Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Cookies Round 1

This weekend, my 18-member immediate family (parents, siblings, etc.) got together to celebrate Christmas. My Mom worked hard making different versions of lasagna, manicotti, and ravioli, etc. that would suit the wide-range needs of her particular clan (vegetarians, vegans, vegetable-fearing, etc.). I contributed the desserts above.

Veggies and Tofu Lasagna with Squash & Spinach

part of my plate with manicotti and lasagna

I tried a new recipe for Chocolate Macadamia Meltaways. I call them a success!

Since this Taste of Home non-vegan recipe is posted online anyway, I can give you my veganized version:

Chocolate Macadamia Meltaways

1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened
1/4 cup organic powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups organic white flour
3 1/2 oz. macadamia nuts, finely chopped

1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
additional powdered sugar

Cream Earth Balance and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour and mix well. Stir in nuts. Dough will be stiff; set aside.

For filling, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir. Stir in nuts; cool slightly. Drop by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto parchment or wax paper-covered pan or plate. Put in fridge for 30 minutes or until hardened.

Shape dough around chocolate mounds; completely cover. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees. (Recipe says 12-14 minutes. I think the key to good cookies is not overcooking, so I probably set my timer to 9 minutes first to see if they're already browning.) Roll warm cookies in additional powdered sugar. 

I made my very-important-for-the-holidays Vegan Buckeyes. I always use a recipe from Kids' Christmas Cookbook, but it is similar to other buckeyes recipes online, such as this one. However, the recipe I use has a higher ratio of peanut butter to sugar and Earth Balance to others I've seen, which makes them a little healthier, I suppose. I think all you need to do is mix in enough powdered sugar to make the peanut butter roll into balls, freeze the balls, then dip them in melted chocolate chips, then let them harden again in the fridge or freezer.

I haven't figured out how to make my buckeyes prettier without the toothpick (for dipping) hole. And I actually prefer mine completely covered in chocolate (since I believe chocolate is better than peanut butter) so most of them were made that way.

Thumbprint Cookies

This recipe can be found at thekitchn. We had enjoyed the batch my sister made for us last year, and I needed a non-chocolate dessert. I used three different fruit spreads: 365 Fruits of the Forest, Organic Peach, and Organic Sicilian Orange.

Magic Cookie Bars

I veganize a recipe my mom used when we were growing up. I still use the recipe card written in my childhood handwriting. It's fairly similar to this one. I can't imagine too many desserts better than Magic Cookie Bars.


Enjoying a relaxing day in pj's! I was feeling very slow (pregnant) and very swollen last week, but this week I've been feeling a lot better. It has been a very nice December for us, so far. I will try to post one more time before Christmas, but I hope all of you who celebrate are enjoying this time. 


  1. SUPER yum! Can I come to your Xmas this year? ;)

  2. Oh my, everything looks good! Those meltaways look especially good. *drool*

  3. Ooh boy, I'm in sugar shock already! The chocolate macadamia meltaways look fantastic and I'm always partial to thumbprint cookies. Very nice array.

  4. Wow, everything looks so wonderful and festive! I have to admit that I tend to be a bit cynical about family but you and yours seem so happy and content! It's very, very sweet and heartwarming.

  5. Wow what a spread and so wonderful it's all vegan. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday!

  6. What a beautiful spread! The lasagna looks so good and all those treats sound so yummy! The macadamia meltaways look DIVINE. So bookmarked! ;)

  7. Oh my! These all look so fantastic! I wish I had the gift of baking, but that must've passed gene pool.

    Merry Christmas!

  8. We are having lasagna Christmas Eve at Tony's sisters house. She said she was going to make me a veggie one. I told Tony to tell her to be sure and NOT put real cheese in it. Well see what happens. :o)

    The cookes look so yummy...all of them!

  9. We always do either lasagne or ravioli on Christmas too! That lasagne and manicotti look and sound GOOD! And OMG the cookies! Nice selection; they all look delicious, but those buckeye cookies having me dreaming about biting into one.

    Merry Christmas to you and the family. Enjoy!

  10. Your Macadamia Meltaways just knocked VaVa's Gingerbread Truffles off my 'next to make' list. They truly look ready to melt away.

    I remember those Thumbprint cookies from last year.

    Guess you're feeling too heavy with child to have a Cookie giveaway, huh?

  11. Amber Shea, anytime! :)

    Molly, I did indeed like them. Thank you.

    Maude, thanks!

    Stacy, why are you cynical? Unfortunately (or fortunately), whining, complaining, a messy house, etc. isn't always conveyed through a blog. However, I do feel very blessed with my family. I'm a lucky girl, despite all of my life's imperfections. I try to determine to be happy, regardless of outside circumstances or how hard it can be. Thank you for your encouraging words.

    bitt, same back at ya! And being vegan ain't bad, eh?

    Sarah, thanks so much!

    Ingrid, I wish I didn't go to more trouble, seemingly, to bake than cook other things, ha!

    Michelle, thank you! Crossing my fingers for you that you get your vegan lasagna!

    Rose, Merry Christmas! Thank you! I seem to remember you guys do Italian at Christmas! Eat up and enjoy this year!

    Shen, hope they work out for ya! And no, no cookie giveaway...I wouldn't presume my treats to be as alluring as Sarah's and Maude's, etc. I AM feeling too heavy with child to think about going to the post office, though.

  12. OMG those Chocolate Macadamia thingies look A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!