is complete without a classic rum fruitcake. My mother has a great recipe that she turns to every year. She even soaks the fruit slices in rum, months ahead. The smell of the cake baking in the oven sends me into nostalgic overdrive.

So what are your festive baking plans for Christmas? Do you have your own tried and true recipes you turn to? Or perhaps you're attempting something new this year? Do you have any secret recipes passed down through the generations? I'd love to hear from you.

Whatever you find yourself doing in preparation for Christmas, I hope you have fun! I hope you're surrounded by love and laughter, and that your experiences give way to wonderful memories you'll cherish and turn to in the years to in the years to come.


Images courtesy of and Google Images


  1. Wait, did you actually *cook* those tempting treats pictured? Because if so, I've got an engagement ring with your name on it :-p

  2. straightfromthecurlsDecember 10, 2011 10:41 am

    These are the recipes I've tried out. :) With the exception of the last
    one... I use my mother's fruitcake recipe, which involves months of
    preparation! :) The cheesecake is my standard go-to for potlucks and parties.

    (Congrats on the success of your blog, by the way!)  


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