Here they are being packaged up for co-workers’ Christmas presents. The big tins are for my parents and my husband’s parents.
Today I made my second batch of these for the year. These are for my husband’s committee for his dissertation proposal(he presents his topic tomorrow!). The first batch, I used to decorate our tree. I kept eating all of the ones I didn’t decorate, so I took them to my parents and offered them to their African grey parrot, Lola, who greedily munched an entire one done in one sitting (she’s serious about crunchy spicy things). I’ll have to teach her to say thank you sometime. Right now, she just whistles up a storm, and says random things like “help” and “hello” in a man’s voice and my voice, and, “Hi Lo” (she nicknamed herself–silly bird) and best of all “Hey Toots!” in a voice that sounds like an 80 year old who has chain-smoked for 50 years. Anyhow, go make some of these cookies–they’re tasty!
I also made my first Buche de Noel of the season.
I started making these maybe 4 years ago and I’ll never go back because meringue mushrooms are the most fun things ever to make. It’s so fun watching people’s reactions as they bite into one of them and realize that it’s not a real mushroom. I use the recipe for the mushrooms from this book and the cake recipe from here. I do always try new flavors. This year I was inspired by the alfajores cookies in Nick Malgieri’s book A Baker’s Tour. They are a really eggy cookie flavored with cognac and lemon zest and filled with dulce de leche on the inside and on the sides and coated in coconut on the sides. Super tasty…anyhow, I flavored my ganache and whipped cream with cognac and threw some lemon zest in the whipped cream and I sprinked coconut on the whipped cream layer before I rolled up the cake. I’m anxious to see how it tastes tonight at our Life Group Christmas party.