Wonderful Wednesday Personal Blog
Yesterday was Christmas cookie baking day. My kitchen (and myself) was liberally floured, and a few M&Ms may have disappeared into things other than the cookie dough. I'm pretty sure I tested the cookie dough before I baked it, too.
My dad and father-in-law are like a lot of men I know. When you ask them what they want for Christmas, they just shrug and say either 'nothing' or 'oh, I don't know'. So helpful.
Anyway, I sent them both cookies a few years ago, and it's become a tradition. I always bake a variety because, well, it's Christmas, right? And because I don't bake much during the year because I really don't need the calories, so this is my time to bake all my favorites, taste a few, then give them away.
This year I baked shortbread cookies (I put some sprinkles in them to make them more festive), chocolate crinkles, holiday M&M cookies, and--my favorite--shortbread with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
In fact, I love those shortbreads so much, I'm going to share the recipe with you.
Here you go. It's easy, I promise, and you'll love them.
Cranberry White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
4 cups flour
1.5 cups dried cranberries
1 cup sugar
6 oz. white chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350.
Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.
Add flour. Mix well.
Stir in chocolate and cranberries.
Drop rounded tablespoons of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets. Flatten slightly.
Bake 10-14 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. They will burn quickly, so watch. As soon as the edges brown slightly, they’re probably done.
Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes 48 cookies
Can be frozen up to 1 month. Thaw before serving or you’ll crack a tooth. :-)
Spend a minute or two beating the butter and sugar. You'll thank me. And keep an eye on them when baking. They go from lightly golden on the bottom to burned in less than a minute. They do not brown (much) on top (unless you've already passed the burned on the bottom stage, and at that point you just need to start over.).
Merry Christmas everyone! If I had any cookies left over, I'd send you a batch. The mail carrier and internet guy beat you to them.
Their names are Duke and Baron, and they represent the horses that pulled wagons, ploughs, and barge ships in times gone by.
They are a tribute to the horses that were once critical to Scotland's economy when barges filled with iron ore, coal, and goods plied the canals through Falkirk, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and more.
These horses, created by artist Andy Scott, stand 100 feet tall and were inspired by not only two Clydesdales named Duke and Baron, but by the mythical kelpie horses that had the strength of 100 horses and had to be tamed for them to offer safe passage over water. Rather fitting, actually.
Construction of the horses began in 2013, and the 30,000 pieces of the giant metallic puzzle took only 90 days to complete.
They have become one of Scotland's most popular tourist attractions.
This would be our final stop before arriving at the Dalmahoy Country House Hotel where we would spend our evening enjoying good food, great company, a final concert, and time saying farewell to the new friends who had become our family.
The Church of the Holy Rude was originally built in the 1130s. The name, Holy Rude, means Holy Cross, as does Holyrood in Edinburgh.
A disastrous fire in 1405 devastated the church. Reconstruction was begun, and by the end of the 1400s, the church reopened its doors.
A second phase of construction from 1507 to 1555 added a choir to the east of the original nave, and the western tower was increased in height. But the Reformation halted what would have been the third phase of construction, leaving the church without its central tower and raised roofline. But it is still a magnificent structure.
The Church of the Holy Rude can be seen from the walls of Stirling Castle. There is a cemetery between the castle and church, and my eye was drawn to this stairway leading to a very beautiful place.
The cemetery was quite peaceful, and I even encountered a worker quietly sharing his lunch beneath a tall tree with a pair of grackles. One of the aspects of the cemetery which interested me, was the many Celtic Crosses in one corner of the cemetery. Each was different and beautiful--much like the souls of the people whom the crosses commemorate.
We spent much of our last day in Scotland walking the streets of Stirling, shopping, eating, and visiting the castle.
The city is built on the slopes of an extinct volcano, and walking from the town center to the castle was a bit of a hike.
It was great.
I don't believe I've said enough about food in Scotland.
If I could define the trip in just a few prosaic words, they would be music, castles, and food. And whisky.
We sang hundreds of songs and attended numerous concerts. I have a group of CDs I bought in my car and listen to them over and over on my long trips to the city and back.
We saw soooo many castles. It was close to overload, but you can always see one more, right?
And they fed us well. Even when we were on our own for a meal (which wasn't often), we managed to discover some pretty tasty food. I'm not a person who takes a lot of pictures of her food, but I have a few from the trip I'm happy to share.
The whisky? Our host was kind enough to share 'the dram of the day' with us each afternoon (or a wine alternative). He shared the tasting notes for each, also, which often reduced us to giggles.
Our lunches on the road were often sandwiches, but so very fresh and with numerous fillings to choose from. I might have crab salad one day, cheese or ham another. And the day Jim's mum brought us Forfar Bridies was truly special. Especially since she then honored us with a song before she left.
But one of the true treats was the fresh fruit Susie often bought along the way. It was great to see her passing out containers of blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries. All of the fruits were extremely sweet, and the raspberries were huge!
Our trip was winding down, but we had a full day in Stirling before our final party and the good-byes began. More on that tomorrow.
This is where I talk about things in my life outside of writing. Mostly gardening and dogs.
All Adventures With Rezso After Christmas Angus The Cat Anne Martin Gaelic Singer Armadale Bay Armadale Castle Arthur Cormack Gaelic Singer Basketball Bath Bath Time Beltane Tours Ben Best Toys Beth Malcolm Birthday Brough Of Birsay Caithness Caledonia MacBrayne Ferry Castles Of Scotland Cathy MacRae Ceilidh Celtic Crosses Celtic Music Chiropractic Treatment Christmas Church Of The Holy Rude Corgi Dixie Dog Training Dunnottar Castle Dunrobin Castle Dunvegan Castle Edinburgh Eilean Donan Castle Emily Smith Traditional Scottish Singer Euphonium Falconry Exhibit Ferry Fiddles Flowers Freki Fun On The Farm Gaelic Songs Gardening Gardens German Shepherd Gunnar Happy Birthday Harry Potter Train Harvest Helper Highland Distillery Holyrood Abbey Holyroodhouse Holyrood Palace Iain MacFarlane Fiddler Ingrid Henderson Harpist Isle Of Skye Jacobite Steam Train Jennifer & Hazel Wrigley Jim And Susie Malcolm Jolly Ball Kelpies Kirkwall Laidhay Crofting Museum Life With Dogs Life With Freki Maeshowe Malaig Malinky Band Monkey Puzzle Tree New Puppy Ninja Dog Obedience Class Odin's Wolves Orkney Pool Time Ring Of Brodgar Rosslyn Chapel Scotland Food Scotland Tour 2019 Service Dog Skaill House Skara Brae Snow Soccer #Sonicdrivein Spring Springtime Square Foot Garden Square-foot Garden Standing Stones Standing Stones Of Stenness Stirling Castle St Magnus Cathedral Swimming Pool Then And Now Thorfinn The Mighty Tracking Treats Vikings Water Games Where's Thorfinn? Whistles Winter Fun Wonderful Wednesday
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