We are officially into the beautiful month that is December. I realize that I may be a tad bit biased in my favoring opinion of this month due to my upcoming birthday but I know that I am not alone in my love for the holiday season. Honestly, once we approach Halloween I am ready to bust out holiday decorations and let the festive moods commence. I love everything that this season brings – family, friends, memories, food, drink, etc. Just recently, a week or so before Thanksgiving, I was shopping with my husband at Central Market and while wandering aisles, searching for new and interesting ingredients to craft with later in the kitchen, I turned to him and said, “Thanksgiving is coming up! I can’t wait to cook and eat all day!” He laughed at my sentiments, but we both know that there is nothing better than waking up and spending the rest of the day in and out of the kitchen, music playing, snacking happening, with the end result being a beautiful dinner and evening spent with people we love while consuming delicious food.
One of my absolute favorite things about this holiday season is baking. While I was in college, we had a women’s small group that was a part of our college ministry group and we met on Wednesday nights at my apartment. We would sit, chat, and usually someone would bake something to share as we talked and prayed together. This was really my introduction into the wonderful world that is baking. I began experimenting with different recipes and came to love this beautiful art. I always feel that the holidays are the best time to experiment with new baking recipes for two reasons 1) with cooler temperatures come the actual desire to turn on the oven and 2) all of the holiday flavors and spices make me want to make something delicious and sweet.
While on that Central Market trip a few weeks ago, I picked up a big bunch of fresh rosemary. One of my all time favorite herbs to cook and bake with. It is so fragrant and I love that hours after I chop it all up, my hands will still smell of the beautiful herb. I found this yummy recipe for spicy rosemary cookies as well as a rosemary old fashioned (coming at you later this week!) and decided that they needed to be made because fresh rosemary should never be ignored. I can honestly say that these cookies didn’t last very long in our home. My husband and I kept sneaking back into the kitchen and grabbing one (or three) for the days following. I can’t wait to share these with family and friends this holiday season!
These cookies were made based on this recipe from Running to the Kitchen. I followed the recipe exactly and was really pleased with the end result. I was initially intimated by the use of Cayenne in a cookie recipe but felt that the proportions were perfectly balanced. Something I might do next time is add a little sprinkling of Cayenne pepper on top of the cookies – but only a light dusting as to not over power. More for a garnish if anything.
The most useful tip I learned from this recipe was microwaving the chocolate chips with coconut oil! I had actually never made a dipping chocolate like this before – I usually use almond bark and was pleasantly surprised by the result. I even incorporated this little tidbit while dipping holiday pretzels last week in conjunction with my usual almond bark and I felt like it only enhanced the taste and made for a smoother chocolate. Definitely something I am storing away for further use in the kitchen.