Monday, December 28, 2009

The Christmas Wrap-up: Food edition

My sister called me up a week before Christmas.

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Sister: So are you making stocking-stuffer treats this year?

Lady Susan: Oh, I guess so. I mean, I was planning on it, but hadn't thought through the logistics like what, when, and how.

Sister: Well, you don't have to. I just wanted to know so I can plan what to buy. Last year I bought some chocolates, but they just weren't as good as the stuff you make.

Lady Susan is consumed with guilt because stocking treats never crossed her mind last year and obviously the homemade treats were missed.

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For the past four or five Christmases that we sisters have celebrated together, I have made a point of making homemade goodies to put in the stockings. Growing up, our stockings were filled with yummy homemade peanut brittle, toffee, and caramels in our stockings (mysteriously, the same ones my mother made!). As a result, I have a strong belief that Christmas is not truly Christmas without something really tasty lying in wait. It is also my not so humble opinion that unless you spend the big bucks, nothing tastes as good as homemade candy.

Last year, I spent Christmas with my new in-laws in Iowa where I went with the flow of their Christmas traditions. This unfortunately meant that Santa did not bring my sisters any homemade Christmas goodies. Oops!

I have, as yet, refrained from making actual candy, involving candy thermometers and the like. As a result, I have not recreated any of my childhood Christmas treats (perhaps next year I will feel more adventurous?). Instead, I have come up with an alternative, but I dare say equally yummy, Christmas repertoire.

Fruit and Nut Chocolate Blocks.

I first came across these via Orangette. They are lovely. You can put whatever combination of fruit and nuts you have on hand. This year I used cherries, cranberries, pistachios, and almonds.

Peanut Butter Buckeyes.

Everyone loves peanut butter and chocolate. These remind me of the peanut butter candy my mother used to make when I was a kid (probably because it is basically the same recipe). However, it has the added luxury of a dunking of dark chocolate. They can be a bit sweet (but it is Christmas afterall!) I am contemplating taking the sugar down a notch or two.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies.

This was the first year making these. It was a nice variation on the traditional chocolate bark. I wanted something that wasn't just melted chocolate and something else. This has the added bonus of a shortbread cookie base. Yumm. I nixed the white chocolate on top. Completely unnecessary in my book.

Chex Mix


Because you need something salty to counteract all the sweetness. I used an old basic family recipe.

And because he is simply awesome, and "[he] completes me," Mr. F. made these pretty boxes in which to put above mentioned treats. Aren't they great? If left up to me, the Christmas goodies would be placed in generic plastic baggies. Good thing I married an over-achiever.


Christmas Boxes 2

So what does Santa leave in your stocking? Have any wonderful holiday goodies that you make year after year?

1 comment:

Washington Hills said...

I know you must get this a lot, Lady Susan, but I think you are amazing!

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