My Bark is Better than My Bite

This is what I did this afternoon:

The ones on the right (toffee shortbread or shortbread meltaways - my recipe is on a pink page from a flour recipe book, and I've miraculously managed not to lose it - this is almost exactly the same) has become my go-to Christmas cookie over the past few years, and one of the only cookies I can actually "whip up", which to me means very little recipe consultation - since my memory's gotten so bad and I'm a bit obsessive, following a recipe usually means frequent and repeated looking back at the recipe between adding and stirring things. The kids love them, they freeze like a dream well, shortbread, and Skor bits, so duh.

In the middle is salted chocolate toffee pretzel bark, which I found last year, I think by Googling pretzel toffee bark (okay, not the most gripping story - the recipe makes up for it). Every time someone tastes it, their first question is whether you need a candy thermometer to make it, and once they know there's no hard-crack or soft-ball stuff involved (hey, candy-making terms all sound dirty, I never noticed that before) then they ask for the recipe. My husband told me I have to take the rest of it out of the house.

On the left are these that I found on the Yummy Mummy Club website. I made them for the first time today. For how pretty they look, they're not that much work, but I'm not sure they're delicious enough to make a whole bunch. I'd like to find a way to get a bit more stuff on them to balance out the chocolate a little. I'm also not sure why they're called mendiants, which I believe means homeless people in French and I find that a tad disturbing (resolutely not Googling something again on the grounds that it might torpedo my ridiculous argument). They do look pretty cool, though. I added some red walnuts that I got to make shortbread since the dried cranberries weren't bright red enough, and I used pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower for greenness.

I have dough chilling in the fridge for smoked sea salt maple sugar shortbread and blue cheese warming for blue cheese walnut shortbread for my dad. But I'm not sure what else to make. I just typed five different versions of 'leave your favourite Christmas cookie in your comment!' and they all sound douchey. If you want to, though, go ahead. 


StephLove said…
It is so not fair you live so far away from me. I'd be on your doorstep casually holding an empty tin and saying, "Oh, you have cookies?"

Oh well, we're going to a Christmas party this weekend so I'm sure I won't be deprived of cookies for long.

p.s. We make gingerbread people every year and often peanut butter cookies with a Hershey's kiss in the center. When we were in our 20s we lived with a woman who made pinwheels every Christmas. I kind of miss those, but not enough to learn how to make them apparently.
Lynn said…
This is what I'm doing this afternoon - making a zillion cookies then trying not to eat them all. Today it's gingerbread and sugar cookies, although I attempted to invent my own allgery-safe-sugar-cookie recipe and it is a HUGE understatement to say I HAVE DOUBTS. So possibly there will be some eating after all.

Every year I make tins of cookies for all the relatives' houses we will be visiting; standards include chocolate chip, snickerdoodles (a cinnamon cookie), chocolate crinkles, and espresso oatmeal chip. Let me know if you want any recipes.
Nicole said…
I've been meaning to make that "homeless people" recipe of Natalie's - it' looks SO pretty. Why do we not live nearby, again? WHYYYYYY. Everything looks yummy btw.
Magpie said…
funnily enough, i'd never heard of mendiants until i read this post yesterday, and then i saw some bread called that in the fancy french bakery near my office. it was, though, described as "revisited" so who knows what the original mendiant treat was.
Helen Abbott said…
I made the bark & the meltaways today. They were very good, but what if they're not as good right now as they were this afternoon? I might not be able to sleep for worry. Going to re-sample now.
bunnyslippers said…
I tried the pretzel bark because of this post. Thanks!

Every year I make 'pecan clouds' (brown sugar pecan meringues--crazy delicious), caramels, and cheater fudge.
Catherine said…
This is all just so delicious looking. I'm away from my kitchen this holiday season, and acutely aching for that cookie baking fun!
Ms. G said…
They look amazing and delicious! I feel totally inadequate with my package of Pillsbury sugar cookie mix : )

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