Kate and I decided to take on Christmas in October with a Christmas cookie workshop at Southern Exposure -- on what might have been the most glorious day of the season!
Follow us down the road, through a tunnel of trees forming a graceful canopy over us! Oh, so beautiful!
Wide fields, plowed for the season, spread out on either side of the road.
Golden trees stood as sentries.
The garden at Southern Exposure is showing its season. Blooms are more faded, leaves changing, petals dropping. Yet it was oh, so beautiful, even in the quiet time.
I'll spare a few of the many photos I took -- after all, many looked similar to ones before!
Soon it was time to enter the milking parlor for our lunch. Angie fixed us a wonderful cider cocktail with salted caramel vodka and a pineapple sage sprig for garnish.
The milking parlor looked beautiful -- I loved the swag on the metal frame that hung on the wall by our table.
Our workshop was set at four stations. Our first visit was to the Corn Crib, petals greeting us at the door. While we were there, Angie shared tiny confetti shortbread bites and a yummy hot chocolate mix. I may be passing some of this onto friends at the holidays! After that we moved into the Corn Crib's kitchen where Elizabeth had us frosting a chocolate cookie (they kept breaking!) and we did a powdered sugar stencil on a sugar cookie.
Then we went to the Hog House. It was beautifully decorated for the season.
I really loved this arrangement.
Jennifer offered us two cookies, including a delicious maple cookie. I'll be making this one!
Finally we ended up in the big tent, where Micah shared two cookies too, including a rather lovely white chocolate chip!
After, Kate and I took a few more photos. I'll be back twice, but for evening workshops and shooting in the dark doesn't always work so well for me!
I wanted to savor every last bloom...
...and every last butterfly!
Almost time to get in the car and head home.
No, not that one!
I would be remiss if I didn't share a bit of what we did or learned at the workshop. Basically, I didn't learn a whole lot more than I knew before -- I've made a lot of cookies in my time, and most of my recipes I like better! (They're a little more diverse.) Apart from frosting a cookie and doing the powdered sugar stencil, there was no hands-on, which would have been fun, though possibly difficult with 60 people, even broken up into groups. But that said, we both agreed it was one of the most fun workshops we'd done and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I did pick up a few things worth passing on.
- Check the chip aisle in the store. There are more variations and some even mix dark and white chocolate or chocolate and peanut butter.
- A sea salt sprinkle on top of a cookie adds another dimension of flavor (before the oven or after if dipped.)
- When making a rolled cookie, roll the dough in turbinado sugar (or colored sugar) to give them a sweet and sparkling edge when baked.
- If partially dipping cookies in melted chocolate, thin the chocolate a bit with a splash of Baileys or heavy cream.
- For shortbread or sugar cookies, add sprinkles to raw dough and mix together before baking for a confetti look.
- Try mini M&Ms when decorating frosted Christmas tree cookies.
Oh, I hate the idea that our workshop season is coming to an end!
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