I have to confess — while recipe round-ups are not normally my style, I felt like there was too much of a gap between my stöllen and my next post, so a wee bit of filler was in order.
Coming soon: cookies and big news!
So, I’m currently bogged down with cramming and exams — that just means that some of the delicious treats I made last Christmas get an extra minute in the spotlight — like these rich and velvety Mucho Mocha Shortbread.
That’s win-win, right?
Especially because I think some of these creative recipes, like Mandarin Cupcakes with Clove Buttercream, definitely deserve a second look.
I did crazy, mad, frantic, enthusiastic baking during my first few weeks of blogging, and it just so happened to be over the holidays!
It’s bitter-sweet to think about the lovely Pear & Cranberry Cake with Orange Buttermilk Glaze that hardly anyone ever looked at, simply because I hadn’t yet learned about networking, making fellow blogging buddies, or the glories of photographing with natural light.
Sad, but true!
I mean, these Cranberry-Pecan Sandies are the type of cookie that my coworkers pestered me to make again over and over (I just indulged them this last weekend — and they’re good as ever), but I just didn’t know how to make them shine in front of a camera.
Especially since I didn’t know anything about food styling or adding props to photos either.
The gold star embossed tissue paper behind these Toasted Coconut Icebox Cookies was about as complicated and intricate as it got with me.
Maybe a sad piece of shriveled holly bush managed to sneak itself into the frame when I photographed these Chocolate-Dipped Marzipan Cookies — but adding props like that didn’t happen very often!
Behold — a whole dish, napkin, and spoon! I had started to branch out!
A bowl full of nutmeg-dusted Cranberry Syllabub aside, the last year has been a serious learning experience for me — there’s more to making a blog work, to making food work, making writing work, than just churning out recipe after recipe.
You’ve gotta have a story to tell, a life to share, and a love of food to impart to the world!
This funny-looking Rum-Spiked Brownie Bits with Candy Cane Frosting has a story to tell, too — one about how half my coworkers wouldn’t touch these chocolately morsels because of the sluggish, speckled grey frosting on top.
That is, until someone had the guts to try this odd-coloured creation and declared it delicious!
Sometimes food blogging can be made pretty and easy and neat, like these Perfect Gingersnaps, and sometimes it’s so much stress that you want to tear all your hair out and sleep for an entire month!
I know that in my last post I said I fear the impending holiday rush — and, well, it’s still true.
But all your kind comments (and some like-minded facebook statuses from my friends) made me realize that it’s best to meet things head on!
Here’s to the holidays — the stress, the joy, the festive food, the amazing baked treats — and keeping your head screwed on as tightly as possible from now until the new year!