Friday, December 15, 2006

A Blaahgy Tour of My Yet to be Christmas House

While everyone else in the blogosphere is touring Boo Mama's Bloggy Tour of Chrismas homes today, I'm just waking up to the fact that Christmas is indeed almost here. Ten days to be more or less exact, depending on when you happen to read this post. Ten days. And no tree up here yet. A few Christmas decorations out. And a few - just a few - cookies baked.

I started off with my favs this year. Giant Ginger Cookies and Shortbread. I've found two recipes that are in my opinion equal to or better than the same offerings by Starbucks, and much cheaper, ha! Here's the link to the Shortbread cookie recipe. I roll the dough into 2 logs, roll in raw sugar, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge. Then I slice and bake - make sure you let them get a little brown around the bottom edge. Mmmm!

And here's the recipe for the Ginger Cookies.

4-1/2 cups flour
4 t. ginger
2 t. baking soda
1-1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. salt
1-1/2 c. shortening (I use butter-flavored Crisco)
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. molasses
3/4 c. coarse or granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350. In medium bowl, stir together first 6 ingredients. In another large bowl, beat shortening for 30 seconds. Add 2 cups granulated sugar and beat until combined. Beat in eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture gradually. Using a med. scoop, shape dough into balls. Roll in coarse sugar and place on cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 12 minutes, until cookies are light brown and puffed and starting to crack. Do not overbake. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. The original recipe calls for using 1/2 cup scoop, which makes 4" cookies. I prefer smaller one; mine are about 2-1/2 inches.

And while not much Christmasy has been going on inside the house, my husband has been busy stringing lights outside. Unfortunately someone (me) failed to get the lights OUT of storage while we had 60F days around Thanksgiving and so he spent several hours outside in 30F weather one night last week. No pictures of those efforts yet but to give him credit, he's also been busy ensuring we have that fire for which to roast chestnuts by throughout the holiday season and then some! Here are pictures of his growing woodpile(s). And remember, "you can never have enough wood!" (This is for Bev - yes, we're into the wood thing!)


Barb said...

Pictures of your wood and cookies. Well, really, Dianne, that's actually very Christmasy. What I wouldn't give for a fireplace. I just turn my oven on, stand in front of it and close my eyes.

Your cookies look wonderful and I'm so jealous that you have a need for all that wood I can't stand it. Yes, Bev's going to appreciate that. :-)

gail said...

You have been doing a lot if you have been baking! Those cookies look so good, thanks for sharing the recipe. And all that wood and stringing lights, lots of work!
We have some wood but not cold enough weather to go with it!

Jennifer said...

Dianne--thanks SO much for the cookie recipes. Amanda and I need to bake this weekend, and these look really great.

Susanne said...

I can almost smell those cookies they look so good!

Katrina said...

Those Giant Ginger Cookies sound absolutely yummy! And although I wore myself out this week with a day of solid baking, they're enough to make me want to bake more next week. :) And the wood... I'm very impressed with all that wood. I know Chad wants to get some good fires going in the fireplace this year, but alas, we have no stacks of wood. We'll have to work on that!

Anonymous said...

Oh my Dianne, the pictures of the cookies look so delicious, but what really "takes the cake" are the pictures of Mike's wood pile. I just love him and the fact that he takes care of you....and not only you but Dad's wood pile for us.
Bet your home smells like Christmas!

Kelly said...

I love to make cookies and these look great! Thanks for sharing.

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Wow, thatsalotta wood! I bet you guys will enjoy it, and the chestnuts and marshmallows roasted over the fire as well.

You may not have a tree up, but your cookies look delicious! I may have to try those, thanks for the recipes and the links. I wish I had one of those ginger cookies right now, that picture is making my mouth water!!!

Merry Christmas to you!

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

I'm still amazed that you, a girl, chop wood....I'm terrified of anything with a blade, so an ax would qualify. And if you expected me to light a fire, well thats ridiculous to even think about. So it really does impress me, all this fussing with wood....your ginger cookies look yummy yummy. Something about them that sounds so homey.