Monday, December 22, 2008

A Weekend of Baking

The weekend was spent making lists, planning menus, grocery shopping, baking, and preparing for the big day.

We made Almontina Cookies--so pretty and pie-like. This was a lot of work for just over a dozen cookies. I think my cutter was a little too big though. If I can find a smaller one, it may be more worthwhile. I love the almond paste in it.

We made Pistachio Linzertorte with Cherry Jam from Paula Deen. I really like these, but they're also a lot of work. They break easily and are hard to give as gifts. I'm not sure the boys liked these as much as I do.

We also made classic sugar cookies and decorated them with white icing and colored sugar. Those are the boys' favorites. We just use an old recipe that my mom gave me and we used when I was growing up.

I made Christmas Crack. The recipe I use is slightly different than the one in that link. I use

35 saltines
1/2 C butter
3/4 C brown sugar
6 oz. chocolate chips
1/2 C chopped pecans

This is one of my absolute favorites and I attribute to giving me a bad cholesterol reading one year in early January (right after Christmas). It's called crack because you can't stop eating it. I'm already thinking about making a second batch....

We made Cake Balls, which were an absolute disaster! I've heard so much about these on BBC's Bargain Board--those ladies go crazy over them--but mine sucked. I think it was because I used Ghirardelli Baking Chocolate though. It just wouldn't melt right. I should have got that cheap baking bark. Mine turned out looking like shit balls. I really should get a pic to post. The combo I used was yellow cake with chocolate frosting dipped in semi-sweet and white chocolate. Everyone else liked the taste (they said the chocolate ones tasted like Ho-Hos), but I'm just not a huge cake person. I won't bother trying again to make something that was such a PITA and that I don't even like all that much anyway.

I made Glazed Nuts--a recipe from my MIL:

Place 1 lb. nuts (she uses walnuts, I use pecans) in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and pour 1/2 C sugar in and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes, stirring twice. Fry in oil and drain. I can never get these nuts to crisp up, so I stick them in the oven after (350 degrees until I like the consistency of them).

Last, I made Cheese Balls. This recipe makes 2 and they are spicy and sweet. They're best if you make them at least two days ahead of time. I usually don't add the cherries.

2-8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 small can diced jalapenos
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained well
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries (optional)
More chopped pecans (approximately 3/4 cup) for rolling the ball in

Beat the cream cheese until soft. Stir in the rest of the ingredients (minus the second batch of pecans for rolling). Divide into two balls and roll in the chopped pecans. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill.

Happy Holidays and Good Eating!

1 comment:

  1. OMG you were a baking FOOL!! I've resisted the crack until now. I think I have GOT to make it. Dammit.


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