Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Baking: Episode 1

I first posted this on TriangleMommies' blog last week - so forgive the outdated references to the cookie swap I attended last weekend. I'm just re-posting for my readers and am too lazy to edit!

I love this time of the year. I love the holidays, the chill in the air. The family time.


I love not traveling. I have to admit that I miss my family terribly. I miss Christmas morning with my nieces and nephew. I miss Chanukah candles lit in my parents' kitchen. But I love staying home. Call me a homebody. I don't care!


And yesterday I prepped for cookie swapping. This is something I had never heard of prior to moving to North Carolina. I assume it has spread to my home-city by now, but it never hit me before here. I was way pregnant, and ready to rock. My daughter was born in early February, 2007. This was December, 2006.


I needed my husband's help. I enjoyed baking, but never did anything besides follow the info on the package. What else was there to do? Cookies from scratch? Ha!


So the husband helped me come up with a way to create a cookie that was more fun. I grabbed several rolls of store-bought ready to make cookie dough. Peanut butter flavor. And I bought a whole truckload of Hershey's kisses. Do you see where I am going here? Peanut butter blossoms. The old standard. Funny thing was there was another pregnant lady at the cookie swap that year - and she made the same danged cookie. Only her dough was from scratch. Well - lah - di - dah. I kid, I kid. I am on my way to becoming that lady! At least mine had a variety of kiss flavors. Ever try their cherry kind? Or their minty one? Or whatever else I used? It was so yum. And it wasn't easy. I am sure I have a picture somewhere with the loads of cookies I made that night. And it was fun!


Since then I have gone to many a cookie swap. I've gone through many a cookie making phase. I did Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey whatever they're called cookies one year. I used devil's food cake mix, and spice cake mix. Don't worry - not together! I felt so accomplished in that I brought a variety of cookies. Two kinds. Of course someone made crackle or crinkle cookies, so mine looked similar, but tasted different. I love them both. I'm an equal opportunity cookie taster.


The following year I think I tried to make like four different kinds of cookies. I went a bit too far, as I can barely recall what kinds I made. Last year we were stuck in Oreo Cookie Ball mode. Seriously. Even my husband was addicted. They're something else. If you have never tried them or made them I suggest you google them. Or click my link. I even have a Mike Rowe picture there for you. Go on, you know you want to! Anyway - I tried them in loads of different flavors and they each rocked. Yum. Though I didn't especially love the ones with the candy cane pieces on them. Kind of threw the flavor for a loop a bit.


This year I haven't 100% decided which type of cookie I am making for the swap I am attending this [which was really last] weekend. But I have already made snowballs (thanks, blueviolet!) snickerdoodles (I definitely put too much vanilla in there, but my husband was happy with that slight error) and pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips. I have another kind I am planning to attempt today or tomorrow, and will see from there what my cookie adventures bring. I'm quite adventurous this year thanks to Pinterest. Check out my boards here.


What about you? Do you like to bake? Do you go overboard on the cookies this time of year? Or just kind of go with the flow and eat what other people make for you? I obviously enjoy sweets, and I enjoy making them even more. Don't even get me started on the egg nog pound cake I made for my husband this week. Whoops! It's not a cookie but it has to count.


Happy baking, eating and holidays!

1 comment:

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

What? No cookie swaps up north? We had a HUGE one at work every year (think 13 dozen a piece) and then my neighborhood did one when I stopped working. I went to one the first few years I was down here, but haven't been to one in two years. Now I just do a 'baking" day and give the goodies out to neighbors and coworkers. I use the term 'baking" loosely because mostly I'm just melting chocolate chips and mixing them with stuff, but I do make Rainbow Cookies- YUM!

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