Tuesday, January 4, 2011
All I want for Christmas is My 20 doz Cookies
I've been gone a while. Let's just pretend that didn't happen.
I'm going to talk about my FAV holiday now, CHRISTMAS, and yes I know it's a bit late, cause it happened 2 weeks ago. I don't care. And since I'm participating in a blog once a day everyday for January I'll spread the post holiday love out over the next few days.
Today will be about COOKIES! cause who doesn't love cookies?
When I married DH I got all sorts of FUN traditions also, like the annual Christmas cookie bake. If we lived back home, we would all go to Grandma's house with at least 2 kinds of cookie dough pre made, and maybe the stuff we need for one other project, like chocolate pretzels, or what I like to call snow balls, or candied pecans, you get the idea. By "we" I mean, Grandma, Dh's mom, Me, Dh's Aunt, Dh's other Aunt and any other female relatives in town. We'd spend all day baking, and then lay the cookies out on the 2 tables in tins and the assemble trays to pass out to our perspective neighbors/coworkers/church goers/ friends/ whomever we wanted to give cookies to as a present.
I was thrilled to be included, in High School I invented a cookie. All my teachers asked me to make it when there was a class party, it was enjoyed by all my friends when they came over. I was a SHOE IN!
You should have seen my cookies for the first 4-5 years we were married. TERRIBLE things! I don't know why they had me join them, or put my "creations" on their trays. Not that they tasted bad, they were just more like "free form cakes" than cookies. And I was watched over too, recipes read to me, steps hovered over. NO ONE knew what I was doing wrong.
My early success in HS was an oatmeal based cookie, and these were all flour based travesties.
I'm glad there is no evidence of my early failures (or maybe there is, and please feel free to post with a linked pic if you have them ladies!)
I've always baked cookies for Christmas with my kids, but I cheated, stuck to oatmeal cookies or amped up store bought things. Slowly I got back into trying from scratch again. I'm not sure when the tide turned, or how. All I know is I'm now the cookie lady as well as the scone, soup, lasagna, steak, bread lady!
This year we had the Missionaries over to help with the baking, to "teach them" how to bake, but mostly to have fun. They are so far from their families and their own traditions that I thought it would be fun to have them over. We had 2 Japanese Sisters, 4 American Elders, and a Senior Married American Couple. Quite a full house with my family of 6! Some of them were taking pictures, and I'll ask them if it's all right to post them here on my blog when I see them on Sunday, for now you just get to see the finished product! We made 11 tins, and I had 3 Tupperware containers overflowing in the house (there are still a few cookies in the house).
When they all left I made Sugar cookies too, cause those are DH's fav, and somehow they didn't make it in the pic! LOL.
We made (from Top Left down, then from Top Right down) Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Chip, Monster Cookies. Peanut Butter balls (one dipped in chocolate and one not) Snow balls, Holiday Bliss, Snicker Doodles and Chocolate dipped Pretzels with sprinkles.
The Chocolate Mint recipe I just got from Food network (it uses chopped Andes mints) Same for the Snicker Doodles, the Chocolate Chip is DH's sisters recipe (don't know if I can give that out here?), the Pretzels are self explanatory.
Snow Balls: a jar of peanuts, a bag of chopped pecans, a bag of dried cranberries, stirred into 2 (or 3 I can't remember) bags of melted white chocolate chips. I melt my chocolate in the microwave, in bursts of 15 seconds, stirring in between, so as not to burn the chocolate (takes a couple minutes total). Drizzle with dark melted chocolate for contrast (and cause I had some left over from the pretzels).
Holiday Bliss: a double batch of sugar cookie dough, a bag of dried cranberries, a bag of dried apples (chopped), a Tbs of cinnamon. (I died them green for Christmas, but usually they're beige). scoop out and flatten, bake like you would a sugar cookie.
Monster Cookies (the cookie I invented in HS!): in a LARGE MIXER start with peanut butter cookie batter, add in oatmeal cookie batter (just follow basic recipes, but add whole eggs not egg whites or egg yolks, you'll need the extra moisture) add 1 bag chocolate chips, 1 bag toffee bits (or, and this is better, 1 box crushed peanut brittle), 1/2 bag shredded coconut. scoop bake 12 min, should be soft when removed and allowed to finish on hot pan out of oven.
well that's it! Tomorrow I'll talk about decorations, and after that I'll start clearing out all the random food pics I have on my hard drive! And I've had a request to talk about crazy Japanese candy. so looks like I"ll have a lot to talk about for a while!
OH!!! AAAANNNNDDD I get my MRI results for my stinking ankle in the morning so we'll finally know what's going on with that, so maybe I can start walking like a normal person? I'm not holding my breath tho!