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Xmas Goodies

Wow, you know, I intended to post a lot more over christmas break, but I forgot how busy things can get during that time. Plus I've sort of lost all will to cook new and interesting things - hopefully I'll get over that at some point. For now I have some pretty bad pictures (stupid kitchen light) of the goodies I made for christmas.

Orange-Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti. Recipe is from the fantastic Bittersweet. She originally sent me this stuff when we did a little treat-swap last year, and it is seriously just the best thing ever. Everyone who got some loved it. Even my dad, who normally looks at anything vegan like it's made of twigs and elephant dung.

Soft cutout sugar cookies with simple confectioner's sugar frosting. I used this recipe, which has become my gold standard for this type of cookie. I used snowman and tree cookie cutters, but I didn't do any fancy frosting jobs. Too much work. Too many little bowls to clean.

These sugar-coated peanuts are my boyfriend's dad's specialty. It's a family recipe that I just now got ahold of. They're addictive and awesome, and so easy to make. This is another one that everyone loves. Even my dad. He actually asked me to make him some more. I thought my head was going to spin around and explode.

And finally, chocolate and peanut butter fudge. Two kinds, both from La Dolve Vegan. I used a candy thermometer and everything, and it was pretty simple to make. My first batch of PB fudge got heated up too much because I am very, very smart and was looking at the celcius temperature scale instead of farenheit. I kept wondering why on earth my boiling sugar was still at only 120-some degrees, and then suddenly it started to burn a little bit. It was okay, though. I just called it a test batch and Adam and I ate it all. It was still good.

I also made chocolate chip cookies from Vive le Vegan, but I didn't get a picture of those.

Today I got a package of Lightlife products in the mail, because a representative from the company contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in testing out and reviewing some products. Of course I said yes. So in the next few weeks I image I'll be posting a lot of that stuff.

Edit: Here's the recipe for the sugar-coated peanuts:

Sugar Peanuts

2 c raw, red-skinned peanuts - the skins MUST be on!
1 c sugar
1/2 c water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine sugar and water in a pot, and bring to a low boil. Stir in peanuts. Stir constantly, but gently, so as not to loosen then peanut skins too much, until there is no liquid left and the peanuts are coated in a thick sugar paste. Spread the coated peanuts out in a single layer on a well-oiled or parchment-covered cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes; you may want to check them at 25 to be sure they aren't burning.

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Lucky you with the free Lightlife products! I often hear people bashing their products, but I've liked a lot of what I've tried.


your pics are just amazing. i'm drooling right now. a fact which my cat isn't appreciating much, considering she's asking for some love by sitting in my lap, thus enduring said drooling. :|

everyone looks delicious! i wanna try making some of the biscotti this wkend!!! :D

Everything looks delicious! I want some sugar cookies..mmm.

I've been blog-lurking for weeks and I'm glad you finally updated!

Cookies and nuts and lightlife adventures, oh my. The nuts really are my favorite here, I just want to grab a handful.

I'm so happy to have my biscotti recipe included in your offering of amazing looking holiday sweets! And the sugar cookies look adorable, even if they aren't super intricate.

laura faye - I know, I hear people bashing them as well, but I've liked most of what I've tried in the past. I'm excited to see what this stuff is like.

celine - Thank you! Usually I manage better lighting, but this time of year there's not much of that to be had. :)

miss tiffie - Thanks! You should definitely make the biscotti. It's awesome.

lena - Yeah, I've been kind of absent lately. :) Sorry. But you should make sugar cookies - it's a good recipe.

jess - The problem with those peanuts is that you can't just stop at one handful. They're evil and addictive and coated in sugar. As evil things tend to be.

hannah - Aw, thanks! I'm too lazy for really intricate cookies. :) But your biscotti are seriously one of my favorite things ever. So good.

Score! Nice work on the Lightlife testing. Lucky you. I agree with Laura Faye... I like Lightlife products quite a bit and have used them in many recipes with success. I particularly like their "smart bacon" and their "gimme lean sausage."

Those biscotti look amazing. I have been thinking about biscotti lately, so I think I might try them.

:) Thanks!

I know what you mean, about doing the fancy icing for cookies. So much work!

I love that your treats blew your dad's mind! I love when that happens. I'm sure it wasn't hard, though, it all looks great!

springsandwells - I know, right? They can mail me stuff anytime. The only thing that I've had that I haven't liked is the sausage stuff, but that's just because I don't like any sort of ground meat-type thing. I suspect I won't like the veggie ground either. But that's just a weird personal thing.

And the biscotti ARE amazing. Make them!

kris - Fancy cookie icing always impresses me. They look so nice. But I just can't imagine spending the time on it.

This year was the first time he didn't make some disparaging remark about my christmas treats, so they were definitely a hit. Now if I could get him to let me cook him dinner... that would really be progress. :)

Everything looks delicious!

Are you going to post the recipe of your boyfriend's dad? (Please?!)

Thanks! I'll edit the post to add the recipe. :)

great to see you back. I had hoped we'd hear from you.

Biscotti looks great and I love the icing on your sugar cookies.

beautiful, thanks for the recipes!

that biscotti is mouth-watering!

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