Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Edible Gifts

This year I wasn't sure if I'd get to any of the baking I traditionally do at Christmas time. A great time to get started on baking is when we have a snow day and are stuck at home, but that didn't happen this year (except in October, and then we didn't have power for baking!). I did finally get out the pans and ingredients last weekend and got started. I made some of our old favorites like the Jewel Brooch cookies (see the recipe here) which call for only egg yolks, and Coconut Macaroons which call for only egg whites. In addition, I baked a batch of Chewy Chocolate Cookies which are exactly what they sound like, with chocolate chips in them. I needed something quick and easy to add a little variety to the mix, so I dipped some pretzels in melted white chocolate and sprinkled them as you see above. And last, but not least, I made up a batch of these homemade Peppermint Patties, which I got from the Family Fun website (find it by clicking here).
The batter is really more like a paste of confectioners sugar, corn syrup, water, lemon juice, and peppermint extract. It is very stiff and you basically flatten it out, refrigerate it, and cut shapes with a cutter. Then you dip each one in melted chocolate. Last year I melted semi-sweet chocolate chips, but they were so thick that the coating didn't really drip off much. It used a lot of chips and was kind of slow going. This year, I tried using the candy melts from the baking section of the craft store. They melted easily and went on much quicker, but the taste isn't quite as delectable. I think next time I'll try a mix of the two for a compromise.
Yumm! I sure do love that peppermint-dark chocolate combo!
I've been packing up assortments of all these homebaked goodies and giving them to friends and co-workers as little gifts. I hope I have enough left for us! If not, I'll have to get busy again...

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