For Kathryn's Jungle Jam birthday party, I had a lot of fun making various sugar cookies for the guests. Kathryn isn't a fan of icing herself, but thought that other kids might enjoy some classic sugar cookies iced with royal icing (what a thoughtful little hostess!).
I love my friends. And one of the ways I like to show my love is by making something. Often edible.
There are so many cultures around the world that have pretty much this exact cookie. Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Greek Kourambiethes, et cetera. Whether you use one of the worldly titles, or simply call them Snowballs, these cookies are a real treat.
I cannot believe it took me so many years to figure this one out. I'm baking oodles of gingerbread houses again this year. For both of my daugters' classes, girl scout troop, friends, neighbors, etc. About 100 this year by the time I'm done.
Studded with festive green pistachios and red cranberries, these biscotti make a wonderful addition to any holiday cookie tray. They're not as sweet as many Christmas cookies, which makes them perfect with coffee for a breakfast treat. Who can resist Christmas cookies for breakfast every once in a while?
Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti Ingredients:
I've never been a big fan of strawberry rhubarb pie. To my taste, strawberries are infinitely better fresh than cooked. I don't like the texture they get in a pie. Give me straight-up rhubarb any day. And while rhubarb is a spring crop, it freezes beautifully, and whenever I see it in the market, I buy a ton, chop, and freeze for use throughout the year.
Most of the gingerbread houses I make are pretty laden with candy, like this one from last year:
But it's a lot of fun to work just with royal icing and gingerbread itself as the only decoration.
The blank expanse of a gingerbread house roof can seem vast indeed. An extensive blank canvas, just waiting to be filled with candy decorations, with no interruptions from windows or doors. Sometimes it's hard to know where to start.
I typically make mostly A-frame gingerbread houses (printable templates here) for all the kids in my girls' classrooms, scout troops, etc. It's just faster and easier when you're doing it for a crowd. But if I have a little extra time, this is what I think of as my "standard" gingerbread house shape.