Butter + Sugar = A Lot of Baking

This past weekend I spent my time at my friend Kendra’s helping her out with a ton of Christmas baking. We also managed to brave the mall and Target so that I could finish Christmas shopping and for us to stock up on supplies. Target = craziness! I really don’t think we could have parked further from the door and still be in the parking lot. We didn’t mind the walk though because the day was a balmy 40 degrees.

Saturday was filled with peppermint bark, mince meat pie filling, and 2 types of cutouts (gingerbread & sugar – double batches of each kind). Sadly, the bark went unphotographed, but it was delicious! Here’s the stove in action ready for the mince meat cooking & canning process. Side note: all my photos were with my iPhone, so they aren’t the best quality. However, the best camera you can use is the one you have on hand.

Cookies were an evening process as the mince meat took most of the day. Plus, we went out for dinner and ran some other errands (such as picking up cookie sheets at my apartment).

This stacking cooling rack was so cool. It now needs to go on my kitchen wish list. Since we were baking cookies until the wee hours of the morning (and having a blast doing so), I just stayed at Kendra’s. Who cares that I actually only live about 5 minutes from her? Plus, the view from the apartment rocks.

Sunday brought Eric’s delicious Swedish pancakes for breakfast, Christmas shopping, taffy, jam, and cookie decorating. Our day was a bit packed. 😉 We learned that taffy = sugar, water, and butter…and then we had to butter our hands. Slightly gross at first, but not enough to go undocumented.

I wonder if Girl Scouts has a taffy pulling badge. If so, we would have earned them!

Here’s our final product: yummy peppermint flavored taffy. Well, it’s more like hard candy that softens into taffy. Delish nonetheless. I brought my half to work on Monday and a good portion of it was consumed. I think that signals a success.

While the sugar and water for the taffy were working on the stove, we made peach mango jam. O.M.G. it’s delicious.

You want some of this on toast or a bagel now, don’t you?

Our final task for the weekend was to frost and decorate all of the cut out cookies. We may or may not have used 9 cups of powdered sugar to make the frosting. 🙂

And then we had more sugar for decorating. 🙂

8 episodes of Cake Boss later, we had all of the cookies frosted and decorated. Yay for Netflix! Okay, here’s my take on Cake Boss, it’s not as good as Ace of Cakes (no one is better than Duff!), but it served it’s purpose of entertaining us. So here are the cookies in all their glory.

So, how was your weekend? Do any or all of your holiday baking? Who’s ready for Christmas?? It’s only 4 days away!! I’m so looking forward to 10 days of hanging out with family. 🙂 Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating and happy Winter Solstice! I am so ready for the amount daylight to start increasing again.

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