Candy Cane and Cookie Forest Christmas Cake

Candy Cane and Cookie Forest Christmas Cake
If you have not seen Elf, then I hope you will immediately stop everything you're doing and watch it.  It's one of my favorite Christmas movies, and for this year's Christmas cake, I was inspired by the candy cane forest he travels through to find his dad in the city.  In addition to the candy canes, I also dipped Oreos in white chocolate and sprinkled them with red, green and white sugar to create a whimsical little forest of candy canes and cookies on top of my cake.

The cake itself was an eggnog cake, moist and fragrant, and frosted with eggnog buttercream which I tinted a pale pink... 

Peppermint Bark Pops

Peppermint Bark Pops
How beautiful are these little peppermint bark pops?  Shaped like an old-fashioned sucker, you might even call them Christmas lollypops.  As time (and baby napping) allows, I've been baking and freezing little treats for Christmas.

We have an assortment of cookies that I've packaged up into pretty polka-dot boxes for a few neighbors, including shortbread cutout cookies with almond-flavored royal icing (the shortbread being my favorite), spice bars with cream cheese frosting, salted caramel-stuffed chocolate chip cookies, and brown butter ginger molasses raisin cookies.

We also have white chocolate dipped Oreos, soft vanilla bean salted caramels, jars of dark and spicy apple butter, and lots of nuts in their shells for snacking.  And for Christmas Day, there will be eggnog cake with bourbon vanilla buttercream and chocolate cream pie...

Christmas Tree Napkins

Today, I have a fun and easy little project for you to dress up your holiday table - napkins folded into Christmas trees.  I picked up these plaid cotton napkins at World Market yesterday, but you can stick with solid green napkins for your trees, or play around with the color and pattern...

Christmas Baby

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.  I love the lights and sparkle, the glittery decorations, the cookies, the romance in the air, eggnog, cozy nights at home with Hallmark movies and popcorn, Christmas music, pretty wrapped packages, warm crackling fires, family time, baking, snow... I love it all.  This is my baby's first Christmas, and even though he won't remember it, I want to make everything so special.

Phoenix and I spend a lot of cozy hours together while my husband is at work, much of that being my trying to get him to sleep for his naps and keep him sleeping.  He's been a good sleeper at night, but naps are a different story.  So I set myself up with my laptop, phone, books, hot tea and water, and settle in to snuggle with him while he sleeps...