Sunday, December 23, 2012

Favorite Things 6: Attempting to make tasty treats. And other stuff.

I can't believe Christmas is almost here. Today is Christmas Eve Eve, my favorite day of the year. I hope my Christmas planning has been sufficient. I guess we will see in 36ish hours.

Today we had a family party with Shane's side of the family. I spent yesterday making Amy's favorite chocolate cake. It turned out good despite my attempts to sabotage it (I used Pam instead of butter to grease the pan, which made it stick. I tried to make it festive by sprinkling candy cane on top and then though better of it after it was done.) It looked like this:

I also made Swedish butter cookies, which was a new recipe I tried for the first time last year. So that I don't forget how to make them the right way again next year, here is the recipe and instructions:

1 lb butter
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp almond extract

Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs followed by the almond extract. Mix and then add the flour. Put them through a cookie press and bake in an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Don't refrigerate the dough before putting it through the press - cold dough does NOT work.

This is how I made them - I was trying to half the batch because I didn't have enough butter:

1/2 lb of butter cut into the flour (not the sugar.) Added the egg (almost added all 4 eggs before I realized I only needed  two.) I realized my mistake when I still had sugar left to add. I dumped it all into the mixer, added the sugar, and somehow put 2 teaspoons of almond extract - you know, 4 times as much as I needed. My hands still smell like almond.

It was not a good baking day. But they both tasted just fine for the party.

This morning we went to church. The program was lovely. I wish every Sunday could be as wonderful as the Christmas program. One of my favorite Christmas songs is the Christmas Canon by Trans Siberian Orchestra. The piano melody is so beautiful. Our choir had a flute and a violin in addition to the piano to play the melody but sang the words The First Noel. I love it when choirs surprise you like that with music and words that don't belong but end up complimenting each other perfectly.

Other stuff we have done lately that I wanted to blog about but didn't:

  •  We went and saw the lights at Temple Square. It was rainy but fun. And, we somehow were in the right place at the exact right time in time to find my mom, who was with my sister and her kids and grandkids. It was fun to walk through Temple Square with them.

  • Made 20 nativity scenes out of sticks for neighbor gifts.

  • Ate at Desert Edge, our favorite restaurant at Trolley Square.
  • Decorated my dad's grave with a bunch of family.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve to you all. I hope that the last day before Christmas that has no expectations about it whatsoever was wonderful and you did something that made you happy.