I am thrilled to unveil a new feature, brought to you courtesy of Christine: Pink Carnation Treats!

Lovingly tested in Christine’s kitchen, we have the first of a series of Pink Carnation-themed cooking adventures.

This month? We’re going to pretend it’s still the holiday season with a little bit of peppermint and a lot of tasty good cheer.

And now over to Christine….

The holidays always make me think of snowy days, warm drinks in front of cozy fires… and lots and lots of baking. What’s better than curling up with a good cookie and a good book on a cold day? Or perhaps a good book… and a treat based on the book? To celebrate this holiday season, we’re kicking off a series of Pink Carnation inspired treats, starting with our favorite red-haired heroine, Eloise.

The Orchid Affair brought us the lovely fact that Eloise loves marzipan pigs, but did you know that in Saratoga Springs, NY, they celebrate Christmas with the Peppermint Pig? You can read all about the tradition that started in the 1880s here. As a nod to the marzipan pig, peppermints galore that the holidays bring, and Eloise’s famous red hair, we bring you Peppermint Marzipan Bites, pig-shape optional.

(recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s Marzipan Cookie recipe)

Ingredients:
1 cup softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 to 1 teaspoon peppermint flavoring
red food coloring

Directions:
1. Mix butter and sugar together.
2. Add flour, almond extract and peppermint flavoring until entire mixture looks like coarse crumbles.
3. Add as much (or little) food coloring as you wish.
4. Shape cookies as desired – pigs, parasols, whatever your heart desires.
5. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
6. Bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes or until set but not brown.
7. Cool on a wire rack.

It’s a pretty simple recipe and, while it may not be the most accurate in terms of marzipan-ness, ends up pretty tasty.

I attempted to make a pig and it turned out pretty cute, until it tipped over in the oven and became not picture-worthy. Oh well. It was still delicious. Experiment a little, maybe sprinkle some crushed up peppermint pieces on top. Enjoy!

Thanks, Christine! Now off to get some peppermint flavoring so I can give these a try….

3 Comments

  1. Céline on January 9, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Ooooh, that’s going to be a favourite feature! I love cookies, and cooking!
    That’s a wonderful idea!

  2. Sheila on January 9, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I am not much of a cook, but I love marzipan and it is not easy to find here. I’ll let you know how it comes out when I try it. Thanks!

  3. jeffrey on January 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Marzipan? Why the recipe is simply shortbread with a couple of special ingredients! (almond extract & peppermint flavoring) Cooking is one of my hobbies and I make these every Christmas:
    Brown sugar shortbread
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups flour
    1 cup butter (2 sticks)
    Cream brown sugar with softened butter until creamy and gradually add flour. Knead gently, roll out to a thickness of just under 1/4″. Cut into your shapes of choice (piggies?) Bake in the top shelf of a 325 degree oven for approx 20-25 minutes. Success demands technique and paying attention to the baking process. Remove when bottom edges begin to turn light brown. Cool on wire rack and enjoy with hot tea, coffee, or milk. Great idea! Somebody please stop me because I love to cook, eat, and discuss all kinds of food.

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