Thursday, December 25, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Cookie 11 & 12 - Toll House Chocolate Cookies & Dried Fruit Cookies

Merry Christmas! Here is the assemble of the Christmas cookie gift tray! Almost time to go to the Christmas party! I did not get a chance to take the picture of the toll house chocolate cookies but you all know what it is anyway.

The last one is the dried fruit cookies. This is not your traditional fruit cake kind of cookie. It has dried figs, raisins, candied cherries, honey, chopped pecans, fresh lemon juice, dry sherry. all mixed into the sugar cookie base dough. Delicious! Hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Cookie 9 & 10 - Pina Colada Cookie & Thumbnail Cookies

It is Christmas eve! And the snow finally stops. It has been snowed for days and the snow piles are so high that it could bury a car. Here are the next 2 cookies. The first one is the thumbnail cookie. I make this one every year since it tastes good and looks nice as the gift for my co-workers and friends. It is the sugar cookie mixed with coconut flakes and topped with apricot jam, raspberry jam, black berry jam and cherry jam.

Pina Colada cookie is a new recipe I try this year. It is a cream cheese based cookie. Mix with coconut flakes and crushed pineapple. Taste great and very light. The sky is getting dark and all the Christmas lights have started to shine. Wish everybody has a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Cookie 7 & 8 - Apple Butterscotch Bar & Gingersnap Cookie

The snow just would not stop. It dumps another 3 inches last night and will continue to snow another 3 to 5 inches today. All the snow shuffling and work almost leave me no time to bake and post. No need to go to the gym for a while thanks to all the snow shuffling. I actually have completed the baking of all 12 Christmas cookies but could not find time to post them. Anyway, here is the apple butterscotch bars.
This is a very moisture cookie. The crust is made of butter, graham cracker crumbles. Then, sweet condensed milk, chopped apples, butterscotch chips, coconut flakes, and chopped pecans are put layer by layer on the top of the crust. Very interesting flavors! The next one is the gingersnap cookie. The name says it all! The dark molasses combined with ground ginger and crystallized ginger! Now it is time to go back to work so I can go home earlier to clean the snow of driveway again!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Cookie 5 & 6- Seven layer Cookie and Anise Cookie

At the end of the big snow we got yesterday, there was at almost 15 inches (38cm) snow on the ground, I just could help but jump on the snow and make a snow angel! That was just one the few fun we could get besides the hours of backbreaking snow shuffling. And the weather forecast says that the next snow storm will get to here again tonight and dump another 6-9 inches (15 cm to 23 cm) snow tonight to tomorrow morning. With the snow we just got yesterday, we would not be able to see the cars from the other directions on any intersections. Bad bad winter.

Continued the holiday cookie feast, here is the popular 7-layer cookie. What are the 7 layers? They are butter, graham cracker crumbles, sweet condensed milk, semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut flakes, and chopped pecans! Again, I replace the graham crackers crumble with gluten-free flour substitute mixture + brown sugar + salt + baking powder so even the gluten-free diet friends can enjoy it. It made the crust more soft and moisture but still very tasty.

Next is the anise cookie based on the recipe from one friend's grandmother. I have made it several years. It is a complicated cookie to make since it requires a long cold storage process to get a glaze on the cookie.

Friday, December 19, 2008

12 Inches Snow And 12 Days of Christmas Cookie 4 - Mint Chocolate Rice Crackers

Have I mentioned that I am so tired of snow already? It's the biggest snow storm so far this year. It drops 12 inches (30cm) of the snow since midnight last night and still comes down more. You cannot even see the road on this picture anymore. It causes a mess on the roads and all local schools are closed. The police department asks people to stay at home and off the road if possible. Guess it will be another day to work from home.

Here is another batch of cookies I made. They are the rice crackers covered by mint chocolate and sprinkled with ground mint candies. So even the gluten-free diet friends can enjoy them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Time Is Office Indulging Time!

Finally, we got the first Christmas gift from the vendors. It is a big 60oz glass jar of mixed-nuts. There are walnuts, pecans, almonds, and macadamia, all roasted with salt. Half of the jar has been gone in less 30 minutes!Talking about getting yourself some winter fat!

12 Days of Christmas Cookie 3 - Raspberry Chocolate Bars

This is my favorite cookie bar this year. The crust is made of brown sugar, vanilla extract, flour and oats. It is covered with a layer of semi-sweet chocolate chips then another layer of raspberry jam. Finally, the streusel made of the same ingredients as the crust on top. Yummy!

And it snowed another 5 inches (13 cm) last night and caused the usual traffic problem again this morning. The usual 30-minute commuting time became 1 hour. And the weather forecasts says that there will be another even bigger one tomorrow afternoon to Friay morning. It predicts up to 1 foot (31 cm) snow accumulation. If you like white Christmas, this will be your chance to visit mid-west!

Friday, December 12, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Cookie 2 - Lemon Heaven Dessert Squares

It is finally Friday! It is extremely cold today. The highest temperture is only 10'F (-12'C) outside. The clear sky just makes it even colder and the sun really does not help that much.

Here is the second cookie I made last night, lemon heaven dessert squares. Nice pastry crust made of flour, oats and lemon zests. The filling is made of condensed milk and lemon juice. It's the nice combination of sweet and sour. Happy weekend and no more snow!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

12 Days of Christmas Cookie 1 - Million Dollar Cookie

Another 5 inches of snow today. It has been snowing almost every other day so far in the past 3 weeks. I cannot remember the last time it snows so much and so early. The temperature falls down to bitter cold as well. It feels like early February but it is only early December! Look like it will be a long hard winter again.

And it's the time of the year again for 12 days of Christmas cookies! Since it snows so much outside, I work from home and make a batch of the "Million Dollar Cookie". It is basically the sugar cookie with find ground pecans mixed in the dough and rolled with cinnamon sugar outside. Yummy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

RSNA 2008

It is the annual RSNA (Radiological Society of North America) meeting at the McCormick Place in Chicago. It predicts about 62,000 people attend this year's meeting which takes over almost the whole McCormick Place. My workplace provided a bus to send employees down there for one-day meeting. It took almost 2.5 hours to get to there for the usual 1.5 trip due to the bad Chicago rush hour traffic and winter snow. Once we got there, as you can see from the picture, it was already packed with all the medical doctors and scientists.

It's always interesting to attend this kind of big show to see all the new products from the industry. There were lots of expensive equipments from the companies and expensive suits from attendants for sure. One of the interesting thing was this mock up of the MR scanner covering with all the fake fruits and flowers. Guess they want to go green too! Overall, it was OK since nothing special was shown. The good thing was that we got to go to Chicago Chinatown for a good lunch!