Friday, December 24, 2010

Giving goodies

My family received "build your own" goodie tins!  I laid out platter of homemade treats for them to eat during the festivities (even though we won't be there) and provided containers to take their favorites home.

This platter contained peppermint bark which was dark chocolate layered with white chocolate spiked with creme de menthe extract and green food coloring topped with crushed candy canes.  Peppermints are my grampa's favorite candies.  So, this was specifically for him.  Still, I hope everyone likes them.

The other little delight is a homemade peanut butter cup.  The bottom layer of chocolate is dark chocolate.  The peanut butter is homemade from my food process with simply roasted peanuts, kosher salt,
and canola oil.  Just for fun and for a little something different, I made the top layer of the cup white chocolate.  White chocolate is the husband's favorite!

This platter has something for my grampa and my brother.  Never Home Maker's cornmeal cookies really caught my eye.  My family thrives on cornbread, so a cookie that has no chocolate (grampa's not a fan) and contains cornmeal is seriously up his alley.  I really hope he likes them! 

 The half dipped cookie is for my bro.  It's his favorite of my cookies.  Sadly, it didn't turn out right.  See, I usually use packaged sugar cookie dough.  I was attempting to make everything from scratch, so I made the sugar dough instead.  Sadly, the dough I picked, while delicious, was far too puffy.  It created a soft cookie where I was looking for a crisp cookie.  Oops?  Still, I truly hope my bubba likes them anyhow.  The method for this cookie is to cut sugar cookie dough VERY thin.  I usually freeze the dough and shave it off with a sharp knife into little discs.  I cook them till golden, allow them to cool, then do them up sandwich style with raspberry jam.  The ends get dipped in chocolate, well, because raspberry and chocolate are just meant for each other, aren't they?  I gave these to everyone several Christmases ago, and my brother literally stole them out of people's gift baskets.  So, on his birthday, I made an entire batch (that's not nearly and entire batch in the photo!) just for him.  Well, he ended up eating the whole thing, save four that he gave to coworkers, in ONE day.  Talk about a tummy ache.  He said it was 100% worth it.  So, though these aren't quite the same, I hope it conjures the same memories.  I used Mama Pea's sugar cutout dough, though mine had butter.  Great for puffy, soft sugar cookies! 

Okay, I DROOLED over Mama Pea's peanut butter dough balls, and I knew my mom and grama would go gaga over them too.  So, this was at the top of my must-make list.  And oh my word, they are so much better than I could ever imagine.  New favorite cookie right there.  Now, I used butter in this too.  See, the store I went to didn't have earth balance, so I rolled with unsalted organic butter in all the recipes. 

The last cookie is a delicious failure.  It was my first attempt at making graham crackers for the girls at work.  I mis-read an ingredient though.  I thought it said whole wheat pastry flour.  Nope!  It said whole wheat flour.  Quite  different beast!  So, I kept adding the pastry flour and it never hardened enough to roll out.  Instead of giving up and tossing it after adding an additional half cup of flour, I decided to bake it.  Thank goodness I did!  These are excellent.  And the dog loves them too.  Molasses must draw dogs in.  Who knew?!  So, if you think a cookie version of a graham cracker sounds good, then just take Ashley's recipe and use 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour instead of the recommended flour!  

Merry Christmas!!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness... I wish I could participate in the devouring of these treats, even the failures!! They all sound fabulous!! I love the green bark too... very festive! Have a wonderful evening!