Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December Daily 10

Today could have been an awful day but it turned out to be very nice. It began with exhaustion. See the way that Baby Bean is virtually consuming his Sophie giraffe? Poor little guy cut his first tooth a week ago and we can feel the next one coming. He is chewing everything, drooling, cranky and waking every hour at night. I could really use a good sleep! I don't tend to start the day well when I am that tired but for some reason, today I was able to move past it.

The Christmas baking began today. We are doing a cookie exchange at church this year so when we were having Baby Bean's baptism party, I decided to test out some cookie recipes. I made several pans of shortbread using a shortbread pan that a good friend gave me a few years ago. Dh adored that. I did Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Gingerbread people and rice krispie squares. The hands down favourite, though, which was so incredibly easy, was this White Chocolate Cranberry shortbread. I almost threw it out because the chocolate chips had turned brown because I had cooked it too long but EVERYONE raved about it and asked for the recipe. I got it from a little booklet of recipes at the grocery store featuring Robin Hood Flour, and a few other "brand" products. I have tried to find it online to share a link but I couldn't so I will just give it to you here - sorry for violating copyright! The tins below are gifts - I don't have much money this year and as a teacher, I love getting home baking (the Christmas season is so busy and it's nice to have yummy treats on hand when company comes). These are for Pk's highland dance teacher and her swim instructor. Next week, the serious baking begins, both for the cookie exchange and for our family Christmas. Thank goodness these kinds of things freeze well! I love baking and so this was a nice thing to get done.

White Chocolate and Cranberry Shortbread
1 3/4 c Robin Hood all purpose flour

1/2 c corn starch

1/2 tsp salt

1 c unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 c icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 c noname sweetened dried cranberries

1/2 c white chocolate chips

icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 300. Line a 9" by 13" baking pan with parchment paper so that it overhangs ends for easy removal. In a large bowl, combine flour with corn starch and salt. In a separate bowl, beat butter with icing sugar and vanilla until very creamy. Stir in flour mixture, then cranberries and chocolate chips. using floured fingers, pat evenly into prepared pan. Using a fork, prick surface all over. Bake in preheated oven for 40 - 50 minutes or until deep golden around edges. Let stand in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Using parchment paper, lift out of pan. Slice into bars while still warm. Cool completely. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.

I also really love these tins and they are from the dollar store. That's my favourite place right now.As I said above, the dollar store is a favourite place right now. I am wary of some of their stuff, I just assume that the toys are all either choking hazards or contain lead paint and I know that most of the lotions and cremes contain parabens, something we actively avoid. On the other hand, for things like Christmas supplies, arts and crafts materials for Pk and misc junk that we need, it's great. I also like the fact that, poor as I am, I can come out with what I need and not feel poor! Yesterday, I picked up these velvet stickers that come with markers. Pk and I had fun colouring together. I think it's a sign of how chaotic my life is that I was having a marvelous time simply colouring in little stickers. I could have done it for hours. We had a very fruitless shopping trip, trying to buy a Christmas gift that was out of stock so I need to brave the "big box" store tomorrow. This quiet time with Pk was a perfect way to decompress. I love these little moments together!


  1. Thanks for posting the recipe! That looks good! I need to get into baking soon... haven't done any holiday baking after finishing that wedding cake... blech. I don't wanna bake, haha. I didn't even want to put up decorations, but I finally did finish up yesturday. And now I want to go buy more... with no money, haha. I love the thrift store in town! :)

  2. Yep, I packaged the teacher cookies in dollar store tins and boxes this year, too! And that recipe sounds amazing, that might just be next year's cookie...