Baking Bonanza 2012

I love my life!

Wake up…breakfast…yoga…baking…shopping…more baking…


Does it get any better than that?


Last year, a new December tradition was started.  The BOY heads off to the library, and my Mom and I spend the day together baking up a storm!




Yesterday, my Mom met me at yoga and then came back to my place for lunch and baking.  She brought even more goodies with her!  I think we overdid it a bit this year…ha ha!




There is no possible way that I could share every recipe with you today because I just don’t have the time.  And I am relaxing on the couch with a tummy ache after trying every bite of dough and cookie all day.  But, I can tell you that we started with the basic spritz cookies and ended the evening with a glass of warm spiced wine.




My Mom got a new cookie press after many years, and we were eager to try it out. 


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She even found a fun new recipe with cardamom. YUM!


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Aren’t these cookies adorable?  I also whipped up a batch of Cream Cheese Spritz Dough, but it needed to be refrigerated over night.  So…more spritz cookies to come!




Fast forward to the end of the evening…My mom and I were on our feet all day and ready to relax with a spicy warm drink.




I have been talking about making spiced wine for 2 years, and when I saw this recipe, I knew I need to try it.




I am a huge fan of tasty adult beverages, but hate to add any extra calories…especially after a long day of sugar eating.  So I subbed in some sugar free apple cider.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turned out fabulous!




This ‘winter sangria’ might be my new favorite snack!!!  Thanks Erin!




So, I could go on and on with recipes and stories from the day’s events, but instead, I will share one or two recipes at a time to spread out the sweet throughout the coming weeks!  Sounds like a good plan…right?


What holiday cookies are you baking this year?




Vanilla Cookies (Spritz Cookies)

From Kuhn Rikon



1 cup (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose



Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl.

Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, cardamom and salt

Using a spoon stir in the flour until well mixed.

Remove the white ring at the base of the plastic barrel and pack the dough into the cookie press. Fit with the desired disk and screw white ring back in place.

Place the press flat against the cookie sheet and squeeze the trigger to compress dough in the barrel. Use one click per cookie, lifting straight up and off the sheet.

Space the cookies 1 1/2 inches apart.

For perfectly identical cookies, keep pressing cookies at consistent intervals every 1 – 2 seconds until no more dough remains.

Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Be sure to watch them so they don’t burn!

Gently transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

Sprinkle with vanilla sugar or other decorations if desired and let cool. Decorate.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.  Freeze well!



Spiced Wine

From The Law Students Wife



2 c. apple cider (I used sugar free packets with 2 cups boiling water)

1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon

3 T. honey/Agave (I used a mix of honey and raw sugar)

1 orange, zested and juiced

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces (2 or 3 pieces should do it)



Combine all ingredients and stir well.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for ~20 minutes.

Enjoy warm.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

20 thoughts on “Baking Bonanza 2012

  1. This looks like so much fun!! I normally go to my parents home for 7-10 days over Christmas and it is always a baking and cooking party, I’m jealous your mom is so close!

    • He is so happy to be living her this week! Tonight, there were new things for him to try too! We love our new tradition! Lots of time for talking and telling stoires. I learned that my grandma bought flour 50 lbs at a time!

  2. What a fantastic day with your mom! Love that tradition 🙂 I’m excited to visit my parents for Christmas and to frost smorbakkels with my mom (one of our traditions!).

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