Christmas baking adventures

Just about every year I say I’ll make treats to give as gifts.  But every year, being summer in Australia, it’s often way too hot to turn the oven on.

But Melbourne has been true to form and given us some nice cold wintery/autumny weather.  In summer!  Melbourne is such a delight that way. I love Melbourne.  These cool changes in the weather make summer bearable for me.  I really, really dislike hot weather.  I was sweating it out in shorts last week.  Three days ago it was so cold and rainy that I had to break my winter coat out of storage and we put the room heaters on.

I recently purchased the super lovely ‘Vegan Food Gifts’ by Joni Marie Newman. Beautiful photography coupled with great gift ideas and recipes.  The book contains instructions on how to make little boxes and decorations, as well as labels, hang tags and cards you can copy. This is great for talentless hacks like me when it comes to crafts and using one’s hands to make pretty things. I have to go through it again and narrow down the stuff I’ll be making, then I will get Arthur and DeeW to help make the boxes and decorationy bits.

Aaaanyway, let’s talk food.  This year I’ll be making the Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies from  Woman In Real Life.  Joann has a great blog and these cookies, which I made twice, are delicious.  I didn’t have chocolate chunks the first time so I used small white chocolate chips.  I also bought far more cranberries than I’ll probably ever use so I threw in some of those as well, along with some chopped pumpkin seeds for the whole green-and-red Christmas vibe.  They turned out great.  The second time (photo below), I think I chopped things too finely in the food processor (I was being lazy) so there aren’t that many nice chunks and I used wholemeal spelt and the cookies turned out puffier-yummy, whereas the first batch (with stuff chopped by hand) were crunchy-flat yumness:


Also on the plate there are the Norah’s Lemon Lemon Cookies from ‘Isa Does It’ by Isa Chandra M.  These are great too, though a little on the sweet side for me.  I decided not to make the icing, though when I give them out I’ll dust over some icing (confectioner’s) sugar.

Now, I made both these cookies and put them in the freezer to keep until Christmas, where I can then wrap them up when I’m about to go visiting.  I tried one of each from the freezer and they were fine.  So fine, that I had a few more of each.  I really don’t think these will last.  But that’s okay, I want to make them again and see if I can shape them properly.  I’m a bit of a glutton perfectionist like that!

6 thoughts on “Christmas baking adventures

  1. ha ha – I love your bikkies and a gift book with idea for packaging sounds great to me – I did some fruit and nut balls with just a plain old cellophane bag and a ribbon today – was quite pleased at it but still working at my packaging – and the bikkies look yummy – puffy yummy is my sort of thing 🙂

  2. You are sweet to include my cookie in your Christmas baking list. 🙂 Thank you. I’m happy they worked out for you. I froze my batch and then proceeded to eat them straight out of the freezer. In fact, I pretty much ate all of the “Christmas” cookies so I have to get baking again!

    • I ate all mine too! I made another batch last night following your instructions exactly (though I added chopped pumpkin seeds) and this time they turned out fantastic. I think using the wholemeal spelt really makes them puff up more, so the light/white spelt is much better.

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