december – a recap

Ok, I’m finally getting around to posting December…

Cookie Exchange

I made french macarons and magic cookie bars for a cookie exchange party.  I’ve tried making french macarons a few times now and am very frustrated that my macarons never rise with a “foot”.  I’ve read a few other blogs and am looking forward to trying them again.

french macarons – no feet 😦
magic cookie bars

Yule Log

I finally made a yule log!  I’ve been wanting to make this buche de noel from a Martha Stewart Holiday magazine that I’ve had for years.  I skipped some of the ingredients but it still turned out delicious.  Next time, I’ll probably skip the rum soak – H didn’t like that too much.  The white chocolate mousse was so good and the little meringue mushrooms were cute.

buche de noel
buche de noel

Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie

I made a chocolate chunk pecan pie for a potluck.  I needed to make something quick and easy because it was during the same week that I was starting to crank out Christmas cookies.  There were three types of chocolate in this pie – milk, semi-sweet, and white.  We ate slivers of this pie b/c it was so rich.

chocolate chunk pecan pie
chocolate chunk pecan pie

Christmas Cookies

I made a lot of cookies this year for Christmas gifts.  I originally made a list of 8 types that I planned to make, but of course got in over my head and made way more.  Most were successes, but some were disasters.  I just can’t help it.  I love to try new recipes and have a hard time limiting myself to making only a few types.  As it always is during December, my kitchen was a mess and I was exhausted from staying up late every night baking.  It was worth it, but sadly I didn’t have time to make any royal icing cookies.  I don’t know why – I made several types of cookies last Christmas in addition to approximately 75 snowmen cookies.  I don’t know how I had time to do that last year.  I guess I spent a lot more time this year trying out new cookie recipes.

no snowmen this year 😦
the original list that i didn’t stick to
the original list
most of what i made
most of what i made
package of goodies
package of goodies

Christmas Potluck

Just like there’s 2 parties to go to for Thanksgiving, there’s also 2 parties to go to for Christmas.  My parents, sister, brother, H, and I went to my mom’s extended family on Christmas Eve.  I made some peppermint s’more cupcakes.  I didn’t bring all the equipment I needed to my parents house and was so frustrated with my cupcakes.  I don’t know if it matters, but I used an electronic hand beater instead of my stand mixer and the marshmallow frosting didn’t set up as much.  To try an avoid a runny mess, I just piped little gobs onto the cupcakes – they still turned our really cute.

mini s’more cupcakes
mini s'more cupcakes

On Christmas day, we all went to see my dad’s extended family – it’s basically a HUGE party with TONS of food.  I brought cheesecake bars – which I didn’t get a picture of AND didn’t get to try!  I guess they were good though :).  I also made homemade empanadas with my grandpa’s secret recipe.  My dad was doing a lot of frying with all my empanadas and H’s crab rangoon.


crab rangoon
crab rangoon

We had some excitement during the empanada frying/crab rangoon making frenzy.  H microwaved his crab rangoon sauce to dissolve the sugar.  Well, I think he forgot that 1) my parents have a new microwave that’s more powerful than the old one we have and 2) it’s very easy to speed past the time you want to set using the little spinning knob on their microwave.   Basically, I think he accidentally set it for 02:00 instead of 00:20…oops.  So there we all are in the kitchen when my brother suddenly points to the microwave and there’s black smoke coming out of it.  It was hilarious and classic.  The smell didn’t stick around for very long; the inside of the microwave is just a little yellow now. 🙂


Kara’s Cupcakes – 1st Time

On our way back to the central coast,  H and I stopped at Kara’s Cupcakes in San Jose.  We tried the sweet chocolate, sweet vanilla, chocolate velvet, and pumpkin.  I think so far this is my favorite cupcake shop (we’ve actually been 2 more times since then!).

kara’s cupcakes
kara's cupcakes

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