Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winding down for Christmas!

Wow... how quickly this fall has flown by. I had been on the lookout for gift ideas for my extended family since late summer and finally reached panic stage a couple weeks ago. Then, as I watched cookie and candy recipes fly by in email newsletters, I decided to change strategy and started collecting recipes. I love to bake, so my success at putting together holiday cookie/candy boxes would just depend on how much 'help' I could get from the Doodles.

My partner and I have a great arrangement in that we switch between Doodle and kitchen/house duty every other day. This guaranteed that I'd get some baking time in the kitchen. Next thing I knew, my baking idea list filled a sheet... hmmm... time to strategize. I went through the list picking out cookies and candies that were least like anything other family members regularly made, then set to work.

I tried:
    Oreo Truffles (only okay)
    Toffee bars (not a keeper)
    Rollo Turtles (the best thing I made by far)
    brownie mix cookies
    cake mix cookies (yellow cake mix with sprinkles mixed in - far too sweet, but the kids loved them)
    cake mix cookies made from a cherry chip mix, which the family loved - I'm not a cherry fan
    shortbread cookies - taste great, but turned out so flaky they break apart when touched

Most of the recipes were from Family Fun magazine, so were supposed to be kid-friendly. Having to use the food processor chased away the boys from helping with the Oreo Truffles - they whined about the noise level, though I know they often break the sound barrier themselves without challenge! They did help make cinnamon ornaments for decorating the packages, gingerbread cookies that disappeared before I could pack the boxes, and the Rollo turtles. After the turtles, the boys only wanted to help if candy was involved. I've made a note if I try this again next year, to save all recipes involving candy for making last!

So, success was finally met when I mailed the box earlier this week. Relief washed over along with the realization that those cookies and candies took me from being a panicked Grinch to really getting back into the Christmas Spirit! Now I'm off from work for the next week and ready to be immersed in Doodle energy.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

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