Gingerbread Cut-Outs with Cardamom Vanilla Glaze

So confession time: these were meant to be little gingerbread dudes and gals but I gave up the search for cookie cutters after trying 3 different places. I decided to break with tradition and not encourage the cannibalistic eating of tiny little cookie people. Instead I went a little more modern with small round cutters and fluted round cutters. Problem solved. Though, I suppose there never really was a problem since I didn't necessarily care about sticking completely to tradition (or eating people shaped cookies...).


Minty Coconut + Dark Chocolate Patties

I have to be honest and say that I was not a fan of the chocolate and mint combo until last year around this time. It used to be at the bottom of the list right along with lemon-flavored things and glazed doughnuts. I never understood why thin mints were so popular when you could eat a damn peanut butter patty (helloooo, chocolate + peanut butter!!). I'm not sure what changed, but last year I could not get enough chocolate + mint all of the sudden. I would finish a dark chocolate peppermint bar and wonder what the heck had become of me. If I had been able to get a vegan peppermint mocha somewhere, I probably would have been on that bandwagon, too.


Candied Ginger Snowballs

For some reason I just can't get into the so-called Christmas spirit. Anybody else out there feeling the same way? I got out my sparse collection of decorations at the beginning of this week and they are still in the same spot, unmoved and collecting dust at this point. I've been trying to think about why this is and I've settled on a combination of it not feeling like Christmas (it was 80 and humid today... blech) and not having found a routine or sense of normalcy that I mentioned in the last post.  

I'm thinking that perhaps I can get into the holiday spirit by just cultivating positivity and genuine happiness and thoughtfulness with those around me. I found myself doing it at work today, going the extra mile to try to make someone's day even if it meant making them a breakfast taco 15 minutes after we stopped serving them. It didn't put me out any, but it seemed to make that person really happy. And in turn, it made me happy.


Cookie Month 2014

Holy crap it's December. I have done zero Christmas shopping/planning at this point other than random times in the past couple of weeks when ideas might enter my head. Since moving I've felt a little discombobulated as I struggle to develop a routine or a new sense of normal. Naturally this has affected everything in my life, including this blog. I haven't been posting as much as I want to and I realized that it's because I still haven't found a comfortable routine for doing so. The light situation in the house is challenging and I often have to lug things back to my room or outside to get a good photo. But, enough excuses. Until I find the new "normal", I'll just keep buggering on.

'Tis the season to focus on COOKIES! Starting back in 2012, I decided to make December "cookie month" on the blog where I share cookies/other treats that are appropriate for holiday parties, cookie exchanges, gift giving, and providing festive options for your sweet tooth. Last year I sort of failed and didn't share too many options, but this year I hope to make up for it. I'll be shooting some recipes this week and hopefully sharing them soon, but until then I wanted to provide you with some inspiration from years past. Happy baking!

Pecan Raspberry Linzer Cookies (gluten free & vegan) *
These are more time-consuming than the others, but definitely one of my favorites!