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TDF Archives

Slice and Bake Buckwheat Chocolate Shortbread

I love the holiday season – I really do.   I keep a nested to do list on my phone to keep track of Christmas presents.  I drive out of my way to find houses with the best light displays.  And I bake a lot of cookies.   But there’s a point in the [...]

2013 The Domestic Front Gift Guide: The Bibliophile Edition – Gift Books for Everyone on your List

Things have been quiet (read: busy) but it’s time to start counting down the days to Christmas. First up, a gift guide.

You’ve probably done most of your shopping already (or not. This is a no-judgement zone). But if you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for something else to round out your list. [...]

Mincemeat Rugelach

Mincemeat Rugelach Rugelach dough, of course, is very similar to a lightly sweetened pie dough, and mincemeat, with its combo of dried fruit and sugar, is not that dissimilar from traditional rugelach filling. Rugelach is a traditional Jewish cookie, of course, and Mincemeat is a traditional Christmas treat, but I have an ecumenical attitude when it comes to good food. And good these are — not too sweet, crisp on the outside with a soft center. You get an echo of mince pies, but these are lighter, despite the prodigious amounts of butter and cream cheese in the dough. And if you want lighter still, you can make smaller cookies by forming into pinwheels and slicing before baking. [...]

Baklava Bars

Baklava Bar Cookie In the midst of this maelstrom I’m always on the lookout for cookie recipes that are interesting, and special enough for the season, but that don’t take a lot of extra work. As soon as I saw these baklava bars, I knew I had hit the jackpot. A buttery cookie base with a crumbly topping of crispy phyllo and walnuts – what could be better? And you can bake a pan at a time and cut them into rich little triangles in no time flat. These taste affirmatively like baklava, but are also definitively cookies – which is a lovely half state to be in. [...]

Ten Fun Gifts for Everyone on Your List

[1128251_96641786 image: Kym McLeod So Christmas shopping is underway. Maybe you’re a crazy organized person, and you’re totally done. Or maybe you’re like the rest of us, and you’re still hunting. Here are a few things I happen to love that will hopefully spark your imagination! [...]

Eggnog Rum Balls

Eggnog Rum Balls
So on to cookies. Because what is a celebration without cookies? I’ve always loved eggnog – it has been an integral part of The holiday. But as I get old(er), my tastes have changed, and drinking what is essentially a glass of custard has become less appealing. Enter these no bake cookies. Vanilla, nutmeg and rum, but in a convenient bite sized form. Now that’s something to celebrate! [...]

Panforte Margherita

Panforte 3
Panforte, a specialty of Siena, a hill town near Florence, dates back to the middle ages, when it was paid as a tax to monks and nuns, and was reportedly carried by Crusaders on the crusades. A combination of fruits and nuts, honey and sugar and spices, it is a cross between a caramel based candy and a cake. It is also utterly addictive, with a satisfying chew from the fruits and the caramel, and a crunch from the nuts. [...]

The Gift Giver’s Guide to Scotch Whisky

232323232-fp47=ot-2324=688=826=-3;6-7b262-2-23=3232534688;9-nu0mrj It’s that time of year. Yes, peace and love and joy and family and cookies and all that, but also the time of year when you find yourself looking for gifts for a variety of people. People like your clients, your boss, your brother in law, your boyfriend’s dad.* In times like these, the eager giver turns to Scotch Whisky (note the lack of an “e.” If you’re drinking whiskey, you’re in the wrong country). Scotch is a good gift — it’s expensive enough to convey value, but not so expensive it will bankrupt you. It’s sophisticated, a little exotic, implies that you know a lot about the finer things in life. The question becomes what scotch to buy. This guide will give you a little overview of how to choose a nice bottle of scotch if you are not a scotch connoisseur, as well as discuss it reasonably intelligently with the giftee. [...]

Cranberry Pecan Upside Down Cake

Nantucket Pie 3 I wasn’t sure what to call this. The recipe that I adapted it from is called a pie, but we all know a pie, and this is no pie. Cobbler would have a higher proportion of fruit, crisp would be, well, crisp. Torte seems too highbrow. This combination of sweet tart cranberries, caramelized sugar, crunchy nuts and a dense, sweet buttery dough is definitely not highbrow. It takes maybe 10 minutes to throw together (if you move slowly) and is homey and delicious and beautiful. Cake is perhaps the closest approximation, though light and fluffy this is not. [...]

Christmas Cheer – Peppermint Pretzel Bark

Peppermint Pretzel Bark
The Christmas season is an exciting time for mail. Instead of the usual bills and solicitations (though there are plenty of those), each day’s post brings cards from friends, and my guilty pleasure — Christmas catalogs. I love poring over each one, looking at the Christmas decorations and the Christmas food. Oh the food. I imagine a life where I’m ordering a $200 beef roast and $40 biscuits for Christmas dinner. And then I laugh and recycle the catalogs because WHO BUYS THIS STUFF? When you can make it yourself (and make it better) for less money? [...]