Editor’s note: Happy New Year! We start the new year by finishing up a bit of old business from last year!
My second apple recipe for this year’s holiday gifts (XMAS 16) is 17-40: Apple Rolls. These “not too sweet” rolls contain an apple wedge wrapped inside a savory dough, covered with sesame seeds. I made a double sized batch of these rolls. Thankfully, the instructions are very good and I’ve practiced with yeast enough times to make a pretty decent dough.
I wish I had taken the advice from the front of the card and used chopped pecans instead of sesame seeds.
17-25: Almond Rolls are kind of a bonus holiday baking (XMAS 16) post for me–only one person received the bulk of these, as they made up part of a week-long Secret Santa gift-giving event that my work puts on. 🎄🎁 My giftee for Secret Santa not only got these, but a batch of 17-9: Brownies with toasted hazelnuts both in the batter and on top, as well as a batch of my family’s chocolate chip cookie recipe with red & green M&Ms swapped in for semisweet bits. 🍪🎅
These almond rolls are similar to cinnamon rolls/buns, and like the recipe that Simply Delicious provides for cinnamon rolls, these ones lack a glaze/icing as well. However, given the sweetness of the filling and the fact that these are a gift for someone, I’ll forgo adding icing on my own this time. 🍰
In my holiday baking batch from last year (XMAS 15), I included 17-67: Coconut Crescents to offer some variety to the endless types of cookies. 🍪 17-48: Buttery Vanilla Rolls were included in this year’s holiday baking (XMAS 16) for much the same reason, although I think I ended up with a better mix of items this year. 🎅🏼
I liked that these were baked in muffin cups as well–I thought that might make them easier to pack up and distribute/ship as gifts. To make them holiday-ish, I sprinkled them with a bit of red and green decorating sugar while they were cooling. 🎄
I went pretty cookie-heavy last year when I baked for the holidays, so this year (XMAS 16) I only included one cookie recipe: 17-20: Macadamia Chip Cookies. These ones got pretty rave reviews as well (17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars received the most accolades this year), and I definitely found myself sneaking a few before I packed up and shipped off everyone’s treat packages. 🎁
Simply Delicious is right about one thing: these cookies do make a great gift, and they ship well. Macadamia nuts are a smooth, mild nut that most people won’t be offended by, and the combination of white and semisweet chocolate are the best of both worlds.
Merry Christmas! 🎄 As I mentioned at the end of 17-47: Italian Fruit Bread, the first of my holiday baking entries for this year (XMAS 16), I had a vegan gift recipient this year, so I made a specially adapted version of 17-41: Molasses Oatmeal Bread to replace all the other treats and goodies that weren’t quite vegan-friendly. I gave the other loaf (this recipe made two, and I didn’t multiply it like the others I made this year) to my aunt who loves these kinds of things. 🎁
This recipe isn’t vegan-friendly without a bit of tweaking (swapping coconut-almond milk for regular milk and coconut oil for shortening), but it’s pretty easy to do and still results in a beautiful and tasty loaf of bread. 🍞
17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars were the second of my holiday baking batches this year (XMAS 16), and one that I’ve baked in the past, given my rather bold notes. I think I was on a cheesecake kick, and thought these would be easier than making an actual cake. “BAD DO NOT MAKE” doesn’t exactly bode well for a recipe–why make it again?
Here’s why: sometimes it’s important to try again, even when the first experience wasn’t exactly a positive one. The first time I made these lemon bars was my junior year of college, so about 10-12 years ago. I had just moved into my first off-campus apartment with my friend, and we had a full kitchen, something I hadn’t had access to for a few years while living away from home in the dorms.
I remember making these in that kitchen (yes, I dragged these books with me all the way out to Colorado and back) and struggling with this recipe. Out of that frustration (and failure) came the note. I’ve learned a lot since then (culinarily and otherwise), so I think it’s time to figure out if it was the recipe or it was me.
Get ready for another big batch of baked goods–it’s time for this year’s adventure (XMAS 16) into holiday baking (aka everyone’s presents for Christmas this year). Last year I made 6 Simply Delicious recipes as gifts, and this year came out to a total of 7. 🎅 I’m going to attempt to cover them in the order they were made, and the first recipe of the batch was 17-47: Italian Fruit Bread. 🇮🇹
This recipe seems similar to a panettone, although not as sweet or flaky and shaped differently. Despite the variations, I still thought it made a nice Christmas gift, especially only just including a few slices in each gift bag. 🎁