Proof of My Insanity

Go big or go home. Not my life’s philosophy, but apparently one I follow when baking.

See, I got a freezer, right? And not eating meat, I needed something to put in it. I filled it up somewhat with summer delights; fiddleheads and berries and pesto and tubs of peach chutney. But my original plan for the thing included cookies. I could start making Christmas cookies in September! Thus saving me from running around frantically in November to get everything done.

It was a great theory, but what actually happened was that I had all that extra time on my hands and so made more… much more. Ironically we found homes for most of it and now have a happy postman, building superintendent, co-workers, friends and relatives.

Cookies: clockwise from the top: chocolate coffee crinkles, zimsterne (a rolled meringue cookie with almonds and hazelnuts), white chocolate cranberry and pistachio biscotti, honey sand balls (a shortbread sweetened with honey and studded with walnuts), pfefferneusse, chocolate orange icebox cookies and eggnog shortbread squares. In the centre: zesty lime and coconut shortbread.

With that extra time I saved from making cookies early, I made candy…

Clockwise, from the top: regular fruitcake, peppermint patty, mendiant, sugar plum, peppermint meringues, rose pistachio Turkish delight, orange cream chocolate, Mexican truffle with chili and cinnamon, vanilla ginger truffle, tropical fruitcake. Centre: lemon pepper truffle (topped with candied anise), coconut cream chocolate.

Not shown, curried cashews, almonds with orange and rosemary, sesame pepper walnuts, New Orleans style pralines. The only thing I wasn’t happy with were the pralines – I think I stirred the mixture too much and it went grainy instead of smooth and caramely.

Too much?