Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Baking

One of my favorite things to do over the holidays is to create some yummy treats in my kitchen that I remember from my childhood!  Usually I can round up lots of willing helpers, but this year, my helpers were scattered around at or with other various activities.
Honestly, it was kinda nice having the kitchen all to myself and being able to move through each project with out a ton of mess.  No bikering, no crowding, no spills, and lots of Christmas music.
Very relaxing, very little stress!

Because we were so busy preparing for and participating in several different programs and events,
I wasn't able to start baking until everything was over.
So, on the scond day of Christmas break I pulled out all my recipes, ingredients, and baking pans and got busy!!

These yummies elicit memories of Christmas time so long ago in an ancient, brick farmhouse
in Northwest Ohio.
Mocha Nut Butterballs are a cousin to the Mexican Wedding Cookie/Snowball cookie,
but have cocoa and coffee in the dough.  They bake up light and tender and then are rolled
in confectioner's sugar.
You can find the recipe here.

These Sour Cream Cutout cookies didn't turn out quite like I had envisioned.
It had been years since I have made a cut-out cookie, and it may just be another several years until
I do so again.  This project made me feel like a rookie in the kitchen.
The flavor is wonderful and just how I remember, but they popped up so very thick.
Think biscuit.
I put too much liquid in the frosting so it wasn't as thick as I was envisioning,
but it did dry and set-up nicely so these were stackable after decorating.
I loved them, but my family hardly touched them?

Find this recipe here.

My intent was to make a TON of goodies and then share them with our precious neighbors
who have been such a blessing to us this year.  So as I finished up the baking of each cookie,
I found containers to package them up in.  Here you can see the final cookie I made on baking day.
These Chocolate Mint Drops are another favorite from my childhood that I looked forward too every Christmas as a little girl.  
They have a subtle chocolate peppermint flavor that comes from crushing up candy canes.
A chocolate glaze is drizzled over top to pump up the chocolate goodness of these gems!!

Mom's Chocolate Mint Drops
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup crushed candy canes
2 eggs
6 T. cocoa plus 2 T. shortening, or,
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares, melted
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla 
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup oats

Chocolate glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 T. cocoa
3 T. milk

Cream shortening and sugar.  Stir in candy.  Add eggs.  Blend in chocolate, milk and vanilla.  Stir in other ingredients with oats last.  Chill for 1 hour.  Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet.  
Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cool and drizzle with chocolate glaze.

I also made three batches of Puppy Chow and bagged those up to give away as well.
You can never make enough of this addictive treat.
I rarely make it outside of the holiday season because it is so delicious, and so easy 
to consume an entire batch in one sitting!!
If you don't already have that recipe, you can find it here.

We love to make treats and give them as gifts every year.
You can see what we've done other years by clicking here.

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