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Cookies, Fruitcake and More Cookies

I am going to try to keep this short and sweet. I have been baking and packing gift boxes for the last week. My meals are take out or a quick sandwich. Have to say my new oven is amazing. It literally cuts baking time in half having an oven that actually works like it’s supposed to. My first attempt at convection baking wasn’t the best, not a disaster but not great, I read that it automatically converts the temperature and I didn’t realize you have to change the setting on the stove to convert the temp. Second round was perfect.

Got 3 gift boxes mailed, no small feat as I had to wait almost 2 hours in line at the post office. It’s been pretty busy around here, I volunteered as a foster for a rescue organization and they had an urgent need to foster a little chiweenie (chihuahua dachshund mix). He is about 7-8 yrs old and is named Gosha. He will stay with me until he finds a forever home much to the chagrin of Mr. Percy, he is not pleased and is moping around the house, won’t eat unless I hand feed him and is generally perturbed.

Christmas cards have been pouring in, for Percy, LOL! I have gotten 2 with over 30 cards for Percy from our friends on social media.

I found a great recipe for Chocolate thumbprint cookies, better than the recipe I have been using for the last few years. It’s from Martha Stewart and have to say it’s terrific. The cookies are soft and moist and I love adding the striped Hershey’s kiss in the center while the cookies are still warm.

chocolate thumbprint cookies

I’ve also made fruitcakes, chocolate chip cookies, rugelach and biscotti. This week I’m making Stollen, more cookies and more.

rugelach, chocolate, orange hazelnut


Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Makes 90 small cookies

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup plus 1 tbs dutch cocoa, unsweetened

2 tsp course salt

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened

1 1/3 cup sugar (plus more for rolling the cookies in)

2 large egg yolks

2 tbs heavy cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degree’s. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into a small bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and add egg yolks, cream and vanilla, beat until combined scraping sides when needed. Beat in flour mixture just until combined.

Scoop out approximately 2 tsp and roll into a ball, roll in sugar and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Use your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon to make an indent in each cookie. Bake for 5 minutes rotating the pan and then bake another 5 minutes (10 minutes total baking time).
Remove from oven and place a Hershey’s kiss in the center, let cool completely before packaging or storing.

Holiday Baking

I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas, only a few short weeks to go. I have been crippled without a working stove and last week on Thursday night my new stove arrived. It is a beauty and I am very happy with it so far. It is going to take some getting used to. I found that I am accustomed to working with an oven that was far from normal and because of some of issues I was able to use the oven with adjustments. For example my oven door did not close all the way, this effected the oven temp dramatically, I would prop chairs forcing the door to close but that was like an obstacle course in the kitchen. There were hot spots so everything I baked required constant turning and rotating. You get used to these things and they become the norm. The new stove works and works well and that has forced me to adjust how I use the oven. I find that there is a Pavlovian response, I automatically check want to rotate and test rather than timing. With an oven that actually works I am going to have to re train myself to trust and rely on directions and the oven itself. In the weeks before it arrived I didn’t do much in the way of cooking and baking, because it took a while to get the new stove my baking for the holidays has fallen way behind schedule. The last few days I have been reading the manual and using the stove and oven to get used to it. Today I start baking, I have many gift boxes to put together and there will be dozens and dozens of cookies and loaves to bake.

I have always had a basic stove, no bells and whistles, this stove has it all, it’s convection, has so many capabilities including a touch screen control. I feel a little overwhelmed but will get used to it I’m sure. I read that you have to adjust temperature by 25 degree’s (down) when baking with convection, well this stove automatically adjusts so you set the temperature at the prescribed degree’s in the recipe and it self adjusts. I will see how that goes. I can dehydrate food with this oven as the temp goes down to 100 degree’s it has a special setting for those that are observant, a Sabbath setting. It’s pretty incredible really.  I have to put a new backsplash in but that can come later along with adjustments for positioning the stove etc..

The gift boxes will contain tried and true recipes, don’t really like experimenting when I am sending out as a gift. I’ve posted all the recipes over the years, Stollen, fruit cake thumbprint cookies, chocolate chip, biscotti are all on the agenda over the next few days.

Thanks to everyone for sticking by me even with a blog black out for a few weeks. Hoping now to get back on track and start posting recipes. Happy Holidays to all!

Ginger Scallion ramen with Crispy sesame oven baked tofu recipe coming

homemade bourbon vanilla extract

Percy loves the crunchy leaves