Baking for gifts is definitely not for everyone, and the best strategy I've found for cost savings over time is to pick one thing with expensive ingredients and a couple of cheaper things. I also usually pretty much bake exactly the same things every year--which means I don't spend a lot of time having to tweak new recipes and have figured out strategies for multitasking to save time.
I love baking year round, so for me it's a natural extension of that.
I enjoy cooking, but baking is pretty much something I only do for the holidays. The almond cardamom cookies turned out better the 2nd time, but the sugar cookies were not worth the hassle at all.
Looks yummy indeed. So nice of you to bake for other people. I'm a great cook but a horrible baker of sweets. I can never seem to get it right. I am envious! My kids were practically licking the monitor this morning drooling over your cookie pics. :)
Thanks! I'm better at cooking than baking, but I really enjoy bringing the traditional swedish recipes that my family uses to life and sharing them with others.
Yum! And your chairs are pretty, too. I keep promising the kids we'll make cookies; maybe this afternoon!
Thanks! We need to use our pretty dining room more often. I just love that room. It's small, but festive.
Didn't you see the homemade almond roca on the right? Most of it is still cooling. The peanut butter bon bons for today are also dipped in chocolate, but the chocolate stuff is the easy part, so I got the main baking done first. The pastry and dough that has to be temperature controlled is a major pain in the booty.
Also, I hate fudge, but it's easy. My Mom is bringing it.
looks gorgeous! I know its a lot of work, but it'll be worth it when you give the gifts out! How is your pain level after this much stuff?!?!
my weekend bake will start tomorrow and I'm both looking forward to it and not. :/ On my list are cookies, fudge (3 flavors), pecan treats (miniature pecan pies), and some miniature loaves of banana bread. I try not to do all sweets (not that banana bread is a great choice) just in case.
I hope so! I have some really cute cookie boxes that look nice. My pain level was sky high after this. I'm insane for doing it, but this morning it feels better! I think the shot might be working?
Good luck for tomorrow! Miniature pecan pies sound so yummy. I love pecans.
It all looks so good! :) Good job. Yeah, it is hard work, but baking for family and friends is so much more meaningful than me baking for people who whine and complain, who mean nothing to me except profits.
I am going to be proud to share some of this with Craig's family. I have it all sealed up so it will still be fresh. Timing was a bit tough since we are going up to the cabin tomorrow.
I hate to say it, but they haven't deiced the hill. It isn't safe to drive up here and it's only in the 20's temp wise, so even though the sun is out, none of it is melting yet. I will email you and Amy this afternoon for sure. I SO want to see you both, but not at the risk to your safety. IF they do come by with the snowplow it will be safe. I'll let you know what happens.
It's 15 degrees at my house outside. Ugh. Let me know. Stupid weather. It's not supposed to snow again until Saturday night, so it better not before then. Or else.
The hill is icy as hell. We can't drive it, but to get up to the cabin we have chains, so tomorrow we may chain up the Honda and head out anyhow. I just HOPE that they come by with the plow and then it will be safe to head over to our house.
Everything look so pretty! Would you be willing to share your Roca recipe?
Sure! It's easy as can be.
1 stick of butter, melt over medium heat (on electic range, med low on gas range)
Take a 9x9 glass casserole dish and put sliced almonds on the bottom enough to cover the entire bottom and then some (or else it will get stuck in the pan).
Wisk in 3/4 cup brown sugar and mix the crap out of it for 7-9 minutes on electic range and 4-6 minutes on a gas range until it is toffee sticky. Do not let it get stuck on the side. Do not stop stirring. It if burns it will be ruined, but it does need to be hot enough to bubble to make toffee.
Pour the toffee over the almonds. Immediately sprinkle milk chocolate chips over the top of the toffee, about 6oz (not an entire bag). The toffee is so hot it will melt the chips, so spread them evenly with a knife. Let everything cool overnight, then cut into pieces.
So you don't have to use a candy thermometer to get it to a specific temp? Awesome! I'm definitely going to try to make this.
I mean, maybe you do? But I don't cook like that. I'm kinda ghetto and I don't have fancy equipment, and the almond roca I made was good.
Believe me, I am super excited. :)
That sounds awesome and easy. I may have to try that.
Just don't burn it. That's the main risk. IT stinks really bad if you burn the toffee.
Burnt sugar = bad. Got it. :)
I wrote the translation for gas range because the electric range directions led to horrid burnt toffee. See, my mistakes saving you peril. ;)