As usual, everyone on my Christmas list is getting baked goods. This year, I tried some new things and recycled an old favorite. I kept the gingersnaps in the mix, since they are a favorite, and added zucchini bread, apple butter, peppermint bark, and eggnog.
The peppermint bark was the most surprising - it was SO easy! The first batch I made according to the recipe (except without the extract, since I couldn't find any). For the second, I added a layer of dark chocolate, and that was much better. Finally, I made a batch with crushed oreos instead of candy canes - that was my favorite, but I don't really like mint. I bagged up a little of each as part of each gift.
The apple butter took up most of a Saturday, but I was very pleased with the end result. I was happy that I got to put my new food mill to work (and even happier about how much easier the mill made it!). It passed muster with my father-in-law, who is a true apple butter connoisseur.
The zucchini bread was a much sweeter bread than I expected, but I loved the sugar crust on it. It smelled awful while cooking, but turned out well, and got a ton of compliments. This will definitely be added to the regular Christmas rotation.
The eggnog was another new addition, and I went with Alton Brown's recipe, and just omitted the alcohol (since our families don't really drink). This was another hit - and easy in the stand mixer.