Since the Tiny Kitchen’s been in the middle of a move (full story to unfold shortly!), my sister Mary kindly volunteered to share her baking story with my lovely followers. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and are looking forward to a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration. And to my UK friends, happy Boxing Day. (To find out what I baked this year, click here.)
Last year, Jennifer and I shared with you the Myers family holiday traditions: the Baked Cheese Fondue, my mother baking goodies for friends, colleagues and neighbors and my best friend Tina and I taking up the baking goodies tradition for our friends, neighbors and colleagues. I also shared with all of you the Nut Roll recipe that has been a long standing holiday tradition in the Myers family, and as Jennifer stated last year, “it’s just not Christmas without it!”.
I started at 8:30am and finished baking around 6:00pm. By the time I finished dividing everything up for the 20 people that were anxiously awaiting these holiday treats, it was 8:30pm. I am not too proud to say that Motrin and an Icy Hot patch helped keep me on my feet without too much pain throughout the day. The In-N-Out burger after a long day really hit the spot. I wasn’t in the mood to make myself dinner, I am sure you can understand.
I just love baking; for me it is relaxing. I connected my iPod to my stereo, cranked up the volume and started my day. Heads up: don’t try to sing, dance and use the ‘call me’ hand gesture when Call Me Maybe, by Carly Rae Jepsen is playing with hands covered in dough. It can get messy – trust me!
I also enjoy trying to figure out how best to organize what to bake, when. I start off with the nut rolls because you need to raise the dough twice. However, I have to remember not to leave the Cream Cheese, Fruit Filled Cookies as the last item to bake. The recipe makes quite a bit of cookies, and they are very time consuming to put together. I hope to remember this next year – however, my memory isn’t as good as it used to be!
I know that everyone that I share these treats with enjoy and appreciate them. Not many people actually make ‘homemade’ gifts anymore. My annual holiday baking day gives me the opportunity to do something I love as well as give personal gifts to people who take care of my hair, nails, car or are just great friends. My family also benefits from my holiday baking day. I prepare goody bags for them to enjoy as well.
- Cream Cheese, Fruit Filled Cookies
- Chocolate Chip and Pecan Balls (also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies)
- Red Velvet Bars
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- White Chip Island Cookies
- Chocolate Fudge
- Nut Rolls
- Lemon Bars
I want to close by saying my heart and prayers go out to the families in Connecticut who have lost a child, friend, colleague or relative. This should be a time of wonder and joy when you look forward to spending time with friends and family and looking back at the year thankful for what you have. So many lives were cut short this year, please keep them in your thoughts.”
I completely agree with Mary’s last statement—I’m still horrified by that tragedy, and hope that it doesn’t make the holidays a painful time for all of those who lost someone this year.
+++New Info!+++Some of you have requested a few recipes, so I’m including them below:
2 Cups flour
½ Cup powdered sugar
1 Cup butter
Mix and pat in 9 x 13″ pan and bake @ 350° for 20 minutes.
4 Eggs, beaten with fork
2 Cups sugar
6 Tbls lemon juice
Grated rind of one lemon
2 Tbls flour
1 teas baking powder
Pour over crust and bake additional 25 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top when done. Cut into bars.
CHOCOLATE-CHIP & PECAN BALLS
Roll these Mexican wedding cookies twice in confectioners’ sugar, once the cookies are warm and once again when cool, so they’re snowy white when served.
¾ Cup pecans
1 ¼ Cups confectioners’ sugar
1 Cup butter (2 sticks), cut up, softened (no substitutions)
1 teas vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
¼ teas salt
½ Cup semisweet-chocolate mini chips
Preheat oven to 325°F. In food processor, with knife blade attached, pulse pecans and ¼ cup sugar until pecans are finely ground. Add butter and vanilla; pulse until butter is incorporated. Add flour and salt, and pulse until evenly moistened. Transfer dough to medium bowl; stir in chocolate chips.
With floured hands, shape dough by heaping teaspoons into 1-inch balls. Place balls, 1 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet.
Bake cookies 20 to 22 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool slightly.
Place remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in medium bowl. While still warm, gently roll cookies, 1 at a time, in sugar to coat. Place cookies on wire rack to cool completely. When cool, gently roll cookies in sugar again.
Repeat with remaining dough and sugar. Store cookies in tightly covered container up to 3 weeks.
RED VELVET CAKE/BARS
½ Cup butter or margarine, softened
1 ½ Cups sugar
1 teas vanilla extract
1 Tbls white vinegar
3 Large eggs
1 (1-ounce) bottle liquid red food coloring
2 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbls cocoa powder
1 teas baking soda
½ teas salt
1 Cup buttermilk
Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, vanilla, and vinegar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add food coloring, beating until combined.
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.
Bake @ 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes; remove from pans, cool on wire racks.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on tops and sides of cake.
To make bars: Bake @ 350° for 25-30 minutes using a cake roll pan. Only make ½ of the cream cheese frosting for bars.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
½ Cup butter, softened
2 (16-ounce) packages powdered sugar
2 teas vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light & fluffy. Stir in vanilla extract.