It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

And do you know why? Because of all the FOOOOOOOOOOD! Specifically, baked goods!

It’s no secret that I enjoy baking. But throughout the year, unless someone asks me to do cupcakes or a cake, my baking is usually a batch of muffins or a simple cake for the week. I rarely try anything adventurous, which is something I want to change in the new year.

I haven’t done much baking for home so far this season, except for some shortbread, but last week and this week I had reason to make some very indulgent baked goods to give away to people.

I had a little Christmas brunch with my BFFs on the weekend and knew I wanted to bake something to give them. I got the idea for these Christmas tree shaped brownies a while ago when I saw this White Wings brownie mix. But I thought the shape was kind of plain. I mean, a basic triangle is good, but why do something boring when you can buy an oversized cookie cutter for less that $15 online in the shape of a proper tree? I got my cookie cutter in the mail last week and on Friday I made two batches of brownies using this recipe from my old blog. They were as delicious as always, and all I did differently this time was add some peppermint essence, about a teaspoon or two, baked them, let them cool down and pressed the cookie cutter into them and voila! Christmas tree brownies!

Now here’s where I get all Pinterest up in your shit. I bought some plain cello bags from the $2 shop, some cute ribbon and gift tags from Spotlight (seriously, we need to talk about how CUTE Spotlight’s Christmas ribbon and gift tags are, right?), packaged them up and popped them in with my friends’ other gifts. I’m super happy with the final, packaged product. How adorable are they?

Today we had our work Kris Kringle exchange, so naturally I decided to make my already busy Monday night a bit more crazy by deciding to make macarons. I mean, who wouldn’t want to inflict that kind of stupid pressure on themselves?

I’ve had this recipe on my jam-packed Pinterest baking board for about two years, I think, and I knew it was the perfect time to make them. So last night I spent a few hours in the kitchen baking these mint chocolate macarons. Now, I’ve baked macarons before, twice in fact, with success. But that was a while ago. I’m pleased to report that these turned out just as nicely. My only issue with the recipe was that they probably needed a little bit longer in the oven than specified, and that the ganache recipe was a bit different to how I normally make ganache. Still, everything turned out well and they disappeared from our work morning tea table fairly quickly, which always pleases me. I think it’s the Italian in me: I have made food. I will not be happy until it ALL gets eaten by everyone else.

So there you go. Next up I’m planning to make some Lebkuchen this weekend and of course, no Christmas period is complete without rumballs.

What’s cooking at your place? If you have a recipe you want to share let me know!

Until next time,

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