Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What I'm Reading Today

Cookies, Brittle, Peppermint Bark, and Toffee...I've been fitting in batches of baking anywhere and everywhere I can.  My candy thermometer and sil-pats are working over time cranking out homemade gifts for friends, teachers, and neighbors.  I love this time of year!!

The New York Times gathered handfuls of readers' cookie recipes and, after giving them a thorough test run,  published many today.  The paper's fave is this alternative to your basic sugar cookies, Rich Chocolate Cookies, made for rolling, cutting and decorating.  Some other lovely looking recipes are beautifully assembled here.  I'll definitely be adding Maple Vanilla Pizelles to my holiday assortment, shaking up the usual anise variety and hoping they're a welcome addition.

The LA Times assembled their own list of sorts, 22 Food Gifts to Give...and Keep for Yourself.  I love the adorable Snowflake Pretzel Rods as well as Almond Cherry Coconut Granola.  Both recipes are simple for anyone who normally shuns the idea of baking anything.  A trip to your local craft store will give you dozens of cute packaging ideas and, voila, before you know it you'll have knocked out all those extra gifts that were still on your list-UPS guy?  Check!  Dry Cleaners?  Check!   Dog Walker? Check!

Since I've been in nut brittle mode, making what I'm nicknaming "brittlicious" by the bucket full, I loved seeing this No Peanut Brittle in today's Washington Post.   Chock full of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and pine nuts, it's a great alternative to the peanut version. I actually like the idea of small seeds and nuts, making room for more of the caramelized candy.  I always give mine a sprinkle of sea salt before it starts to cool but the tiny touch of chipotle powder in this recipe might be enough to amp things up on its own.  For your spiciest friends, this brittle is it.

Happy Reading and Happy Baking!

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