Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Baking

We were supposed to have a snowstorm this weekend. We got the snow part, but missed the storm, which is fine by me. Of course, I grew up in Ohio, and what New Mexicans call a snowstorm, we call "Tuesday."

At any rate, I was happy to have a weekend in to get some holiday baking done. I always say I'm not going to do any, but I can't resist. It's funny how much less I get done each year, though...between C., my bull in a china shop, knocking bowls over; S., demanding a taste of every ingredient and final product; and L., who is perfectly content as long as you are holding him every single minute, things just take a tiny bit longer. We did manage a few goodies, though:

It won't rotate. Just tilt your head.
We started off with peanut butter Hershey Kiss cookies, so the kids could help with the kisses. C. made sure each of his went exactly in the center, while S. just picked a spot and smashed them in as hard as she could. I told them they could eat a kiss when they had finished their tray, so the entire process went: Unwrap kiss. Smash random cookie glob. "I eat candy?" "No, honey, you need to finish your tray first." Unwrap. Smash. "I eat chocolate?" "Not yet." And so on. I was so busy making sure she wasn't licking each one before smashing it in, I forgot to take a picture. So, we made another batch today. And I discovered my camera battery was dead. So, all you get is the finished product:

Next I decided to make Cinnamon Mocha Puffs, because we still had some instant coffee from M's brownies. They are supposed to be somewhat cakelike, and I thought they'd be good rolled in powdered sugar after baking.

No, those are not miniature cow patties. They actually taste pretty good. Once I got them scraped off the NON-STICK cookie sheets, though, there wasn't much I could roll in anything. That's okay, I'm thinking warmed up and served with ice cream...

This is the second batch, with double the flour. Much more roll-able. And probably still good with ice cream. I probably won't find out, though, because Daddy keeps eating them.

Next were plain old chocolate chip cookies. At which point I ran out of flour. And vanilla. So I started making no-bake peanut chocolate oatmeal clusters - and discovered I was out of oats. After I had already started mixing. So I used cereal instead.

Another one that looks like some animal's byproduct, but I promise they taste much better than that! Not that I would know. I mean, I do know that these taste good, I just don't know how they would actually compare with...

I'll stop there.

Okay, so, no oats, no vanilla, no brown sugar. Quick check of blogs: The Pioneer Woman to the rescue, with Cranberry and Pecan Cornbread (okay, she called them mini corn loaves, but I didn't have a mini loaf pan.) Yummy! Especially with the maple syrup butter. Some of those will make it into holiday baskets, but one already disappeared over breakfast.

Poor Daddy was at a conference in Albuquerque, and after a long drive home Saturday, was prevailed upon to stop and get baking staples. The first thing I made Sunday were Buckeyes. If you live in Ohio for any length of time, it is a state law that you must make Buckeyes over the holidays. If you move out of state, you can skip a year or two, but you don't want to push it, or you may not be allowed across state lines again to visit. I have been pushing it - I was appalled when I realized my family doesn't even know what those are!

They are pretty easy to make, but I started having issues when it came time to dunk them. I don't usually mind generic ingredients, but it seems Lowe's chocolate chips do not work well for dipping things. When I FINALLY got them to melt, and dunked the first ball in, the chocolate slid right off! Yuck. Fortunately, I still had a bag of Hersheys, and that melted fine. Sort of. I kept thinking I had it smooth, then I would dunk and get lumps. And if I didn't have lumps, the balls were falling off the toothpicks (yes, I froze them with the toothpicks in - they were just punishing me for my neglect.) So, they aren't pretty:

But, looks aren't everything. He looks lonely, doesn't he? There were more. Talk to M. about that.

Once that was done, everything else went well - Snickerdoodles, Rum Raisin Cookies, Inside Out Chocolate Chip Cookies. I meant to make more, but...there was snow!

And smiling babies. Could you look at that and NOT scoop it up to cuddle? Me neither. And the snow is still coming down, so - if I'm not at work tomorrow, it may be because of the snow. Or it may be because of the cookies. Or it may be because of the cuddling.

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