It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!

Perhaps I am a little bit of a Scrooge, but I find Christmas time to be madness. It takes a lot of work not to get sucked into “The Madness”! Every year numerous media outlets tell us what a perfect Christmas should be or look like. So, many people buy into this commercialism and I’m not exempt from it! I put up a tree, shop for presents, and cook/bake like a mad person (hence “the madness”)! The trick, in my opinion, to making this the most wonderful time of year is not getting sucked in too far and having a Christmas within your means.

Now that I am off my pedestal I can share with you what I baked this week! :0)

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Super moist and delicious. The Espresso isn't really noticeable, but it does add a different dimension then other banana muffins/loafs I've made!

Tiger Rolls
Bake! By Nick Malgieri

I've experimented a little bit with bread here and there, but this is the first time I’m really pleased with the outcome. Except for one little niggle the bread was a little pale, but they were perfectly done. Well, and the part that makes it a tiger roll probably could use a little work. So maybe not really pleased, but definitely a better result then some of my past experiences.

Apple Pie
sugar, sugar: every recipe has a story by Kimberly “Momma” Reiner & Jenna Sanz-Agero

Pies are new to me really. Making my first pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and now my first apple!! I think the filling was a bit runny and the pie crust was a bit of a disaster, but both were faults of mine. I thought in all the madness that I would get my apple filling ready ahead of time. So, the apples sat in there sugar mixture and it was very liquidy. Then the crust I didn't want to add too much water and therefore added too little. The crust would not stay together! Wouldn't win a beauty contest, but it was yummy!

Macadamia and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-mouth cookies by Alice Medrich
I made these for my brother-in-law who happens to have his birthday on Christmas day. While he was here for Thanksgiving he mentioned that he liked the idea of macadamia nuts and white chocolate. There are tons of recipes floating a round, but I referred to my trusty cookie book by Alice Medich!! He was happy with them!

Hope everyone has had a great Christmas and an even better New Year!! 
Bring on 2013!!

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