Holiday Treats!

Happy 2014 everyone!

For this post, rather than give an in-depth look at everything I baked this holiday season, I thought I’d give you an overview of the cookies and cupcakes I made. This is partly because some of the cookies I made are extremely basic and don’t warrant an entire blog post, and partly because there would be a lot of posts to cover everything. So I figure it’d be simpler to put it all into one holiday treats post, so you can feast your eyes on what I baked (and maybe keep to your resolutions too).

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

I made these as the end-of-year treat for my colleagues. I actually spent an entire week on them, baking them the previous weekend, and decorating them a little bit every evening.

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I made nearly 120 cookies. I then personalized some of the stockings and the stars, with the first initial of my colleagues, and separated out the cookies.

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Each person got 4 cookies. I placed them into a holiday bag, with a note from myself and Josh.

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Old-Fashioned Butter Press Cookies

I went home for a few days at Christmas, so I had to make some cookies there too! Since I left my KitchenAid mixer and everything at my place, I made simple, hand-mixed, butter cookies. These were Mom’s favorites.

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My dad found a new cookie press tucked away in a corner, and to my delight, it had a tree form! (and a pumpkin, but that’s for a different holiday). I decorated these simply, with red and green sugar.

British Pudding – American-style

Actually, these aren’t mini British Christmas puddings at all. They’re leftover chocolate cake and icing, which I transformed into cake balls. I had a bit of white candy melts left, so I whipped these up and topped with festive sprinkles.

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Apple Pie

Okay, so maybe it’s not that festive, but it was one of my contributions for our annual Christmas dinner at some very dear friends of ours, so I figure it deserves it’s place here.

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My apologies for the bad-quality photo, it was hastily taken before I put it out on the buffet.

New Year’s Eve Cupcakes

My last festive piece of baking, were these pink champagne, New Year’s Eve cupcakes. What else would you need to finish off the year with a flourish?

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These were quite the hit at the party I took them to!

And so here ends my first blog entry for 2014. I can’t wait to see what new baking adventures the year brings me! In the meantime, one of my resolutions is to form healthier eating habits… so I guess whatever I bake, I shall have to bring in to work ^_^

Thanks for reading!

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Here I am…

I have always liked helping in the kitchen. I have fond memories as a child, sitting on the counter, helping Mom to bake chocolate chip cookies. This went on to being the first recipe she let me bake entirely on my own (by the age of 10), closely followed by cupcakes. When I went to university, I found myself with a lot of free time, and started exploring my baking hobby to a greater depth. With some help along the way, I discovered icing techniques, countless recipes, and started browsing cake decorating tutorials and Facebook pages for inspiration.

A friend suggested I start a blog to keep a record of my baking adventures, and as a sort of portfolio, should I ever decide to do this professionally. At the moment, baking is for me a sort of de-stress mechanism. Baking helps relieve day-to-day tensions I build up. This past year, I agreed to bake the cakes for the team I work with at school, for our birthday lunches. Even though these were approximately once a month, once or twice I found myself stressing about the cakes, and spending entirely too much time perfecting them. So for now, I am not taking commissions or orders; I just want to share my experiences with you.

As this is the first blog I’ve ever kept, I welcome constructive criticism on presentation and content. Things that seem obvious to me might not be to you, and I will gladly answer any questions you have. I will always reference my recipes or techniques to the websites/tutorials where I found them.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy reading through my blog.

Jo