I spent a lot of time baking with the kids during the holidays. There's something special about mixing cookie ingredients, sampling it while no one is looking, shaping the soft, sticky dough with our hands, and smelling the wonderful aroma coming from the oven and slowly filling the whole house. Not to mention the taste of freshly baked cookie when they are still warm from the oven. Mmm!
My online critique group held a snickerdoodle baking contest, and mine won first prize! :) Lucky I had the help of my very creative daughters. Tara came up with the name - snickerpoodle (which triggered the idea of shaping it like a poodle), and Elissa helped me make it. Turned out pretty good, didn't it?
This cherry cheesecake is my specialty. It's always the first thing I think of when I need to bring something to a pot luck dinner. And best of all, it only has six ingredients! Yeah, okay, it has a lot of calories, but it's the holidays! We're allowed to cheat. ;)
I used to make these cheesecakes long ago, when I worked in a boat sales office, and sell them at the seafood restaurant on the same property.
Don't ask me what this cookie is supposed to be. A bear? A mouse? I'm still not sure. I shaped the head and the ears and Tara made the face all by herself. It was my son's idea years ago to make peanut butter jelly cookies. The idea stuck and now every time I make peanut butter cookies, I have to add a touch of jelly to them, to follow our tradition.
There was still some extra dough left, after two trays of regular cookies and the... bear? mouse? ... the other one. So we made dominoes with it!
They didn't end up as square as they were originally, though. And there weren't enough of them to play a game, so we just ate them.
Our next project? Making a gingerbread house, from scratch! We do it every year, some time between Christmas and New Year. The best part is decorating it with all the candies. I suspect more candies end up in my kids' mouths than on the house itself, but it's all part of the fun.