Merry Christmas! And, by the way, I hate molasses

Heather flipping her hair. Don’t worry,
she’s away from the food.

I’ve been sitting around the house, wondering what to do with myself since I’ve been a busy body these past few days. So I figure. I might as well blog and tell all you wonderful people (um. . *squints into the darkness* marco? Marco . . Is anyone out there?) about things.

So I had that Christmas party Saturday! Before I tell you how that went though, I’ll tell you about the Friday before. (Because I know you absolutely can not wait to hear about the Friday before. You’re practically begging me to please, for the love of everything good and holy, tell you what I did the Friday before. Well beg no more, dear heart. I’m here for you. I’m here for you.)

As usual, I stayed up late finishing the desserts. .Yeah. .

“But how can you say that,” you may be asking, “when you started so early?”

Well, well. I’m glad you asked. See, things didn’t exactly go the way I planned. Which was typical. So, looking back, I should just plan THAT. And that way, things will go the way I planned. Heh, I’ll try it next time.

So, turns out I DIDN’T have the whole day to bake, which is how I planned it. I thought I’d wake up and just bake pleasantly all day, with this sweet and easy going smile on my face like any good homemaker, the wind breezing gently across my face, just happy and joyful and everything’s going so well. . .WELL. Hah-hah. You see. .

Okay. I did know that someone had to go pick up my older brother from the airport. Really I did. I just didn’t know I was required to. . participate in the going to pick him up.

That’s like two hours going and coming and not counting waiting for him there and lunch. So half my day went POOF. It’s crazy how it does that sometimes.

To retaliate I woke up early and prepped as many desserts I could before we needed to leave.

I started with the sugar cookie dough. I squished it into a ball (which I think is what they mean when it says “form into a ball” instead of “roll,” am I right?). And, I thought the ball looked like the butter was still in big chunks and I didn’t mix it in all the way. But I didn’t think too much about it because I needed to move on.

The peppermint puff dough went pretty good, I think. I don’t remember anything really horrible.

But then, came the spice crackle cookies. (Honestly, they’re just ginger snaps. Haha. But oolala, doesn’t spice crackle cookie sound so much more interesting?) I used two new ingredients in my spice crackle cookies: crystallized ginger and molasses. .

Have you ever seen crystallized ginger? I sure as heck hadn’t even heard of it until I read the recipe. I can take a picture of it if you want or if I have time. But it really just looks like weird chunks of yellow gummy candy, coated with sugar. My first issue with this was ew, that’s going in my cookies? And then, the recipe says “chopped.” What the heck does that mean? How big should they be? Well, I chopped it up until it looked  like you couldn’t be able to feel it in the cookie. (Maybe they dissolve in heat, but I didn’t want them to be like ginger raisins *shudder*) And then, the more I chopped it up, the stickier it became, which was interesting. But yeah. So there was that.

Then *foreboding tone* there was the molasses. Oh. My. Gosh. Have you ever smelled molasses?? It’s frikin’ disgusting. I got a headache smelling it. When I got to rolling out the dough balls and dipping them in sugar, my arms were stretched out so I could get as far away from the bowl as possible. It was really nasty stuff. And my main fear was that I thought molasses takes forever to pour out in the winter. HA! That part was easy.

I had some friends stay the night Friday to Saturday. They came over at seven, and by then I still hadn’t decorated the snowflakes, dipped the peppermint puffs, or even made the chocolate bon-bons I thought I could make, since I didn’t have time to do the mocha meringues anymore. But since they had shown up and I was already pretty worn from baking and everything, I thought I’d toss the bon-bon idea too.

Well, I immediately put them to work to try and help me finish as soon as possible. Each of us took a turn decorating the snowflakes with the runny icing I made. We even had a contest. Mine was the first, and the best one. Amy’s was so-so. But then Heather started getting into it, and we all quickly realized she was the best, so we folded from the game and bowed to her almighty icing powers.

Amy trying her hand at icing.

Amy and I got to work on finishing the peppermint puffs as Heather did that. I don’t know about you people out there but white chocolate is very stubborn to melt in my opinion. It’s very. . high maintenance. You can’t just leave it alone like milk chocolate, let it melt, come back, mix it, and you’re good to go. If you leave it, it gets cakey and disgusting. I always have to put oil to thin it up and mix it constantly. Sometimes even mashing it with a fork because it won’t melt all the way. So after a while of me trying to get it right, Amy started on dipping the peppermint puffs, while I grounded up some candy canes in the blender. (Question: I have a vitamix thing, will the candy canes ruin the blades? Heather and I got in an argument about this, until I settled it by going “oops” and hitting the blend switch.) But the good news is, it wasn’t white powder this time! There was red in it, so it looked nice. =-)

Quick heart shout-out to Heather. She washed most of the dishes. I was mixing stuff. And Amy admitted she was doing the fun chocolate dipping jobs. But Heather just randomly parked herself at the sink without anyone asking and started washing. She was SUCH a big help. And we were making a mess. So thank you Heather. ❤

Fuzzy picture of Heather and me talking
in the kitchen. Don’t I look like a mother in that apron?

Since Amy was in a chocolate dipping mood. We went ahead and made the bon-bons pretty quickly, with her dipping and Heather and I rolling out the balls. Then I wiped the counters while Heather resumed the messy chocolate pot (hey you can see it in the picture!) washing.

Baking stuff with friends is fun, people. It’s not something only little old ladies do. Especially stuff that’s as tedious as chocolate dipping, or cookie decorating, things that are really repetitive, it’s really fun. You should try it! You can have everything baked beforehand – which is what happened to me, not like I planned it – or bake it from the beginning with friends. Try it. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. What’s the worse that could happen?

Actually, nothing went horribly wrong. And the spice crackle cookies were a big hit, so I guess my torture was worth it. And no one asked about ginger raisins, so I guess they dissolved? *shrug* There was only one chocolate bon-bon left over and one sugar cookie. But there were a few of the peppermint puffs, not that they weren’t good. I had one and they were perfectly refreshing. And my friend Kyle even made fudge to bring, and yeah! A fun success. =-)

Hey they don’t look that different compared
to the magazine picture!
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