I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone! It has flown by and my gosh it has been a busy one. Especially the last 6 months. But I have finally made it online to blog (after meaning to do so properly every weekend for the last three months) to share with you a simple DIY Christmas gift idea. If you are anything like me this year, you are totally unprepared. I didn’t even make my Christmas cakes until November! Given how busy I have been, I decided to make my Christmas hampers a little less labour-intensive. These were top of my list to try and these custom spoons are the star of the show, in my opinion, I ordered them from Auntie Mims, along with some other custom bits and pieces (and no they didn’t ask me to say that, I just love their products). Follow them on Twitter for a discount code.
This was another recipe that was supposed to be made in December, to send to some friends for Christmas but then I decided that they’d have plenty of food over Christmas and that they’d be better received in the new year (i.e. I ran out of time). I was privileged to be asked to make Oreo cheesecake truffles for said friends’ wedding this summer and thought that these would be a nice reminder of that amazing day.
For the cookies I used a recipe from Erren’s Kitchen and for the filling I opted for a recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
It appears that my baking spirit animal is Gingerbread Jenn; I’d been thinking for some time about finding a biscuit recipe to make for James (a tea and biscuit addict who I live vicariously through, if I ate that many biscuits I’d weight six times as much as I do now). I wanted biscuits, not cookie though and then a recipe for Bourbons appeared in my feed, courtesy Jenn (of course) and within a couple of days they were made; I couldn’t resist any longer. Where we differ though is that Jenn put bourbon in her filling and I opted for brandy, less in keeping with the name but I’m a brandy girl.
I spotted the recipe for these on The Salted Cookie and I have only tweaked it slightly. Honey and peanut butter and two of James’ favourite things, add cookies into the equation and we are onto a winner. I hadn’t baked any cookies for months and I was having withdrawals. I thought these would be great take-to-school(work) cookies after the lovely Christmas break. Something to brighten the mid-morning tea break.
My gosh were they dangerously tasty! I was glad James took them to work because after all the excesses of Christmas, the last thing I needed were these calling my name from the biscuit tin! I halved the original recipe and made about 12 cookies.
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These cookies are there for when things all get a bit much on Christmas day because mum is stressed in the kitchen, dad is already tipsy, grandad is asleep in the chair and grandma has said something inappropriate and everyone is just a bit tense, and it isn’t even midday. What is required is a nice sit down with a cuppa and a few biscuits before the onslaught of the final tasks of the Christmas dinner begin. These are those biscuits, they are there to keep the peace. They are scrummy and were another addition to my Christmas gift hampers this year. They can also be eaten in moments of calm though, fear not!
The recipe for these is from a book by an author I adore, ‘Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe’ by Jenny Colgan. This is the second installment about Issy and her cupcake café, a life I would love to be living. I highly recommend Jenny Colgan’s books but I’ve written many posts mentioning her and I’m planning a 2014 book round up post, so I won’t say too much here. I had this book as an audiobook but had to buy a paper copy to get my hands on all the lovely recipes!