I'm so excited ... the vacuum has arrived! We vacuumed the house yesterday - it looks sooooo NICE!! Until you've gone 6 months without a vacuum AND have three very hairy dogs to deal with on a moment-by-moment basis you simply cannot comprehend my excitment over BEING ABLE TO VACUUM!!
So this year has been a year of FIRSTS ... first house, first SUV ;), first vacuum, first Christmas back in PA ...
My baking is done. I made Thumprint cookies to share with family and friends. The recipes are all online and will be linked below with my impressions of them each. I used raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, and apricot preserves, as well as orange marmalade (mmmmm!), then wrapped the finished (cooled) cookies 8 to a celephane pkg (4x9" purchased @ Michaels'). There was also a recipe for Eggnog Thumprints, which I tried, but it bombed horribly - I have never had cookies litterally MELT in the oven! The filling was delicious though, so I improvised, and changed the "Jam Thumprint" recipe into an "Eggnog Thumprint Cookie" recipe. (changes noted below w/ link). OH! and we cannot forget I made Sugar Cookies as well ... but adding my own personality and touch of class (as I usually do with my recipes :)).
Ok, recipes ...
(1=bad, 2=probably won't try again, 3=may or may not make again, 4=may make again, 5=will make again)
Polish Thumbprint cookies from familyfun.com ... 5 ... these are nice firm cookies, flavored w/Almond extract they are delicious.
Thumbprint Cookies from Kraftfoods.com ... 3 ... these didn't bake up as nicely as the Polish cookies did; a softer batter is created, but the flavor is lovely.
Jam Thumprint Cookies by Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa on FoodTV.com) ... 5 ... Lovely firm cookie with lots of mild flavor that compliments the preserves very nicely.
Now ... the original Eggnog recipe came from All Things Christmas and either I did something wrong (totally possible!) or the recipe really needs some adjustments to make it useable. Anyhow, I took the POLISH THUMBPRINT cookie recipe and adjusted it to accomodate the lovely filling for the Eggnog Thumbprints like so:
- Polish Thumbprint recipe as stated with following exceptions/substitutions
- change 1/2 tsp almond extract for 1/2 tsp Rum Flavoring (imitation is fine)
- add 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- change 1 lg egg to 1 lg whole egg + 1 lg egg yolk (reserve whites for brushing cookies)
- change 1 C finely chopped almonds to 1 C finely chopped walnuts (optional)
- add 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- form cookies, make thumbprints but do not fill, brush with gently beaten egg whites, and bake cookies as directed.
- change fruit preserves for following filling to be inserted AFTER cookies are baked and cooled...
- 1/4 C unsalted butter, softened (not melted) @ room temp
- 1 C powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp rum or 1/4 tsp rum extract
- 1 - 2 tsp milk
- ground nutmeg
- Prepare filling: beat butter until creamed; add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy; beat in rum or rum extract and enough milk to make filling spread or pipeable (frosting consistency) . Spoon or pipe approximately 1/2 teaspoon filling into center of each cookie.
- sprinkle cookies with nutmeg to finish.
- this makes approximately 40 cookies - same as the original recipes.
Well, that has consumed my past two days, and the knitting has gone by the wayside. Today I need to get some laundry done, but my knitting is calling and I do so want to get back to it! I have a scarf and lace stole to finish!!!
MERRY CHRISTMAS, again, all!