Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Baking

It's quiz time!  Also, Christmas baking time.   Also, time to bring out the elastic-waist pants.  Somehow they all seem to go together.
So here are some of the latest baking experiments going on here at the castle.  Which of the following do you think was the favorite, the one I'll be making again?
Was it these cinnamon stick cookies?
How about these Oreo - chocolate chip bars?
 Do you think it might be these frosted, macaroon-filled brownies?
Or maybe it's this cinnamon-swirled orange bread.
What do you think?  I'll whistle a Christmas tune while you make your best guess.
Whistle some more.
 Rejoice, rejoice, Em-man-u-elllllll.
Got your guess? 
Ok, here goes.
Well, it certainly wasn't the cinnamon sticks.  They looked like fish sticks and tasted like lard.  Lard, lard, lard.  When the recipe called for shortening, I should have known and used butter instead.  That one was a flop.  A big, fat flop.
The Oreo bars?
Oh yeah.  Chocolate deliciousness itself.  Crushed up Oreos for the crust, a quick topping of sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips, baked -- simple, with a resulting slightly crunchy brownie effect.  A new favorite.  Recipe to follow.
How about the frosted brownies with macaroon filling?  Sadly I must report . . . these were lots of work/would not come out of pan/too sweet/topped with frosting that got hard and cracked.  I had high hopes for these.  Most of them ended up in the garbage.  Sigh.
The orange bread with cinnamon swirl through it?  Very tasty.  I might make this again, but if I did, would tweak it.  The modest amount of orange juice and grated orange peel were not enough to provide an orange kick.  Maybe some orange extract and more orange peel would do the trick.
So there you have it.  Even with the best of plans, the highest hopes for kitchen deliciousness, we do not always achieve it.  But we press on nonetheless.  Tomorrow's another day.
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel.
(note:  if you have a blender, pull it out for pulverizing the Oreos.  I first tried crushing them by hand with a potato masher, but had much better luck with my super dee duper blender.
1 16-oz. package Oreo cookies, crushed
3/4 c. butter, melted
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 c. chocolate chips, divided

Combine crumbs and melted butter and pat into a 13 x 9-inch pan.  Combine sweetened condensed milk with 1 c. of the chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl.   Nuke for about one minute, and stir until the chips are good and melted.  Pour over crust, sprinkle with remaining chips and bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes, until chips are melted.  Makes about 48 rich little morsels.

So tell me what's baking at your house.  Any great recipes we all should  know about?  Feel free to leave a link.

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Anonymous Barbara H. said...

Those bars look very good but very rich. Almost makes my blood sugar rise just by looking at them, LOL!

Our must-have family baking is Harvest Loaf Cake. The title sounds more fallish, but we like it at Christmastime.

Another one I make sometimes in Gingerbread Teddy Bears. They are a little more labor intensive so I'm not up to making them every year.

December 14, 2012 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

What fun recipes, Barbara. I love the idea of chocolate chips in with the pumpkin in your Harvest Loaf Cake. And your gingerbread teddy bears are so cute! I wish I'd had that recipe a couple days ago for the cookie swap I went to last night. They are adorable. Thanks for leaving the links.

December 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Elena said...

The oreo chocolate bars looked so yummy! My hubby did a cinnamon bun recipe that really knocked my socks off. I think we will do that again for Christmas morning. I posted the recipe on my blog :)

December 15, 2012 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Elena, your hubby's cinnamon bun recipe looks fabulous. What a lovely gift to you :)

December 15, 2012 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Elena said...

Hi Lynn, Yes you could substitute butter instead of lard for the cinnamon buns.

December 16, 2012 at 4:05 PM  

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