Christmas Recipes – Breakfast, Dinner and Gifts

Ok, just like with Thanksgiving, I thought I’d put together the search for you. These recipes are good for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, holiday get-togethers and holiday gifts.

So if you’re looking for ideas, start here, and unfortunately you’ll have to wade through the Christmas carols because I tagged them as Christmas, so they show up. But you’ll find many recipes while you, hopefully, listen to the music.

If you need something specific, search on the ingredient in the Search W4DS box in the upper right corner. And you’ll probably find something that sounds good.

As always, you can ask me questions in the comment or send me an email. I’ll do my best.

And stay tuned, on Thursday the recipe exchange has three more ideas for holiday meals.

I hope you have a lovely holiday season, full of peace and love and zero stress.


Holiday Gift Ideas: Fruit Pie Cookies

I made these last year.  These cookies are so pretty they make a great addition to any holiday cookie platter or box.

The recipe is for apple filling, but I then did another batch using strawberry, blueberry and apple fillings. I made 3 dozen, 12 of each flavor.  Strawberry, Blueberry and Apple.  It took 1 cup of fruit for each dozen.  The only changes I made was to use a splash of lemon juice in the blueberries and strawberries, instead of cinnamon and nutmeg.

From Oct 2010 (click over for more pictures).

I’m going to declare this recipe a success.  These are really good, not too sweet thanks to the butter cookie base.  I made a half batch, my usual technique when working on a recipe.  I wish I’d made a whole batch.  Partly because they are really good, but also because they are time consuming to mix.

I’ve had the idea in my head for a while and it just took some time for the whole thing to kind of come together.  It’s part butter cookie, part apple pie, part apple crisp – I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Apple Pie Cookies

Butter Cookie Base:

  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour

Apple Pie Filling:

  • 2 Golden or Granny Smith, or other firm, apples – cored and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons water (as needed)

Crumble Topping:

  • 2 tbsp butter, soften
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)

Bowl, saucepan, min-muffin pan, wax paper

In bowl, cream together butter and sugar, add cinnamon and vanilla, mix well. Add flour, blend until well mixed, but do not over beat. Spread onto wax paper and roll into a long tube, about 1-1/2” in diameter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until chilled and firm.

Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt butter and add apples and simmer on medium to medium-low. Mix together brown sugar and spices, add to simmering apples, mix in well. When apples are softened, sprinkle flour over them, mix in, add water as necessary to create a thick syrup. Let simmer on low until you are ready to use.

In bowl, cut together butter, flour and oats until fine crumbles.

To assemble: spray muffin pan with oil, remove dough from refrigerator, cut twelve 1/4-inch slices from the dough, then replace remainder back into the refrigerator. Press each disk into the muffin pan, making a little bowl. Add apple mixture and top with crumbles. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool slightly before removing from the pan. They should slip out pretty easily – I used a knife to help slip them out. Makes 36 cookies.

You’ll have to let the pan cool just a bit before you assemble the next batch, as the butter cookies melt pretty quickly.

Gadget Post – Home Coffee Roaster

And a gift idea for all those insufferable yuppie baby boomers on your list.  Although this particular model may draw sniffs of disapproval and dismissal as a “glorified popcorn popper”.

We’ve had this for a month or so now, long enough to have run four or five pounds of various beans through it.  We haven’t found the perfect coffee yet but we keep looking.  It’s big enough to roast beans for 2 or 3 pots of coffee – just about enough to last us one day. We started with a sampler selection from Sweet Maria’s place. Lots of good info there.

I was looking forward to the smell of coffee roasting until I actually smelled coffee roasting.  It has a lot in common with the familiar fall aroma from days past when  burning piles of leaves were more common.  You will want to use this thing under an oven hood and maybe crack some windows open too.  It will set off smoke alarms.Here it is a few minutes into a cycle, the beans tumble about in the hot air blowing up from the bottom of the unit,  The top has outlet vents and a screen to catch the chaff from the beans.

And here it is further along, nearing the end, the beans are much darker.  There is a whole vocabulary to learn when discussing coffee roasting:  City roast, first crack, Vienna, full city plus, second crack, light roast– and on and on.  Some others that I just now made up:  Full city burnt, charcoal beans, and…just the way Mrs J likes it.

We’ve just scratched the surface but we have been getting some pretty good coffee out of it.  Supermarket Folger’s just won’t cut it at all anymore.