Are you afraid of change? Have you seen the stress scale? It's a list of…
I love personality typing. So I wrote this about Christmas baking. What category do you fall under? Leave a note in the comments!
What type of holiday baker are you?
You always make the same holiday favourites. Your family has come to expect and depend on your classics! Sugar cookies, here we come!
You scour magazines and Pinterest for new and interesting ideas. You love trying out different recipes. Some end up as “keepers”… but that doesn’t really mean much since you’ll choose entirely new recipes to try next year!
You don’t actually do any baking. You pick up the butter tarts and nanaimo bars from the bakery at your local grocery store. Your family is happy with this since all of your baking attempts have ended in disaster.
You don’t do any baking since everyone else at your family gathering inevitably brings more than enough to go around. So far, no one has noticed that you’ve never brought any yourself. Since this has been going on for 20 + years, you feel you’re in the clear.
What Am I?
This is actually the first year that I’ve made my own array of holiday baking. Yeah, I’ve definitely been The Mooch in years past… I confess! Can I plead ‘the student?’ I grew up with an Experimentalist mom while my husband’s mom was a Traditionalist. So I think I’ll end up somewhere in the middle. My husband is a huge fan of the Fudge Puddles I made this year so I’m sure he’ll be requesting that they make it into the yearly tradition!
I’m currently eating a gluten-free diet, which is partly why I made a variety of things this year. I didn’t want to miss out on the deliciousness so I plan on bringing a plate to every gathering I go to!
This is what I decided on this year:
- Mini Butter Tarts: I used a pre-made gf dough and this recipe from Ana Olsen for the filling.
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars: I discovered this recipe having participated in a bake exchange several years ago. I simply substituted the wheat flour for a blend of gf flours. It turned out amazing. You’d never miss the gluten!
- Lemon Squares: I used the shortbread base from the salted caramel chocolate shortbread bars and a custard recipe someone posted on Facebook. It was super simple. Whisk together 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 2 egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Pour on top the pre-baked shortbread layer and bake for 15-20 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven.
- Candy Cane Popcorn: this snack is amazing! I followed this recipe and I’m completely in love!
- Fudge Puddles: this was one of my favourites as a child so I knew I had to make a gf version. See the recipe below. It’s a keeper!
Why It’s A Smart Choice
It’s fun to have a variety of baking around at Christmas. But it’s not fun to feel over stuffed from eating them! Here’s my solution. I call it “divide and conquer.” Make tiny sizes of everything! All my squares are cut into bite size pieces and I use a mini-tart pan for the tarts and puddles. That way you can enjoy a piece or two without having to unbutton those pants!
Fudge Puddles (gluten free)
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup tapioca or corn starch or gf flour blend
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup milk chocolate chips
- ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 7 oz ½ can sweetened condensed milk
- crushed peanuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir together all ingredients until well combined. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough into mini muffin tins. Alternatively, roll into little balls and place in the tin. Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately make deep indents with the back of the cookie scoop or a melon baller. You want to make mini bowls out of the cookies. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. Once all the cookies are cooled, make the filling. To make the filling combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until the chocolate has melted.
- To fill the cookies, use one small spoon to scoop a bit of filling and then use another small spoon to scrape it into the cookie. Immediately sprinkle with peanuts. If you wait too long the filling will harden and the peanuts won’t stick. This part really works best to have two people complete it. One person does the filling, the other does the peanuts.