Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Baking

First off, I am soooooo glad that quilting requires no cooking experience! I know lots of quilters are also good cooks. I am not one of those quilters. At Christmas I always feel inclined to try baking.

This year I tried:

Caramels. First batch (licorice caramels) were a little too hard, good flavor though. It gets extra points for taking out my daughters loose tooth. Second batch (the sweetened condensed milk and cream type) were -- you guessed it -- too soft. They also had good flavor so I wrapped them in parchment paper so they wouldn't stick to the wrapper. Third batch (the evaporated milk and cream type) did turn out just about right, but by now I was done wrapping (and the first batch just got cracked not wrapped) so they just got cut. Why did I keep trying? Because if the three bears could get it right on the third try, then so could I!

Rice Crispy Treats. These have become a standby because I have figured them out now. Before you laugh too much, I make them with half regular Rice Crispies, half Cocoa Pebbles, and some M&Ms so they are pretty good.

Cake Balls. My youngest sister tries to keep me up to speed on what is "cool." She told me about cake balls. In my Christmas zeal, I decided to give them a try. They turned out to be a hit. I never have a "hit" in cooking so I was very excited. I got the recipe from Bakerella. Here is a picture from her website:

Mine didn't look too much like that. Mine were mostly round, but they were edible and that's the main part. Also I could only find a lemon cake mix and since I made these at the last minute, that's what I went with. So I used a lemon cake mix, cream cheese frosting, and half were covered in white almond bark and the other half with melted Hershey's milk chocolate chips. (I only recently discovered the secret to working with dipping chocolates is using 50% power on my microwave.)

If I can make them, you can make them. AND they are really good so people actually think you can cook. Bakerella had some good tips on her website that helped a lot. I may even try them again this week because I only got to eat a couple of them, and now they sound really good. I bought a chocolate cake mix this time because it's hard to go wrong with chocolate.

Good luck! I hope your Holiday baking was as successful as mine! Merry Christmas!

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