K: 12 Days of Cookies – Lady Fingers

“On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine ladies dancing.”

This is, I suppose, a morbidly appropriate cookie for the nine ladies.  =]  I normally only have lady fingers as a part of other desserts, so it was interesting to actually make them from scratch.  And… they were weird.  It was like eating airy sugar, and they got soggy really quickly.  I mean, they weren’t bad, but I wouldn’t make them again, and I see why people normally use them in trifles.

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K: 12 Days of Cookies – Layer Cookies

“Happy birthday to me!  Happy birthday to…”  Whoops.  Wrong song.  =]

“On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven swans a-swimming.”

Swans honestly freak me out a little bit.  They’re beautiful from a distance, but I’ve been charged by enough swans (it only took one) to know that I have no interest in having one, never mind seven!  (And D, if you got me swans for my birthday, you should take them back!)  In a fun twist of events, today’s cookie is the most cake-like of the cookies I’m making this season (in the sense that it has layers), which was a lot of fun!  Plus, we served them with ice cream!

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K: Daring Cooks, Shepherd’s Pie

It’s definitely moving into winter, which means that it’s time to break out the stews and other delicious warm foods that are perfect on a December night.  Our Daring Cooks’ December 2012 Hostess is Andy of Today’s the Day and Today’s the Day I Cook! Andy is sharing with us a traditional French Canadian classic the Paté Chinois, also known as Shepherd’s pie for many of us, and if one dish says comfort food.. this one is it!

Around the same time that this challenge came out, we found a beef shepherd’s pie in Martha Stewart Living that looked delicious, so we went with that.  BUT, the recipes that Andy put up looked amazing too, so check out her suggestions!

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K: 12 Days of Cookies – Piped Shortbread Rings

“On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five golden rings.”

Shortbread rings!  Growing up, shortbread cookies were my second favorite cookie of all time (and my first favorite during Christmas).  The golden deliciousness of the shortbread fits perfectly for the five golden rings.  (The dough was tough to pipe, but they taste delicious, even if they don’t look like rings!)

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K: 12 Days of Cookies – Chocolate Hazelnut Crinkle Cookies

“On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four calling birds.”

My best guess for the placement of this cookie with the calling birds is that you’ll be calling back for more.  =]  Or, that they’re just delicious and super chocolatey, so why not?

My only trouble with these cookies was the hazelnuts (which is part of the reason why this post went up so late in the day).  I started looking for hazelnuts a week ago, but could only find hazelnuts still in the shell.  I went to THREE different stores to look for hazelnuts (and even made up some good excuses as to why I had to go to those stores instead of our usual grocery store), but couldn’t find them.  D was convinced that hazelnuts were so unusual that there was no hope.  Anyways, last night I caved and made the cookies with walnuts, and they were tasty.  So hurray!

BUT, when we went to the store today for our regular grocery run, guess what we found?  Yup.  Hazelnuts.  Darn things.  I suppose the moral of the story is that it’s okay to substitute other kinds of nuts, but that if you want hazelnuts, you should either stock up months in advance to make sure that you can find them, or mail order them in.  =]

In any case, this is one of D’s favorite cookies so far, so give them a try!

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K: 12 Days of Cookies – Ginger-Pear Bites

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any pears when making the first Christmas cookie, but substituting a Honeycrisp apple was equally delicious!  Since my apple was fresh, I didn’t boil it in the water before mixing it into the dough.  The results were a little bit messy, but very tasty!

Apple Ginger Bites

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