Baked Goodies, Oh My!

So here I am. It’s 11 days until Christmas. And I decided against my better judgment to bake goodies for the folks at work.

Holiday Baking

I say this because, as I’ve previously mentioned, baker extraordinaire, I am not. Oh, I can make some mean cookies. Whip up some tasty muffins. And even bake a lovely cake. But those are very basic and when they come from a box, they’re pretty fool proof, too. IE Sheila Proof.  However, today I decided to try some new recipes…from scratch. Oh boy. That’s a recipe for disaster but I thought, what the heck. I’ll try something new…how about 6 somethings new! Hey, just call me risky.

Anyway the 6 new recipes:

~ Saltine Toffee Bark    http://www.rachaelray.com/2014/02/crazy-addictive-saltine-toffee

~ Soft Coconut Macaroons http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chewy-coconut-macaroons

~ 10 Cup Cookies http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/771823-10-cup-cookies

~ Swirled White and Milk Chocolate Bark with Crushed Peppermint on Top http://www.marthastewart.com/296273/basic-bark#Chocolate%20Bark%20Recipes|/1043580/chocolate-bark-recipes/@center/1008647/christmas-candy-recipes|296273

~ Iced Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/03/18/chocolate-chip-cookie-cake/

~ Buckeyes http://www.jif.com/recipes/details/392


Several years back, a friend made the Saltine Toffee Bark and I just couldn’t get enough of it. So I figured why not begin here? Good grief! This recipe is pretty simple. Lay the crackers on a cookie sheet, cover them with the brown sugar toffee and then bake. This is where my issues began. Sometimes I just don’t think things through clearly and being that I’m not a savvy candy maker, I clearly was not thinking when I laid out the crackers on a side less cookie sheet. Crackers on a cookie sheet are fine but when the crackers are covered in a sticky brown sugar mixture, the whole mess begins to bubble when it’s in the oven. And yes. That’s where my troubles really began. The bubbling caused the crackers to shift closer to the edges and soon enough, I had not just one nor two but 4 crackers and oozing toffee goo running over the sides and down to the bottom of my once clean oven. Are you kidding me?!! And as I stared, helpless, the glob of cracker goop, ignited!! Now mind you, we’ve had to have our oven repaired twice since July and in my defense, neither was due to anything that I did or did not do while cooking. All I could think of as I whipped open the oven door, revealing a miniature ball of fire, charred crackers, and a syrupy mess, was “Oh $shit! I did it THIS time! There’s no way the landlord is ever going to believe this!” Chick #3 sat in horror as smoke billowed out of the oven and when she saw I had it all under control, she smirked, “I told you to use the pan with the sides.” Thank you very much, Captain Obvious. And in spite of this minor mishap, the Toffee Bark came out perfecto.

Now, Chick #3 had a blast bustin’ my chops all day about my goo gone bad incident. She’s become quite the cook lately and never misses the opportunity to tell me when I’m doing something wrong in the kitchen. “Mom! Don’t lick the spoon. Mom! Don’t eat the dough. There’s RAW EGGS in it! Mom! Follow the directions! Mom! Mom! MOM!!” Ugh!! So when we went to ice the last dessert dish, the chocolate chip cookie cake, I almost fell over in a fit of laughter. Liv insisted on making the cake and wanted to ice it with a homemade butter cream icing. Cake done. Cake cooling on racks. Now for the icing. Again, I’ve never made homemade icing. So I’m completely clueless about the texture and consistency. Like the amateur I am, I know when I’m in over my head. So I bowed out and let Liv make the icing. Next thing I know, she’s got the icing in a bag, ready to be piped onto the cake. She squeezed the bag and the icing globed out like a worm.  Plop! Big Fat White Worms! The icing was too thick and it took everything in me not to laugh at her. We could barely spread it and what we could spread, only covered part of the cake. She was mad but as we kept trying to push the stiff icing around the cake, she laughed at the mess and then wondered how we were going to fix it. Now, this is the part I’m good at…fixing things. ANYTHING. If it’s broke, I can MacGyver it! That thick, lumpy icing didn’t stand a chance. I grabbed up the last of the chocolate morsels, popped them in the microwave, and then drizzled it over the icing. Lastly, we sprinkled the rest of the crushed up peppermint on top and Viola! What was once a lumpy, blobby mess, was now a beautiful dessert dish.

It took us all day to bake our goodies and even though we had a couple experimental oopsies, we had a blast hanging out with each other. And that’s what cooking is all about. Hanging out. Having fun. Making memories.

~ SE

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