Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Cookies from Friends and Family

Assorted Christmas Cookies

Assorted Christmas Cookies
(Bottom photo, clockwise from top left: Lemon Bars, Gingersnaps, Pecan Sandies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Coconut-Pineapple Bars.)

I think homemade Christmas cookies are very special. Of all the food items my family recieves during the holidays, the homemade baked goods are the most treasured. My mom and I joke that it just isn't Christmas without Marge's fruitcake and Inge's cookies.

Every year our German friend Inge gives us a bag of unique cookies packed with nuts, spices, citron, chocolate, or fruit preserves. She makes then weeks in advance and meticulously weighs each ingredient. She decorates them with egg wash, nuts, or fruit, and often lines the bottoms with rice paper wafers.

My Auntie Jeannie also makes cookies for her friends and relatives. I particularly love her lemon bars and meltingly soft gingersnaps. This year she also brought me a box of truffles and Key Lime Pears from Recchiuti Confections in San Francisco. They're really delicate and beautiful.

There was so much good food this year: mango-kalamansi truffles from Jin Patisserie, fruit cakes, several varieties of Bahlsen cookies, two bottles of Dom Perignon, See's Chocolates, vanilla-nutmeg pastry cream with fruit, pears from Harry and David...the abundance was almost overwhelming.

I recieved some nice food-related gifts as well: copies of The Cake Book by Tish Boyle and The Sweet Life by Kate Zuckerman and an awesome 12-inch professional cake decorating turn table.

It was a pleasant Christmas, and I feel very fortunate.

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