Message From Jane 

Happiest of Holidays from all of US!

Planning for the  holidays this year reminds me of that adage—“the best laid plans oft gang aglee”.  They really” jumped” on me despite  really working on getting a head start—ordering my cards ahead of time.  Working on my Christmas card mailing list to update right after last Christmas—with the list to be lost with the break down of my former computer.

But, oh well—onward and upward.   I think it is most worthwhile to count the blessings we have and plan wonderful times together to create golden memories for the future.

The holidays spell home  for me.  I went to Hawaii once for the holidays when my daughter was still a teenager.  It was very nice, but not quite the same as the decorated tree, the fun of making cookies and all the goodies of Christmas at home.

I love the holidays and have already decorated the tree and the house, so it is on to baking and getting presents ready to go.  With the economy the way that it is, I am thinking seriously of sending a selection of homemade candies, primarily fudge, made different ways.  It is so durable and does not crumble, break  or get stale if tightly packaged in airtight packaging.  Here’s my favorite recipe, which I have shared before.  But, have you ever tried it with different kinds of chocolate—from white to Bittersweet?  You can add nuts, caribe chile, powdererd green chile, dried or candied fruits or coconut.  You see you can really make a yummy assortment of fudge for enjoying as well as giving.

Our traditional cookie we make for decorating is a gingerbread cookie, rather than sugar cookies.  They are not quite as sweet and flavor-wise really take to the butter cream frosting very well.  My favorite recipe came from Jann Johnson’s Sweet Dreams of Gingerbread book published by the Sedgewood Press.  We even used this recipe when we were invited to make cookies depicting New Mexico for the White House Christmas tree one year.  To make cookies to hang on the tree, use a paper drinking straw cut into ½ inch pieces and pierce into the dough close to the top or where you want to hang the ornament from.  Leave the straw in the dough while baking, removing as the cookies cool.

I hope each and everyone of you enjoys your holiday celebrations and I look forward to seeing, cooking, touring  and hearing from you.  Catch my blog on the homepage of our website at

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Jane Butel Cooking School • Pecos Valley Spice Co. • Corrales, NM 87048  • Office: 505-243-2622  • | Jane Butel Home Page

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