Christmas Goodies for Friends

Baking Date: December 8, 2013

Two of my former colleagues and I try to meet for lunch once every other month. We pick a restaurant, based on the alphabet and get together to catch up. We’ve already been through the alphabet once, and are back to the letter A.

We had plans to get together today (December 10) for our Christmas lunch. But Mother Nature had other plans. We all work at Associations that follow the government operating schedule. Because the government closed, none of us were at work today.

But I was ready with gift baskets for both of my pals.  They included Snickerdoodle mini-breads and reindeer gingerbread cookies.

The Snickerdoodle bread recipe is a good one, but sometimes the cinnamon chips are hard to find unless it is the holidays. I also think that this bread is good when it is warmed up in the microwave (10-15 seconds if it’s a slice of the full size loaf; 20-25 seconds if it is a mini-loaf).

I made mini-loaves for my friends. My kitchen smelled so good when they came out of the oven.

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

Of course, the extra loaves are gladly taste-tested by my family.

These are for my taste-testers.

These are for my taste-testers.

I also made reindeer gingerbread cookies. I was inspired by this photo I saw making the rounds on Facebook:

The inspiration...

The inspiration…

The base is a gingerbread man cookie, just flipped and decorated to look like a reindeer. So, I decided to try my luck at it.

Here’s a bit of what I learned:

  • it’s easy to do the eyes, when you take a short cut of candy eyeballs (they come in regular and large size) and attach them using frosting
  • I used a medium size cookie cutter — in the future, I might go with a larger size gingerbread man cookie cutter to make the antlers better and add in eyebrows, like on the inspiration cookies
  • I used cookie icing for the antlers, ears and noses. I purchased the Christmas package at a local crafts store, with white, red, and green icings.  You warm it in the microwave to soften it. The only concern here is that you can’t regulate the flow of the icing, like you can when you use a specific tip and piping bag of icing. Also, the warm icing tended too ooze a bit more than I had anticipated.  If I do these cookies in the future, I’ll just have red, white, and black icing in piping bags with tips for greater control.
  • I dyed some white icing black, and piped that on for the mouths using just a plastic bag with a small corner cut out.  That worked really well (compared to the red and white icing application!).

So here’s the result:

Some are better than others.

Some are better than others.

This wasn't a level surface, which added to the ooze factor.

This wasn’t a level surface, which added to the ooze factor.

In the end, I decided to post this to Facebook and Pinterest in an effort to humble myself and give my friends a chuckle:

Nailed It!

Nailed It!

My friends got the versions that did not make it to the “Nailed it” photo. In spite of the way they look — they taste great!

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