Monday, December 29, 2008

Just a reminder.....

The best time to stock up on candy for baking is right after xmas, Valentines Day, Easter and Halloween. This year, I made M and M cookies with a bag of red and green M and M's I bought last year. They were a very popular cookie with the children. The major candy holidays are also the only time you can get real chocolate in your butterfingers( Jinglers). Butterfingers are usually made with Mockolate!! Those Ghiradllie squares are perfect for melting( ie: to make hot fudge) or chopping up for cookies. Most of the Targets have the candy for 50% off now. In a few days, it will all be 75% off.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday Baking part 2.....

Wow, this has been a crazy holiday baking scene for me. Just as I did last year, I offered my holiday baking for sale. The picture about shows a mixed tray of cookies and squares. This year I made Jacque Torres Choc. chip cookie, M and M cookies, white choc. macadamia, pistachio cranberry, world peace cookies, kitchen sink cookies, ginger cookies( w/ cinnamon chips)and Anna's famous criss cross PB cookies. For the bar cookies I did.... Symphony brownies, peppermint patty brownies, coffee toffee blondies, apricot coconut sqaures, hello dollies and white. choc. cranberry blondies.

I was baking so much that I woke up last Sunday with a swollen right hand. Because of that, Robin baked these 3 pumpkin roulades for me. I think she did an excellent job.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Baking.......

For the last 2 weeks,I've been knee deep in Holiday Baking. I decided once again to sell my baking and I was inundated with orders.

Yesterday, Robin and I made 2 items to give away as gifts. First up, we made a huge batch of caramel popcorn. I tested this recipe a couple weeks ago with microwave popcorn and it was good. I thought however, that it would be cheaper to make if we bought raw popcorn and popped it ourselves. Robin popped two kinds ( white and yellow) and we decided we liked the white better. I got the recipe for caramel popcorn over at Egullet. Jaymes has a recipe over on the thread that everyone is using and raving about. Its a pretty simple recipe using butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, mollases, vanilla and baking soda. We added pecans, peanuts and almonds.

In this area, bits and bites are another popular holidaym item. Most people use a Canadian cereal called Shreddies. I like to shake things up and be different( plus I had a 1 dollar off coupon for crispix cereal that I bought in MI). I also added cherrios, almonds and another item not sold in Ontario, Oyster crackers. This was mixed with melted butter and a large amount of Penzey's Rocky Mountain Dip Mix. I added more parmesean, worsteshire, a squirt of lemon juice, garlic powder, smoked salt, more sesame and poppy seeds. This whole mess was baked for a good hour( tossing a few times) at 250F. When it cooled down, we added Rold Gold Pretzel sticks, cheetos and 2 bags of bbq kettle cooked peanuts( bought at Big Lots for 1.00 each). This blend is absolutely addicting!!

Next up, tons of cookies.......

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!!

Today I made my own birthday cake. I've heard more than a few friends proclaim their surprise because I made my own cake. I only have one friend in Ontario that cooks/bakes and she lives over an hour away. If I saw her, I'm sure she would have baked for me( Hi Christine). But, since we had no plans I made my own cake. OMG and what a cake it was. This coconut cake recipe was given to me months ago by my friend Brooks Hamakaer aka Mayhaw Man( on Egullet). Brooks was featured in the November issue of Southern Living with this crack cake!!

I'm a HUGE lover of coconut anything. My 40th birthday cake was also a coconut cake bought at We Take The Cake in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I have to say though, that this cake topped that cake anyday. It wasnt hard to make, but it was ohhhhh soooo fattening. The cake contains a pound of butter, 2 1/4 c. of heavy cream, one pound of cream cheese and 5 eggs. Oy, not an everyday cake mind you, but you dont turn 42 every day.

Tomorrow I head to Burlington to visit the Chocolate doctor. We're going to make buttercrunch( aka English Toffee). Later on in the afternoon, I'm heading to Western NY to visit my friend Stephanie for a few days. Stephanie and I met in college( in California) and I'm so glad she is only 3hrs away. I'm also glad that Stephanie can cook!!