Baking cookies and gleeful hearts; this is how the HOLIDAY starts! Tis the season to be jolly!


Frank Sinatra’s ‘Christmas Memories’

Singing carols, stringing popcorn
Making footprints in the snow
Memories, Christmas memories
They’re the sweetest ones I know
Cookies baking in the kitchen
Cards and ribbons everywhere
Frosty, Christmas memories
Float like snowflakes in the air
And oh, the joy of waking Christmas mornings
The family round the tree
We had a way of making Christmas morning
As merry as can be
I close my eyes and see shining faces
Of all the children who now have children of their own
Funny, but comes December
And I remember every Christmas I’ve known.

The holiday season for me is synonymous with baking, food and family.    It is a time to spend with family and friends. This year, we are running late. I have been busy with work and study. We still have not put up our tree. Very soon, I will be baking my Christmas fruit cake; the fruits have been soaking in port wine for over a month and making my jalapeno jelly.

Today, I baked chocolate walnut bars. Of course, they will not last for long, surely not till Christmas. But the season has begun.  Listening to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Christmas Memories’ while baking.

Chocolate Walnut Bars

(From ‘The great cookie book’ by Hilaire Walden)


1/2 cup walnuts, or any nuts

1/3 sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 tbsps butter

For the topping

2 tbsp butter

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

a pinch of salt2 eggs

icing sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 180° C. Grease the sides of an 8-inch pan.

Grind nuts with a few tbsp sugar. Mix with flour and cold butter. Rub the flour-butter mixture with your fingers till they resemble coarse crumbs.

Turn it into a prepared pan and press to form a layer

Bake for 25 minutes

Meanwhile, to make the topping, melt butter with water in a saucepan over low heat. Beat in cocoa and sugar.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Beat in eggs and blend well. (Do not add before 5 minutes as egg will scramble).

Pour the topping evenly over te crust when it is cooked.

Return to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until set.

Cool and cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar.

Store in the refrigerator.



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