Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Baking

I did a lot of baking this Christmas season. As I mentioned I went to a cookie exchange earlier in the month. Basically all of the participants had to bring half a dozen treats and exchange them and then bring an appetizer to share. For my treat I ended up doing mini loaves of chocolate toffee bread - I found a great recipe at Crazy Little Projects that I used. Rather than slicing it and then packaging it, I just decided to give away whole loaves.

For my appetizer I decided to go with a Brie cup. I was inspired by a recipe on Recipe Girl's site but decided to shake it up. I took phyllo cups (in the frozen section at the grocery store) and added a little bit of raspberry jam to the bottom of each cup. Then I added a piece of Brie on the top. I baked them at 375 for about five minutes. As soon as they came out of the oven I topped them with chopped walnuts. They were so delicious but bad blogger that I am, I forgot to take a picture of them.

In addition to the cookie exchange I did my usual Christmas baking. I made peanut butter balls as I usually do but the rest of my baking was very mint-centric. I had fun with the seasonal m&ms and Hershey kisses! For one of my goodies I took a chocolate cookie recipe I've used in the past and added 1/4 teaspoon of mint extract and then mixed in mint m&ms. These were probably my favorites.

Next up were brownie bites with candy cane kisses. I followed this recipe and while it ultimately ended up fine, I had some problems along the way. I have a convection oven and was having a hard time getting the settings right. The were underdone in the center but ended up dry in the end. I think I need to work on my temperature control. I also didn't grease the tin enough on the first batch so they stuck but luckily fixed that on the second (but hey at least I was able to eat the messy batch myself!) The other thing is the candy cane kisses are much softer than the normal ones - it takes a while for them to set but I was prepared for that to happen at least.

Last up were sugar cookies with the rest of the candy cane kisses. I took the sugar cookies and rolled them green colored sugar for a festive look. Like the brownies, the kisses ended up very soft but they ended up setting up okay.

(This was taken pre-kisses)

And for good measure here's a picture of the peanut butter balls!

My favorite!


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