Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gingerbread Loaves with Lemony Glaze

About a week before Christmas every year, I make the mistake of thinking that I have the whole gift thing under control. I settle down and start to enjoy the Christmas parties and decorations…..until my neighbor stops by with a “small gift” for me, and I start scrambling to come up with something for her and the few

others that I’ve forgotten in all the holiday fuss. That’s when I’m grateful for those marvelous oven-safe paper baking pans. They are the perfect container for a small loaf, whether it’s pound cake, fruit cake, gingerbread or whatever little cake you’re inspired to bake. Just let it cool, wrap it in plastic and tie it with a red ribbon. It’s 

the perfect “little gift”. Here’s a recipe for one of my favorite little loaves – a gingerbread cake made with lots of fresh ginger and topped with a lemony glaze. Merry Christmas to all!!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Austrian Wreaths

Also known as Mandelkranzchen, Austrian Wreaths are one of my favorite Christmas cookies. The dough is made with lots of butter and ground almonds and spiced with ground cloves and cinnamon. Unlike many nut-based doughs, this one 

is relatively easy to work with, and the cookies retain their shape well. I like to put lots of sliced almonds on top of the cookies, so that they have that random casualness of a home-spun wreath. Feel free to use whatever jam or preserves you 

like for the filling. I like raspberry preserves, but sour cherry or apricot would also be delightful. The dough can be made up to a month in advance and frozen (well-wrapped), an option which allows you to enjoy these cookies throughout the holiday season and even into the new year. Click on Read More below for the recipe.