Ahh, the Baking Blitz of ’06 is over. I have a few small catering orders to finish up over the next two weeks, but I got the bulk of the baking done today. I spent 6 hours in the kitchen today and managed to bang out Peanut Butter Fudge, Peanut Butter Cookies, Brown Sugar Walnut Shortbread, Almost Cherry Garcia Cookies, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Mocha Truffle Cookies, Cranberry Cinnamon Nut Bars and Chocolate Chai Cookies.
Without figuring out quantities ahead of time, I miraculously ended up with just the right amount of items to fill 11 cookie tins, two platters and 3 catering orders – it worked out perfectly. Somehow I managed to fall into a rhyhm. As one batch came out of the oven and cooled, I’d get the next one in. Once cooled, I put each batch in a big disposable holding tin to get it ready for cookie tin distribution later. I had a circle of three batches going at all times and managed to avoid big disasters in the kitchen. Well, kind of. I accidentally used confectioners sugar instead of flour in one batch of cookies; inadvertently reset the kitchen timer, forgetting I was already timing something; and lastly, ran upstairs to get something, knowing I had 10 minutes until something was ready to come out of the oven, got distracted and ruined it.
All the treats I made are tried-and-true recipes, with the exception of one, the Chocolate Chai Cookies. It was fun to go and choose cookies to make today, rediscovering some old favorites that I hadn’t made in awhile. I forgot how much I loved the Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies, and the Peanut Butter Fudge recipe is to-die-for (in fact, The Neighbor Husband got his own private stash to take home, he was so hooked). I have two small catering orders to fill this week, and I’ve already decided what I’m making for that. I think I’m going to go with some chocolate dipped cookies, but you’ll have to wait and see.
The Neighbors came over towards the end of the Baking Blitz, helping me make quickwork of the last few batches, and then we set up an assembly line to get everything packed up. We got Chinese food for dinner tonight, which was perfect – no way was I cooking after 6 hours of being on my feet standing in front of the oven all afternoon.
On that note, I’m off to crash. I’ll leave you with a few pups for this Weekend Dog Blogging. Until tomorrow…
A year ago today… Rachael Ray’s Top 10 Gift Ideas.
First up tonight is Sophie from You Gonna Eat All That?, enjoying some homemade dog treats:
Kahlil from Urban-Agrarian is back, giving some sweet kisses:
Saturn from Sugar Mountain Farm keeps the predators at bay:
Simba from Up a Creek Without a PatL gets his snooze on:
And last, but not least, our very own Eli hanging out on the porch with Nicholas and The Girlfriend tonight. I can’t remember a December where we had temperatures in the 60s during the day, and it’s still mild enough that the kids can hang out on the porch at night and play. Crazy, but I suppose it’s better than a raging snowstorm, although a white Christmas sure would be nice.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Sleuth
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter; add sugar gradually. Blend in salt, vanilla, & flour. If too soft, chill until firm. Scoop small pieces of dough, roll in hand to make a small ball, & place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. While still hot, roll cookies in powdered sugar. Move to a wire rack to cool.
Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge
1/2 cup butter
2-1/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over confectioners sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth; pour into an 8×8 inch dish lined with tinfoil and buttered. Chill until firm and cut into squares.