Friday, December 18, 2009

marathon baking

Yesterday was baking day. It's tradition. It started years ago with my mom and my best friends mom. The two of them would spend an entire day baking up a storm for the holiday while the three of us kids would play all day. It was heaven. Now that we are all grown up we get to join in. And this year was a doozie! I think we out-did ourselves. Here are some photos of some, not all, of what we made. Starting with home made peppermint marshmallows.
Here's the marshmallows in the pan. They wait for 10 hours before you can cut them, but since we baked for almost 12 hours! that was no problem! Typically I just make plain vanilla marshmallows - but int he spirit of Christmas we did vanilla and peppermint with this red swirl on the top.
Here they are all finished, covered in powdered sugar to keep them from sticking. I had one in my coffee this morning. Soooo yummy. You really can't believe the difference in the home made vs. the store bought. These are so soft and melt to perfection. And don't think I haven't tried roasting them - oh dear. And then there were the...
... Puff pastry cheese straws with pepper jack cheese and...
...More marshmallows paired with chocolate sandwich cookies filled with strawberry cream, mint cream, and espresso cream and...
... Asiago cheese stars and...
...Melt in your mouth thumb print cookies with cream cheese filling and...
... Macaroon stars dipped in bittersweet chocolate and...
...Cheese straws and...
...peppermint taffy. I'm gonna be honest. This was supposed to be divinity. My great grandmother made the best divinity but apparently it's pretty tricky. We even called for divinity advice from the expert (Tom's boss) and he said no humidity - but jeez, it's always humid here. Anyway, it tasted great and we didn't want to waste it, so it made really perfect taffy! Great save I think.
It was a lovely day. Christmas traditions mean so much to me and when you combine them with people that you love you can't go wrong. We laughed so much that my cheeks hurt almost as much as my feet after standing all day! But what we got out of the day was so much more than cookies and candy - we made more memories to last a lifetime.

3 comments:

Janice said...

oh my gosh these look fabulous! Since our oven was JUST installed I don't think we're going to get our baking done this year...maybe just a bit. I have never made marshmallows...might have to google a recipe.

Narelle said...

Oh....My....Gosh!
Why, oh why can't I live closer to you?
I could be your official taste tester!

Angie said...

I tried making peppermint marshmallows a few years ago and found they were such a pain that I swore I'd never make them again. I did not know the powdered sugar trick. Do you have a trick for cutting them as well?