Thursday, December 24, 2009

White Christmas... (eve)

I was dreaming of one, and I got a full on blizzard instead of just some light snowfall! Even my favorite part of Christmas, late-night candle lit church service was cancelled tonight due to the weather. But on the upside I had more time to spend wearing great-grandma's old Christmas aprons and baking/making treats with my mom all day. Over the past few days I've made up for lost time this past semester being so busy, and finally fed my baking addiction. So here is a LONG entry of the past few days of baking holidays treats! For so long I have been wanting to make these so that's where I began...
and it started with just a simple red velvet cake mix. I contemplated making the cake from scratch, but knew that I would rather spend time decorating/figuring out how to make cake balls and other adorable holiday goodies, so I went with the mix. And once it was baked up, the real fun started.

Just dig in with both hands and crumble and ENTIRE cake up! So fun, but then it got pretty messy... dump an ENTIRE can of cream cheese frosting into your ENTIRE crumbled up cake, and go to work...

OK I guess you could use a spoon, but this is so much more effective. pretty gross, but pretty delicious.

then work the hot mess into 1in balls (that look scarily similar to meat balls...) and pop 'em into the freezer to set up. And while you're waiting, you just might get hungry for dinner.... and whats my favorite winter soup? Roasted butternut squash of course!

Oh yeah, did I mention stick that squash in the oven when your cake comes out? Look at that beautiful golden squash just begging to be pureed to death.

and smothered in cream. What, calories don't count when you're on holiday break :)

perfect little meal for a cold day.

When you're done eating, pull out those cake balls and dunk them in some melted milk chocolate and easy as that you have a perfect cake ball! Alright, so mine aren't as perfect as Bakerella's, but hey its my first try!

and it tasted pretty dang good too.

then I made some into cake pops. Just pop the balls of cake onto a stick before dunking in chocolate and stand 'em up to dry. Now in the directions it says to stick them into a Styrofoam block to keep them upright, but if you find yourself at home in the middle of a blizzard with no Styrofoam, get crafty and poke holes with a nail into an old cardboard box- works like magic. Now I started to decorate the pops...

and for some reason, I couldn't get the melted chocolate to cooperate with me to make anything look right, I tried flicking it, spreading it, even tried to add sprinkles to cover the mess and I just couldn't get it right. So at this point, covered in green chocolate and feeling defeated, I pack up for the night and hit the hay. This sounds really stupid but I actually dreamt of finishing these cake balls that night and saw my far superior baker self using a PIPING BAG to finish off the tops... duh! So first thing the next morning, I whipped out the rest of these babies.

and they turned out awesome.

cute little Christmas gifts! So with my head back in the right place after a full night of sleep and one fancy treat done, I decided to make some classic gingerbread cookies. Again, using a mix rather than from scratch (I know, I know...) but I feel like being lazy while on break.

but regardless of being a mix, they baked up quite nicely. And I did at least make my own royal icing to decorate...

sea of sweet ginger boys, angels, and stars

When my little gingers were done, I took a break to play with my sweet Christmas kitty who poses by the Christmas tree for me so nicely.

isn't he pretty?! OK now just one more sweet treat for this post, I swear. And this one is the most simple, but also one of the most delicious. Peanut butter chocolate fudge.

and its so simple! Just melt 1 jar PB with one bag semi-sweet chips, then stir in 1 can sweetened condensed milk, and 1tsp almond extract. Pour into an 8-8 pan, chill over night then...

cut into 48 squares, and make them all cute in little red and green candy papers. (ok last step optional, but highly recommended.) Simplest, most requested holiday treat ever. Make some. Now.

And with that, I finally am finished with my Christmas baking. Well, at least for now. We are having another family gathering on Sunday that I'm supposed to make Christmas cupcakes for if we ever get out of this blizzard that just might happen. For now, its time for PJ's, a glass of Sherry, and sitting by the Christmas tree. Merry Christmas!