Tuesday, December 16, 2008

String Alongs Christmas Party

Oh a Good Time was had by All at the String Alongs Christmas get together. We Laughed and Ate wonderful food and Hugged and Talked and Laughed some more! It is the best party of the season and I am blessed to have been able to be there and be healthy. Thank God!

Michelle knit this gorgeous shawl but didn't like it. We all put our names in a hat a Michelle drew out Sandy's name so she won this lovely thing...Lucky Girl!

I am starting to get in the mood to bake for Christmas. I always take cookies, fudge and fruitcake to my mother's for the big celebration. Mom is host to about 30 people so we have to have a LOT of food and everyone loves to snack and eat little savories before the big meal. Then we start on the sweets to keep our strength up while we play games. We play cards and board games for a couple of hours until we reheat the meat and eat again! It is a good way to keep warm in this cold season.
Don't these cookies look good?

Chocolate Shortbread with White Chocolate Sauce
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus a little extra for greasing the baking sheet
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped or shaved into small pieces
1/2 cup sour cream, preferably at room temperature


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small metal bowl, combine the 2 types of chocolate and melt them gently over a pot of simmering water or a double boiler. Cool chocolate to room temperature.

Make the shortbread dough:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Blend until smooth and "creamed," 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in the cooled melted chocolate.

Sift the flour and add to the butter mixture and blend on low speed to incorporate the flour. Do not over mix. Remove the dough from the bowl and refrigerate for a few minutes to chill.

Make the chocolate sauce:
In a medium-sized pot, bring the cream to a gentle simmer. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the white chocolate pieces. Allow the mixture to sit and cool for a minute. All of the white chocolate should easily melt into the cream. Whisk in the sour cream and taste for seasoning. Cook's Note: Sour cream is temperamental when heated, so take care that your mixture never gets overly hot. If so, cool a little before incorporating. Set aside at room temperature.

Press the shortbread dough evenly into a 9 by 13 by 1-inch greased non-stick baking pan. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the dough is fairly firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow the shortbread to cool for about 10 minutes. Cut into 12 rectangles, 4 by 2 inches, and then cut diagonally across rectangles to form 24 long triangles for good dipping.

This recipe is from the Food Network's Twelve Days of Cookies. They have some really tasty looking recipes listed there. We are real Food Network junkies here and watch all the star Chefs avidly.

I am really taken with a sweet pattern I found on Ravelry Amy March's Slippers.

Aren't these the sweetest thing? Done with bulky yarn and 10 1/2 size needles, they should be a quick knit and a lovely gift for my 22 year old niece. I always like to give her something very luxurious and these really fit the bill, or toes if you will!

Talk to you later,

No one can earn a million dollars honestly.
William Jennings Bryan

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