Greetings, readers! As I mentioned at the beginning of my previous post, I love this time of year for a variety of reasons. I love holiday music (for the most part), I love the sparkling lights and wreaths that decorate store windows and front doors, and I love the snow. Speaking of which, where is it? I’m missing some powdery white stuff and it’s not flour because we all know I have enough of that in my life. I’m going to be very disappointed if it’s not a white Christmas this year… but for now, I’ll digress.
Along with all the aforementioned things (and Christmas movies and hot chocolate and warm fireplaces #cozylife), one of the best things about this time of year for me is holiday baking. Every year, my family has a tradition of sending each other edible goodies for Christmas and Hanukkah. Yes, I’m aware that many families do this, and it’s not the most groundbreaking tradition. But lately, I see more and more commercialization around the holidays and bastardization by brands and companies of the true meaning of the holiday season. It’s about spreading love and good cheer to everyone, not buying the biggest, fanciest items to impress them with. Of course, everyone loves a good gift, but it’s the thought that counts, not the price tag.
That’s why I love sending goodies to family members and friends near and far. It’s a nice way of spreading cheer and happiness without buying into the commercialization of the holidays. Not to mention, it’s delicious and not too daunting if you stick to simple, shelf stable recipes that ship well.
This year, I went for a cookie recipe from one of my favorite recipe books by Alice Medrich, chocolatier extraordinaire, and a simple candied orange peel from the food 52 website.
I won’t repost the recipe here because I’m planning on modifying the recipe to cut down on some of the unhealthy ingredients (read: butter and sugar), but rest assured, they’re delicious. I mean, you have to try the things you bake before you send them out, because what if you unknowingly send something disgusting to your relatives? Also, the chocolatey smell of them baking in the oven kind of made them irresistible. What’s life without a little indulgence from time to time?
Now, onto the orange peel. These are quite delicious, and very simple to make. The three basic ingredients are oranges, sugar, and water. It is a pretty time consuming process with a fair amount of prep work, but I think it’s totally worth it. The original recipe, which can be found here, was posted by Jennifer Farley, one of my favorite food photographer/bloggers. I definitely spend way too much of my time ogling her Pinterest and salivating at the gorgeous pictures she posts. Anyway, she rolls the finished peel in more sugar, however I made the choice not to, because I found them sweet enough without.
So there you have it! Holiday baking is fun, festive and delicious. Sending incredible edibles to your loved ones is a great way to let them know you’re thinking of them this holiday season. And who knows, maybe your goodies will inspire them to spread more delicious food, and love, to their family and friends. Together, we can all spread a little sweetness and a lot of care this winter. Go forth and bake, friends!
Sous Sus Chef