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Christmas (and Hannukah and Kwaanza)(and many other holidays) are upon us. This is a time to reflect on our beliefs and our faiths, on what we're thankful for and all of the magic that accompanies this season. It's also a time to consume Christmas baking, in copious amounts.

I married into a family that takes Christmas baking SERIOUSLY and am married to a man who has a serious sweet tooth. This means that I get to try new 'sweet' recipes on him and do not need to fear that they will go to waste. It also means that we have a few favourites around here that I am asked to make every year. I'd love to share our top two recipes with you. These are treats that we serve and that we box up and give to neighbours and friends on Christmas Eve.

Whipped Shortbread

3 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup icing sugar
1 pound butter


Whip the butter.

Add the rest.

Whip it for a long time. You will need a KitchenAid or other stand mixer. If you use a hand mixer, I apologize. I used to make them with a hand mixer and had to stop every few minutes and shake out my hand.

You will need to whip it for AT LEAST five minutes, or even ten.

Whip it, whip it good.

Every few minutes, push down the sides so everything gets the beating it deserves. When you are done with the whipping, it should look like this:

Bake it at 325 F for 20 minutes.

When they are done, they should look like this:

I'm not usually a shortbread fan, but these taste heavenly.

Shortbread Caramel Squares

1/2 cup plus 2 T butter 
1/4 cup sugar 
1 1/4 cup flour

Cream together, press into 8 inch pan, and bake at 350 degrees farenheit for about 20 min or until golden. Let cool a bit.

1/2 cup butter 
2 T corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1/2 cup sweet and condensed milk

Mix in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 min, stirring constantly.
Pour over top the shortbread. Let cool before putting topping on.
Topping – melt 2/3 cup chocolate chips, and spread on top.

Merry Christmas!