Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the house,...creatures are in a flurry of activity.

My baking partner-in-crime, Leanne, and I got together this week for our annual Christmas baking day. What fun to get caught up with mixers whirring and baking sheets sliding in and out of the oven.

This year we made Hazelnut Biscotti with Chocolate Drizzle

Along with Cranberry Oat Bars

and Spicy Ginger Orange Cookies.

In previous years, we’ve made dozens of  Cranberry, Pistachio and Orange Biscotti. They’re perfect for gifting.

Or breakfast. 🙂

During the lockdown, Leanne and I baked together virtually on Zoom to make our respective Festive Chocolate Orange Cakes. 

In the spirit of full disclosure, during this year’s baking extravaganza, the elves completely flopped out on the Toffee topped with Chocolate with Pecans. The sugar and butter split weirdly, leaving a large lump of scalding hot sugar-sponge-toffee submerged in a pool of melted butter—what a mess. (I think I heated the butter and sugar too quickly, and they didn’t blend sufficiently. We have a new stovetop with a super-efficient large burner, and I’m not entirely used to it yet.)  Well, I’ve got a bowl of chopped dark chocolate sitting on the counter, awaiting another attempt. All is not lost—just a couple of pounds of butter and several cups of sugar. Grrrr… Plus a very messy pot to clean up. Double grrrr.

Right now, it’s time for a cup of tea from Maryland China’s Snowman teapot. Who can resist that little face?

I purchased the set years ago and have been dying to use it. The three pieces include a darling little creamer and sugar, too.

Won’t you join us? I can easily fetch another mug!

Cupcakes, anyone? Go ahead – they’re tiny.

Just a mouthful of a moist vanilla cupcake topped with a smidge of icing and some chocolate M&Ms. Oh – and cupcake toppers by Meri-Meri.