Advent - a time of preparation. In the heart and in the home, a time to prepare for the celebration of Christ's birth. What's most important is to ensure a balance - for me that means taking time to be quiet and still. And then to get on with the tasks I've planned. Stillness before activity works best for me.
Preparation around our house traditionally means lots of baking. Yes, it's just the two of us, but the children will be coming for visits and I like to have cookies and snacks on hand. I don't double the recipes as in years past, but there's still a good selection in the freezer.
My husband is one of the fortunate ones who hasn't gained a pound in over 30 years. And I do feed him well. But he has cookies everyday, so I bake year round. At Christmas I bring out special recipes, like this one. It's called Toasted Almond Chip Balls, but we call it Mary's grandmother's cookies because a friend of ours gave it to us and said it was from her grandmother. Whatever the name, they are delicious. And easy. And they keep well in the freezer.
Toasted Almond Chip Balls
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips, chopped (or use mini chocolate chips)
1 cup chopped toasted almonds (toast for 8-10 minutes at 350 - then cool)
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and knead well. Use two hands. It's lovely and therapeutic, and would work well with children, too.
Form into 1 inch balls. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Roll immediately in sifted icing sugar, then place on a rack (or brown paper) to cool.
For more Advent posts please visit Floss at Troc, Broc and Recup'.