December 22, 2018

two cookie recipes and a table

With only two days left until Christmas eve, I wanted to make sure I checked in with you all at least one more time to share a special place setting and two amazing cookie recipes with you all.

These lovely “Indian Tree” plates are probably about 100 years old, and I don’t use them that often, but I thought they’d be perfect this Christmas. The hand-painted colors are amazing and the scalloped- ruffled edge makes these dishes so festive.

To downplay the old-fashioned look of these plates, I paired them with modern Serena and Lily navy blue gingham napkins (in the photo they look black, but they're navy!) I love the juxtaposition of the patterns especially with the natural elements of the raffia placemats, wood charger and runner.

The rest of the table has a modern feel with a bit of Chinoiserie thrown in, just for fun! It’s fun to mix different styles for a sort of unique look.

The tablescape meshes well with the transferware plates on the wall in the dining room too.  

Recipe cards can be printed at Cottages and Bungalows

I just got through a three day spree of cookie baking mostly and the old-fashioned Christmas pudding is done and ready to be steamed on Christmas eve.

Most importantly, I wanted to share this beloved Yankee Oatmeal Cookie recipe with you all. My mother-in-law Joan used to make these all the time, and I’ve never come across a recipe that's anything like these!

My whole family can confess to these being their all-time favorite cookies. They’re light, lacy and delicate and are oh, so yummy!! 

Joan’s Yankee Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup soft butter
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups of sliced almonds
3 cups quick cooking oats

Cream the sugars and butter with an electric mixer. Beat in 2 eggs until mixture is fluffy. Add sifted flour, baking soda and salt to the mixture until combined. Add vanilla, almonds and oats until evenly combined.

Divide the dough in half and shape into two separate logs, and then wrap each with waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350. When dough is firm enough, thinly slice and put on cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes for a chewy cookie and 1-2 minutes longer for a crispy cookie. Makes about 4 dozen.

Also in this photo, at the top, are traditional Italian Pine Nut cookies. These cookies are also light and since they have a fair amount of almond paste in them, they’re similar to a macaroon. 

If you’ve never had these pignoli cookies, they're worth a try! The pine nuts give them a real festive taste that's so perfect for Christmas.  

Pignoli* or Pine Nut Cookies

2 cups pine nuts
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup almond paste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Process ¾ cup pine nuts in a food processor with the sugar, almond paste, and vanilla until fine crumbs form. Add egg and lemon zest; pulse to combine. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; process just until dough comes together. Roll dough into ½ inch balls.

Roll the cookie balls in the remaining 1¼ cups pine nuts and gently press to adhere. Space the cookie dough 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake until cookies begin to turn golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks. Makes about 2 ½ dozen pignoli cookies.

Pignoli* is pronounced pēn-yō-lē

So this year, I’ve made three kinds of spritz cookies; one flavored with orange zest, another flavored with lemon zest and little chocolate stars sprinkles with powdered sugar ( the photo above is from last year).

In addition to those, I also made traditional tollhouse cookies, Martha Stewart’s Chewy Chocolate Ginger Molassas Cookies (my family’s 2nd favorites), and a new recipe this year, dark chocolate cookies with mint chip bits.

Well, I think I’m just about done with all my catch-up… that’s what today was all about.

I think I’m officially done with baking, gift shopping, and about 80% finished with wrapping presents. A few are still due to arrive from Amazon tomorrow!

How about you? How’s your Christmas prep going? Are you baking any special recipes this weekend? 

ciao! fabiana

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