Bring on Christmas! I am ready….I am so ready. Purchase presents for loved ones – check. Spend the last two weeks at the gym to prepare for the carbo-loading onslaught of delicious food – check. Complete all baking to share with others – double check. Purchase the best Christmas sweater ever – triple check with a gold star!
I’ve made so many cookies, bars, and cake balls over the last couple weeks that I wanted to do something different. I’ve seen so many amazing recipes lately of cinnamon buns. Therefore, I figured I’d join the party and bake some too. These are absolutely perfect in every way. They are so easy and require minimal time to make. They also have a delicious hint of gingerbread, which I love this time of year.
Soooo….it’s -43 celsius here in Winnipeg. How are you?! Yeah, it’s cold. I know I talk about the weather a lot, but how can’t you with these temperatures? And…it’s not even officially winter yet. To chase away the winter blues, I decided to book a flight to Arizona again this year to visit Claudia and my Dad in February. I figured with this snow and cold, I will be needing warmth and sunshine by then. Here’s hoping I don’t get the flu this time around!
I also cannot believe that Christmas is 2 weeks away. I am really enjoying all the holiday recipes that are floating around out there. A couple weeks ago when I asked what everyone was baking for the holidays on our Facebook Page, I had a request (I love requests!) from a loyal follower (Hi Bon!) for a recipe for Poppycock. I had never made it before, but soon learned that my Cousin Linda had one that she was famous for. She was kind enough to share the recipe with me and I tried it immediately. I can see why it’s so popular in her house – her granddaughter actually sneaks some into her room at night to munch on. This recipe is delicious!
One thing I am absolutely sure of – I love Claudia’s Butter Tarts at Christmas time! They are seriously delicious. She always makes the dough from scratch, and it’s always flaky and buttery. The filling is sweet and syrupy. I didn’t realize how easy they were to make until Claudia came over a couple weeks ago to show me. I am so glad she did.
I don’t know if it’s the snow on the ground, the cold temperatures or Target having the cutest holiday items in the entire world in their stores right now, but I am super excited for Christmas this year. I’ve been doing my best not to put on the Christmas tunes, put up my Christmas tree, and watch my favourite Christmas movies like Elf and Home Alone. After all, it’s still only November. I’ve always been a firm traditionalist and start these activities no earlier than December 1. I may have to break my rules this year – starting with featuring my first holiday baking item – these delicious Gingersnap Cookies!
Claudia came over this week to teach me how to make more of her holiday baking family favourites. These Gingersnap Cookies were high on her list to share with me. She actually adapted the recipe from her coworker (Linda), as they were a total hit at their workplace not too long ago. When I told Claudia that I wasn’t a huge Gingersnap cookie fan, she reassured me that these cookies would be worthy of my daily caloric intake. I have to admit Claudia was right (but really, when isn’t she?). These, my friends, are the perfect combination of all my Gingersnap Cookie wishes – chewy, soft, and not too heavy on the ginger or molasses flavour. I highly recommend these delicious beauties for your holiday baking line up.
I cannot believe that Christmas Eve is tomorrow. Where does the time go? I’m not gonna lie…I’m pretty darn excited. The copious amounts of delicious food, gift exchanges, and the celebration of family and friends is what I love most about this time of year.
Tomorrow, my family is having quite the Christmas Eve feast. Since we’re Ukrainian, we celebrate by having a huge dinner consisting of 12 meatless dishes. This year is the first in a long time where we will be having Pyrizhky, or cabbage buns. I never really grew up on these delectable little dough balls. My Baba, Grandma and Claudia never made them, so they were never a part of our Ukrainian feasts. This year, I decided to take some action and try to make them with Claudia. My soon to be Mother-in-Law was gracious enough to provide us with her recipe (and a bag full of samples!) to try. For our first attempt, they came out extremely well. Claudia made some tweaks, like boiling the sauerkraut, but other than that, we kept true to the recipe. This recipe makes approximately 13-14 dozen Pyrizhky. You can also use any other filling you desire, such as meat. However, we prefer sauerkraut.
I love fruit desserts. Apple, strawberry, raspberry – you name it.
But pineapple? I was a little skeptical.
As you can tell, this recipe is old. It apparently was my Grandmother’s. The image above reaffirms why I needed to create this blog, as this is Claudia’s recipe. Handwritten, worn and slightly yellow. Splash some water on this puppy and it’s a goner.
My Grandmother apparently made this dessert a lot more than Claudia did while I was growing up. Prior to this blog posting, I argued with Claudia that I never tried this tasty dessert before. She vehemently disagreed. When we received a request to make this treat for Christmas, it was then that I fell in love with this delightful slice. Try it and you will too! Continue reading →
The holidays would not be complete without making and decorating Sugar Cookies. As you can tell from the image above, I decorate cookies like a 5 year old. Actually, a 5 year old could probably do a lot better. I still draw stick figures for people. I didn’t do very well in art class.
Claudia received this recipe from a coworker (Stacey) a few years ago. It’s very simple and makes great tasting cookies. We prefer thicker, chewier Sugar Cookies. But you can easily roll this dough out to make thinner, crispier cookies.
I can always tell when the holidays are upon us. My evenings become jam-packed and I spend my Sunday’s in the kitchen with Claudia. I’m talking 6 hours this past Sunday! It was pretty fun. My feet were killing me by the end of it though. I honestly don’t know how Claudia can stand in the kitchen for hours on end making dozens upon dozens of perogies at a time. She’s Superwoman. Somebody buy her a cape!
Last Christmas we ended up featuring a lot of the holiday baking items I enjoyed growing up. Today’s blog is no exception. These cookies are my Dad’s favourite – and for very good reason. They literally melt in your mouth. Literally. This is no joke people. They are the softest, most delicate shortbread cookie I have ever tried. And they are delicious and super, super simple to make.
For as long as I can remember, Date Squares (aka Matrimonial Cake) were always on Claudia’s Christmas baking list. I’ll admit that when I was younger I didn’t fancy them too much and chose holiday desserts on the table that had a lot more chocolate on them. But as I get older (and wiser of course) I have grown to absolutely love them. The buttery crumbly layers and the sweet date filling makes this the perfect recipe for your own holiday baking list.