Friday, December 12, 2008

My Butt Is Getting Bigger As I Write This

Every year, my mom and I get together and bake. Neither of us need the calories, but we just have to do it. Its tradition. Typically, we spend one afternoon cranking out cookies, candy, and other assorted baked goods to give as gifts or take to work. The men usually stay far, far away as this is not a leisurely activity. It is a flurry of sugar and chocolate, a well-choreographed dance set to the holiday crooning of Perry Como and Bing Crosby.

Little Sister is finally old enough that she gets to help. Demands to help is more like it. Last year, she unwrapped about fifty chocolate kisses and iced a few unfortunate cookies. This year, she'll be determined to get at the stand mixer, not that it's a bad thing. She made a pecan pie for Thanksgiving with my mom only measuring out the ingredients for her. It was better than some pies I've seen grownups make. Once she figures out her teaspoons and fractions, she'll be unstoppable. Forget the Easy Bake oven, she's pulling up her step stool to the real stove. I'm envisioning her at a Cordon Bleu school eventually... (anal-retentive chef, anyone?) :)

This year, we're doing it Sunday morning. On our schedule we have: chocolate chip cookies (with and without nuts), oatmeal cranberry cookies, peanut butter cookies, hershey kiss thumbprint cookies and sugar cookies for LS to decorate. I might attempt to make those buttery cookies with my cookie press, but they never turn out quite right. For candy, we'll make various fudge, turtles, macaroons, oreo truffles, and peanutbutter buckeyes. Maybe even an ill-fated attempt at peanut brittle. As we get toward the end, we usually end up making other random things like peppermint bark, coconut haystacks or chocolate dipped pretzels to use up any leftover ingredients.

It should turn out to be a wonderfully fattening and fun day. Do you bake during the holidays? If so, share your favorite recipe. I'll all for switching up our plans if I come across something that sounds yummy!

Here's my recipe for Oreo Truffles to kick things off!

1 package of Oreo Cookies
1 square of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
1 block of white chocolate
1 block of dark or milk chocolate

Grind the whole package of Oreo cookies in a food processor or blender until it is powdery. Put Oreo "powder" in a bowl and add the cream cheese (it's easier to just mix with your hands). The mix should have the consistency of dough. Roll in small balls, put on cookie sheet and then put in the freezer for 30 minutes. Melt the whole block of white chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Dip each ball into the white chocolate and put on wax paper. Melt a portion of the dark or milk chocolate and use a fork to sprinkle the dark choc. over the truffles, let dry. I usually put mine in the refrigerator over night. You can mix and match the chocolate however you like or even reserve some of the oreo crumbs to sprinkle over the wet chocolate. Enjoy!


PS. Don't forget that author Anna Campbell will be blogging with us on Monday!

PPS. A note and winner from Juliet's blog yesterday! AND THE WINNER IS...
Diane Cosby! I put all the names of those who posted here today into a bowl and my daughter drew the winner's name out. Diane, if you could email me at and send me your snail mail address I'll send you a copy of Secrets Vol 26 BOUND BY PASSION. CONGRATS DIANE! And thank you to everyone who commented today. I really enjoyed speaking to you all!


Playground Monitor said...

The DH's absolute favorite is No Bake Chocolate-Oatmeal-Peanut Butter cookies. They are also called Haystacks. Here's the recipe:

2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
4 tbsp. cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
2 1/2 c. oatmeal
2 tsp. vanilla

Cook sugar, milk, butter and cocoa together for 1 1/2 minutes. After it boils, remove from heat and quickly add the remaining ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper. Let cool.

Then eat and eat and eat. Yum-oh!

Liza said...

I bake about 10 rum cakes over the holidays. I give them as gifts or bring them to parties. My friends and I are getting together on Sunday afternoon, so I will be making one rum cake on Sunday morning, two if I have time.

Problem Child said...

Oh, PM, those are some of my favorite cookies. My Mom used to make them all the time!

I doubt I'll get much baking done this year, but we'll survive. After all, the Wii Fit is heckling me enough over the size of my butt...

PM's Mother said...

The fist Christmas after I retired I decided to give home-baked cookies for Christmas. I selected several recipes from my files but then got carried away. I ended up baking 14 different kinds of cookies and then making hand-dipped chocolate covered cherries. Needless to say by the time I finished baking and packaging I was so exhausted that I was ready to cancel Christmas. I'll never do that again!

PM, if you use Chop Suey Noodles instead of oatmeal in your Haystacks it has a different taste and really does look like haystacks.

Sherry Werth said...

I love baking during the holidays. It's just where all of it settles (waistline) afterwards that scares me! I got this brownie recipe off of Cheryl St. John's site. It's Brenda Novak's Chocolate Caramel Brownies, Cheryl has some great recipes listed on her site. I go there often. :D

Chocolate Caramel Brownies

50 carmels
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 german chocolate cake mix
2/3 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Melt caramels with 1/3 cup evaporated milk.
Mix german chocolate cake mix with 1/3 cup evaporated milk, 2/3 cup melted butter and 1 cup chopped walnuts.
Smooth 1/2 of the batter into a 9x13 pan.
Cook at 350 degrees in a preheated oven for 6 minutes.
Take out of oven and sprinkle with 3/4 cup of chocolate chips, then add the melted caramel.
Pat the remaining dough on top and cook for 18 minutes longer.
Cool and enjoy!

Christine said...

I will have to try the oreo truffles... we also bake/make stuff here to give away. On the list:

Reindeer Food
chocolate sambucca cookies
chocolate dipped and decorated pretzel rods
an assortment of sweet and savory nuts--my favorite is the praline-pecans with craisins

My daughter tries to help whenever she is free of all her activities. This year I feel like we're doing everything late.

But we'll get it done.

Angel said...

Oh, Christine, I want the prailine pecan recipe!!!

We always do lots of baking the day before Christmas eve at my husband's grandmother's house. We have a whole family party there Christmas eve, so we prepare all kinds of goodies and finger foods. This year I may have to miss part of it, as my Dad is coming into town. Sigh... I'll live. My Dad is bringing homemade divinity. :)


Instigator said...

We started a tradition last year of the women in the family getting together to bake. We each took 1 or 2 things we were in charge of making and then all shared. Several of us in the kitchen trying to bake at the same time was interesting. I don't think we're going to get to do it this year though - we can't fit it into everyone's schedule.

And unfortunately, I'm at work and don't have access to any of my recipes. I'll try and post one later.


Lynn Raye Harris said...

I'm not much of a baker. Not that I can't do it or haven't done it, but I figure my butt doesn't need the distraction of home-baked cookies. :) The recipes sound marvelous, but I won't try any of them. Good thing for my waistline and such...

Smarty Pants said...

I keep all my recipes on my flash drive, so I can add to them easily. Here's another good one I got from a coworker. They're super easy and addictive.

White Chocolate Crunchies
24 oz White Almond Bark
1/2 c Peanut Butter
1 1/4 c Miniature Marshmallows
1 1/4 c Dry Roasted Peanuts
1 1/4 c Rice Crispies

Melt Almond Bark and mix all ingredients together and drop by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Refrigerate until set. Store in air tight container.

Virginia said...

I am doing some baking for Christmas. I use to make a lot of candy but am trying to back off from that because I have gained so much weight already this year. It is true what they say about the older you get the more weight you pack on.

Kathy said...

I do a lot of baking over the holidays and hand out platters of assorted goodies to my neighbors. My mom is coming to stay with us for Christmas. This will only be the second time she's ever been with us over the holidays and I'm looking forward to it. She's an accomplished chef and little does she know that I'm going to crack the whip and get her to help me this year. Huahuahuahua!

I'm looking forward sharing this wonderful time with my mom too, Andrea.

I usually make fudge, chocolate crinkles, chocolate covered pretzels, gingerbread cookies, Hershey's Kiss cookies, sugar cookies, and the list goes on. Those are my staples, but I try to switch the other goodies I make up every year. Mom will surely make her delicious Ginger cookies.

Ah! Christmas cookies and fudge. Could life get any better? Or my butt any bigger?

word verif: pured
Sounds like something you did to the Oreo cookies.

Angel said...

What, Kathy? No chocolate chip cookies? Those of us in the know, know Kathy makes the best chocolate chip homemade cookies!!!


Kathy said...

Ah, Angel! You've got me blushing. Yeah, I usually make some kind of chocolate chip concoction too. Just made a chocolate chip pan cookie yesterday. It's half gone already. LOL! ;)

Guess I know what you'd like for Christmas. (wink)

Cheri2628 said...

I think I gained 5 lbs. just looking at the picture of the Oreo Truffles! ;-)

Christine said...

Angel: Here is the Praline Pecan Recipe.

(I double it so it uses one of the big bags of pecans from Costco)

3.5 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp bakng soda
2 cups dried craisins or cherries

Preheat oven to 250. Grease 13x9 in baking pan. Cover large sheet with heavy duty foil and set asid.

spread pecans in single layer on greased baking pan

combine sugar, corn syrup and butter in small mixing bowl, micorwave on high 1 min. till boiling rapidly. stir in vanilla and baking soda till well blended. drizzle over pecans till evenly coated.

bake 30 min stirring every ten with wooden spoon. transfer to foil covered cookie sheet and spread equally with greased spatula.

cool, break pecans apart into a bowl, combine with craisins. Divide into decorator tins or bags and give or keep for yourself.

I am making tons of these--everyone loves them. I put them into those cellophane bags and tie with raffia.

Hope you like them. BTW, I have the oreo recipe stuff and am making those today as well.

Angel said...

Ooohh, thanks so much, Christine!!! Those sound awesome.


Christine said...

I made the oreo truffles. They are delicious. My daughter and I claim them for ourselves!

Still baking and still thinking I can write this week -- at least one hour a day. But really just want to bake and eat.