Seven Pounds: Will It Be Enough?

Cookies, cookies, cookies

It was on sale. So I bought lots. Well, seven pounds to be precise.

Was it enough to make this?

Butter sculpture of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford reading a Margaret Atwood book, while leaning on a steering wheel, which was on display at this year’s Canadian National Exhibition (Source: Torstar News Service)

No, definitely not enough to make a butter carving of Toronto’s controversial Mayor, Rob Ford, (who BTW may soon be outsted from his position over a conflict of interest, not for reading while driving or slinging mud at our literary legend Margaret Atwood).

But it was enough butter to make some of these:

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I took a couple of days off work so that I could get a good start at my holiday baking this weekend, so some of the seven pounds of butter that I bought on sale has been put to good use. Every year, I bake 10 to 15 different batches of cookies and then I give most of them away to friends, family and work colleagues. It is firmly entrenched Christmas tradition, as I’ve been doing this for 11 years now.

However, not everyone likes this tradition. My youngest ponytail burst into tears when she realized that most of her favourite Chocolate-Dipped Butterscotch Logs were headed to the freezer to make their way into these cookie boxes. “But they’re my favourite cookies.” (Be sure to say this with a very loud crying voice, and you are close to reinacting the dramatic scene that unfolded in my kitchen on Sunday.)

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My youngest ponytail’s beloved Chocolate-Dipped Butterscotch Logs

The art of distraction is a parent’s best friend and I’ve managed to distract my daughter with store-bought candy cane ice cream–even if only temporarily.

I love the fact that everyone has a different favourite cookie. Rhonda requests the Rolo Cookie every year. A big fan of coconut, Maria hides the Coconut Pyramids from her partner. Harry will only eat my Checkerboard Cookies, which always stir a debate on how the checkerboard pattern is really created. Mercedes likes to ask for extra Salted Toffee-Chocolate Squares. My Double-Chocolate Chunk Cookies have universal appeal. And, Glen is easy to please–he’ll take any and all cookies that I’m willing to part with.

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Salted Toffee-Chocolate Squares

This year I’ve added two new cookies to the mix thanks to a couple of my blogging buddies.

Nell’s Sugar Cookies (the pretty cookies with the cherry in the middle) are thanks to Barb over at Just a Smidgen (one of my favourite bloggers who, by the way, has received two 2012 Canadian Blog Awards. Way to go Barb!) I knew that I had to make these cookies when Barb posted them a few months back. Simple, with a comforting old fashioned appeal, one bite of these cookies takes me back to my own grandmother’s kitchen. They are sure to be a new favourite this year.

I’ve been wanting to make Chocolate Crinkle Kisses (the adorable crinkle cookies with the Candy Cane Kiss in the middle) for ages now. These cookies make an annual appearance in the wonderful box of cookies that Eva (of Kitchen Inspirations) always brings us on Christmas Eve and I’m never fast enough at hiding them from the rest of the family! As you can see, both of these cookies bring some festive colour to the cookie selection.

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Left to right on large platter: Eva’s Chocolate Crinkle Kisses, Coconut Pyramids, Smidge’s Grandma Nell’s Sugar Cookies and Salted Toffee-Chocolate Squares

So now the question remains, will the seven pounds be enough? Not nearly, if my ponytails get their way!

PS — Given that well over three quarters of my cookies go to treasured daycare staff and work colleagues as a way to say thanks, I’m not able to give cookies to as many of our friends and family as I would like. However, I always keep a supply on hand to put out for company so feel free to drop by for a visit–just be sure to call first!

Cookie Recipes (from Photos)

Salted Toffee-Chocolate Squares (Martha Stewart)

Nell’s Sugar Cookies (Just a Smidgen)

Chocolate Crinkle Kisses (Kitchen Inspirations)

Coconut Pyramids (Originally from Martha Stewart; posted on P&P December 2011)

Chocolate-Dipped Butterscotch Logs

Slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, 2004 Special Christmas Cookie Edition

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup butter scotch baking pieces, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocloate pieces
  • 1-1/2 tbsp shortening

In a large bowl, beat butter on medium high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour and the butterscotch pieces.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 9-inch long log; flatten so logs are about 2-1/2-inches wide. Wrap logs in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut logs crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack; cool.

Meanwhile, spread almonds in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Toast in the 350 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring ocassionally. Remove from oven; cool.

Combine chocolate pieces and shortening in metal bowl. Place over simmering pot of water until melted. Dip ends of cookies into the melted chocolate. Place cookies on wire rack. Sprinkle almonds on chocolate. Let stand for 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. Makes about 54.

 

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45 Comments on “Seven Pounds: Will It Be Enough?”

  1. Oh, my goodness.. what a heavenly post filled with such an extensive collection of Christmas/Holiday baking!! I can see why your daughter shed tears over these.. I would too, in fact, I’m not sure I could give these little cookies away at all! Thanks again for linking up.. I’m glad you enjoyed these cookies.. I know we have for years:D

    • Thanks Barb! I really love Nell’s cookies. I’ve only had one but I could eat the whole batch! I love the simplicity of them…the fact that you make them with the bottom of a glass. They conjure up all kinds of warm and wonderful memories of my grandma’s simple but delicious home-style baking. Congrats on your blog awards — I was thrilled to hear the news. Hopefully you’ve had a great bottle of wine or something sparkling to celebrate!

  2. Anne says:

    Ooooh lots of YUMMY goodies –oh my!

  3. A_Boleyn says:

    So much butter, so many great cookies in your future. I am tempted to bake several different kinds but have to restrain myself because there’s no one to eat them. I guess I’ll just have to admire the ones you’re sharing with friends and family. 🙂 The sugar cookies with the cherry half on top remind me of something similar my mom used to make.

  4. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Great post, and gorgeous photos Barb (especially the crumbling toffee square one – yum)!
    7 pounds of butter sounds like heaven to me! Not sure I’d like to be immortalised in butter though – what an amazing sculpture.
    Your biscuits look Beautiful with a capital B. The salted toffee chocolate squares or chocolate-dipped logs would go beautifully with my cuppa right now.
    I think a child having a hissy fit over being deprived of your cooking is the ultimate compliment!

  5. Karista says:

    I just adore your ponytails! They sound so much like my two sassy gals when they were little. 🙂 well, if I were choosing I’d ask for the chocolate dipped butterscotch logs. I’m so adding these to my holiday baking list!

  6. ChgoJohn says:

    I can think of no better use for 7 pounds of butter than to make Christmas cookies. This is one heavenly collection of cookies and I bet your “delivery” each year is highly anticipated.

  7. What beautiful cookies to make wonderful gifts! I think I will have to try your salted toffee chocolate squares…thank you for the inspiration!

  8. I am overwhelmed by the Christmas baking abundance in this my friend I’m loving it though 🙂
    As cool as the butter sculpture is I think baking is more necessary – It may not be 7 pounds but I just bought 2 kg of butter 😉

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Ooh these look amazing! All that butter was definitely worth it 🙂

  10. Ali says:

    What a great Christmas tradition!! You are so kind to make all of that to give away to friends and family! I can’t believe someone made a sculpture from butter!! I’ve never seen that before!

  11. aFrankAngle says:

    The Chocolate-Dipped Scutterbotch Logs for me please.

  12. Norma Chang says:

    Just brewed my morning coffee and getting ready to fix breakfast. But wait, I would prefer one each, make that 2 please, of those cookies instead. For my cookie box, I will not be greedy, Chocolate-Dipped Butterscotch Logs and Salted Toffee-Chocolate Squares, thanks.

  13. Norma Chang says:

    Oh, did your ponytails have a chance to view my Thanksiving posts?

  14. Jeanette says:

    These look scrumptious and they’re all new recipes for us. Can’t wait to try the butterscotch logs. They look divine!!

  15. Beautiful! Nothing relaxes me more than baking a few special treats and your bake-a-thon is inspiring! Loving the look of all those treats but especially the salted toffe/caramel squares with the nuts, amazing!!!

  16. erika says:

    OH MAN that is a lot of butter. Hahaa that butter sculpture is amazing!! And you are amazing for making so many batches of cookies every holiday season! What lucky family and friends you have 🙂 Thanks for all the links to the recipes you use–I’m hosting a cookie swap/party on Sunday and am looking for inspiration, this is perfect!!

  17. You’ve gotten a head start on those Christmas cookies and I am envious! These look divine.

  18. Eva Taylor says:

    How sweet, those cookies look wonderful. And thank you kindly for the link and shout out. We look forward to your gorgeous cookie tin every year too. Those salted toffee squares are my favourite too…and for the record, I hide the Coconut Pyramids from JT too! I haven’t really started yet, perhaps I’ll do it on the weekend. Fortunately, my cookie network is not nearly as huge as yours, but it’s still a lot of work, particularly the sampling of each to make sure they meet the high quality standards that has come to be expected. Most of the time, the first one isn’t really enough of a taste, so often two have to be sacrificed!
    I’m pretty sure the salted toffee squares will have to be on my list this year too, but it’s getting a bit out of control to be honest.

  19. Sarah says:

    Wow, what a beautiful collection of cookies! I just love this post, it helps put me in the mood, you know? I’m looking forward to taking a day or two, or 5 to make these. Thank you! And thank you for all the links. Merry Christmas to us!

  20. wow, what a selection! The perfect use for all that butter. My goodness, shaping it into a mayor- what a terrible waste!

  21. What an amazing array of Christmas baking! I used only a pound of butter yesterday, so ill have to get my act together!

  22. petit4chocolatier says:

    Wow, so many excellent sweets!! Love your baking. And I love every single recipe 🙂

  23. That butter sculpture looks impressive. And such great looking cookies, too!

  24. I do this too! I bought these cute boxes from IKEA this year for them. Did you use all of the butter?

  25. Tandy says:

    What a lovely tradition and lucky recipients of these stunning cookies 🙂

  26. Hahahahahaha…when I first read the title of this post and saw those gorgeous cookies I thought, what? Did she lose 7 pounds before the holiday season in preparation for making (and in my case eating) all these cookies! Imprinting my own worst fears on you, I was! These ALL look so amazing and I’m especially craving the salted toffee chocolate squares and these chocolate dipped butterscotch logs. So many cookies to make and so little time…now I want to make all of yours, too! 🙂

  27. Charles says:

    Well, damn – don’t they look awesome! I can well imagine the kitchen drama – I think I’d be pretty put out too if my “favourites” were immediately being stowed away into the freezer. I’d think you were very mean, but I’m sure you make up for that small crime in other ways :D.

    I can’t believe you bought 7lbs of butter – haha… was it all in one block or in multiple pats? The most butter I’ve had in my house at once is… 2kg I think, so about 4.5lbs and that’s quite a little tidy pile 🙂

  28. Nicole says:

    My God. They look amazing!
    Perfect for a lovely sunday breakfast 🙂

  29. Kristy says:

    Cookies! Cookies! Cookies! You can never go wrong with cookies. I remember hearing of the butter sculpture of the mayor when we posted our butter cow from the state fair. Glad you posted a photo – that is hilarious! And I love the idea of taking a few days off work to bake cookies. I would LOVE to do that. Maybe next year. 🙂 This year, I’m baking like a fiend on the weekends. I just love cookies.

  30. I’m all over the salted toffee squares and butterscotch logs. You’ll laugh but I have exactly 7 pounds in my fridge. Well 2 are salted for other use so am only starting with 5 and I’m sure that won’t be enough. I’ve got almond roca also on the brain too.

  31. Jeanette says:

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog, which never ceases to inspire (not to mention make us drool:-)…. We have just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award http://globalgrazers.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

  32. Mercedes says:

    What no contest this year? Come on, I need my cookies!!!

  33. Sissi says:

    Barb, I don’t know how I have missed these cute sweet snacks. I am so sorry (as you see I also have problems with pre-Christmas errands and other time-consuming activities).
    alle the cookies looks so gorgeous, I already see myself taking on seven pounds after a tasting session 😉

  34. Amazing cookies – I love making cookies for Christmas! These cookies look wonderful!

  35. I bought 7 pounds of butter once, I don’t think it was enough….
    LOVE all the cookies! So festive and colourful and delicious. I too would be very upset if all my cookies were given away.

    Happy holidays to you and your beautiful Ponytails.

    Nazneen

  36. 🙂 There was a restaurant called “Valentines” – before it turned into “Celebrations” that had 2 butter sculptures. When we’d go there for occasions, as a little girl, I’d sneakily go up to one and rub it’s foot a little – because it’s butter. And I can melt it 😉
    Wonderful creations!


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