Thursday, November 10, 2011

Heath Bar Cookies & the start of THE season


It's beginning to feel like the holiday season around the Heartfelt Home these days.  Now that Halloween is over I'm starting to get into the spirit of my two most favorite months of the year - November & December.  So much to do and yet through all the chaos and craziness, I still love it as much now as I did when I was little (minus the bills : - )



This past Saturday Hubbie and I started our Christmas shopping.  We had an agenda, we had lists, and we had coffee! I can't say we are near done, but it was enough to get things underway.  What has been bought will be wrapped and placed in a closet for safe keeping and I hope to be adding to that closet weekly.  The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas passes so quickly, I don't want to miss any of the good stuff because I'm stressing about shopping and wrapping.  When the time comes for the family to snuggle up on the couch with hot cocoa and watch Judy Garland in Meet Me in Saint Louis, I want to be at peace with the Mall.


It was surprising to me to see that most of the stores have already started their holiday decorating.  Fully decorated trees were on display as Jingle Bell Rock played in the background.  While humming along I thought to myself, I guess it's time.  Am I early or am I late?




I popped into one of our local gourmet markets and I was overjoyed with the selections of gourmet cheeses, imported chocolates,  and all of the other wonderful goodies that you only see during the holidays.  I made a mental note to go back and get some beautiful figs and cheese they had on display for a special dinner we will be having in December.  The florists are bulking up too.  The last of the mum plants are being replaced with mini fur trees and poinsettias.  I could see people starting to hustle and bustle. And I must admit - there was a spring in my step and a hustle in my bustle



Last night I sat down with my calendar and noted all of the important things that I want to get done over the next few weeks.  I made a list of recipes and decorating ideas I want to share with you on this blog, including my stuffed mushroom appetizer recipe (which I'm making for Thanksgiving), and my gingerbread house. You are going to love it : )



Next weekend my mom and I are going on our annual "girls only Christmas shopping/craft fair weekend".  It's a road trip that we've been doing for many years now (so many I've lost count!).  We'll shop our way up to Deerfield, MA and visit the Yankee Candle Co.  If you nave never been there please check out their flagship store on the website - www.yankeecandle.com  It's so much more than candles.  It's a Christmas wonderland!




We'll stay overnight and the next morning we'll attend the Old Deerfield Country Christmas Sampler Craft Fair.  It's the biggest one we've been too with over 300 vendors from all over the country.  This place is an explosion of creativity and craftsmanship.  I can't wait to soak it all in.  We'll taste our samples of gingerbread coffee and apple crisp while we browse hand painted wood items, dried florals, blown glass, and barrels of fresh pine potpourri from Vermont - and that's the beginning.  Check it out at  www.deerfield-craft.org

Afterwards, the car will be loaded with bags and packages ready for wrapping.  We'll drink tea in the hotel and have a snack of fudge along the way.  It's our one girl's weekend that we look forward to all year.  Let's hope the boys will be okay without me!





Since we are in holiday mode now {i.e. cookie season}, I thought I would leave you today with a new cookie recipe.  This one is made with Heath Bar Toffee bits and is soooo good!  Not just during the holidays, but anytime you feel its a "cookie kind of day".  Which could possibly be everyday, right?

Here's what you need:





2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup Heath Bar Toffee Bits (the chocolate covered ones)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.




In large mixing bowl beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, and vanilla.




Blend in flour mixture a little at a time until completely combined.  Stir in Heath Bar bits, chocolate chips, and walnuts.




Chill dough for at least 30 minutes. 





On a side note: I actually like to chill this dough overnight.  Make it before you go to bed, and then in the morning while you are having coffee bake the cookies.  Your early morning, cold kitchen will be filled with the warm, sweet scent of chocolate toffee....Mmmmmm. What better way to start the day?


Anyway...


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spoon 1 inch size balls onto a greased cookie sheet.  Arrange dough balls about 3 inches apart (these cookies spread).




Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for a few moments, and then transfer to a wire rack for cooling.




I hope I have not bored you with all this holiday talk so soon.  Growing up the holidays were always so special to me.  My parents worked very hard to make sure all of us were happy and had very special holidays no matter what was going on in the "grown up" world.  Now that I'm a grown up myself I understand what they went through.  Parents will do anything to see smiles on their children's faces.  I want to see that wonder and excitement in my son's eyes. I want him to be able to look back on the holidays with only love, as I do.  That's what it's all about.  The adults will enjoy the gourmet cheeses and after dinner cordials, but the kids will feel the butterflies.  The same butterflies I felt on Christmas eve knowing what was to come.  It's something you can't describe and once it's gone it never comes back so we have to hold on to is as long as possible. 




It's not always easy, but we do the best we can.  Why?  Because that's all we can do. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you'll be back soon. 

Enjoy the cookies!  Mine are all gone.... xo



2 comments:

  1. Hi Danielle, you are just like me!!! I also started my christmas shopping last Saturday:) I also think December is such a special month so I don't want to be stressing around. That's why I also take a little blog break from today so I can concentrate on preparations. I also give away photobooks and it takes much time! I hope you have a wonderful time and see you again in December!

    Kristin xoxox

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