Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Cookie Bake 2013

It's so hard to believe the holidays are upon us and 2013 is coming to an end. This year was literally a total blur. But sometimes, amidst all of the chaos, in between work, family, chores, errands and To-Do Lists, you have to take a moment to stop and smell the flowers or, in this case, the cookies!
Every year at Christmas, for the past 12+ years, Yvonne and I get together with a group of special friends to spend a day (and sometimes it literally takes a whole entire day) to bake cookies to give to friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. Some years we spend hours baking what turns out to be thousands of cookies. This year we scaled it back a bit (we're not as young and energetic as we used to  be!), but the spirit of the holidays was as strong as ever.
Honestly, for me it's not about how many cookies I take home at the end of the day (although I do love me a good cookie), it's about sharing our love for baking with friends we love. Regardless of how our lives change, love is the constant ingredient.
 This year we baked several new varieties of cookies; Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Dipped Pecan Pie Bars, Cherry Pecan Tassies, Cranberry Orange Shortbread, Buckeyes, as well as some of the old standbys - Molasses Cookies, Snowballs, Jackie's Tarts and Chocolate Oat Bars.
With so many different varieties, needless to say there was lots of measuring, mixing, sprinkling, slicing, rolling, dipping and glazing going on.....

Rachel showing off her measuring skills...

Our glamour girl, Teresa, mixing while balancing in her 5" stilettos...

Colleen's rolling skills are perfection...

And I dip, you dip, we dip....

One handed decorating with a smile...
And in the end, although we weren't as tired as past years marathon baking sessions, the result was hundreds of delicious cookies....

(warning - too much sugar can make you crazy)
and do silly things involving babies...
Nothing beats baking with some of our favorites girls during the holidays!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and Cheers to a sweet new year from LiveBakeLove!!

This year Yvonne is sharing the recipe for her Cherry Pecan Tassies. It's a delicious and unique twist on the traditional Pecan Tassie.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 oz Cream Cheese, softened
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1 cup Cake flour (not regular flour, see note below)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1/2 finely chopped pecans

Beat the softened butter and cream cheese with mixer until smooth. Add vanilla bean and cake flour, mix just until the ingredients blended (do not over mix).

Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. 

Refrigerate for 1 hour.
About 15 minutes before the hour is over, preheat the oven to 325 and start making the filing.
Add two egg yolks, brown sugar , vanilla and the pinch of salt to the a mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.


Add dried cherries and pecans and mix for about 1 minute.


Line 24 mini muffin cups with holiday liners (this recipe can also be made un-lining the cups, they do not stick)
Remove dough from refrigerator. Divide dough into 24 balls.
Once all the balls are done, press each ball into the muffin cup bottom and up the sides. (3/4 of the muffin cup should be covered.)

Add about 1 teaspoon of filling to each cup.

Bake for 30 minutes.


NOTE: this is the brand of Cake Flour I used.



  1. Looks like you ladies had a great time! I love getting together with friends and family over the holidays to make cookies! Happy New Year! :)

  2. Our cooke bake is definitely my favorite holiday event! We look forward to it every year. Happy New Year Christina!