Wow! Over two months since I blogged. I became busy and put off blogging which is not good. I did make wonderful Christmas cookies. They were a lot easier than the year before because I learned to use wax paper in between the cookie dough and the dough pin. The dough sticks less this wax. I decided not to use frosting but rather just have icing and green and red granulated sugar to decorate them. They were cute. What else have I do? Hmmm. I made Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies. I'll post the recipe below. They were really good. Kate got me a cookie recipe book which rocks! I have made the almond cluster cookies. They left a little to be desired. I actually ended up adding almonds to the Thumbprint cookies and that was delicious! Also, I made these amazing stuffed dates for a date at Gouveia Vineyard. The recipe remains, but the boyfriend does not :( Life. I'm so glad to have baking and cooking to vent my creativity and fulfill me! I want to try some more of my mother's recipes (the recipes below were all found on-line). I have a Rice Casserole dish that is calling my name as well as a Sweet Potato Casserole to try :)
Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Cookies~
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until smooth. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a small hole in the center of each ball, using your thumb and finger, and fill the hole with preserves.
Bake for 14 to 18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar, 3/4 teaspoon almond extract, and milk until smooth. Drizzle lightly over warm cookies
Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese~
1 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
1 pound pitted dates
4 ounces blue cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Slice dates in half, and open them up. Pinch off pieces of blue cheese, and place them into the center of the dates. Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside. Secure each one with a toothpick. Arrange in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with sides to catch any grease.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bacon is crisp. Turn dates over after the first 20 minutes for even cooking.