Grade “A” Number One

No cookie news (well, we are making another batch of caramels), just this…

Number One Daughter, back from first semester at college, earned straight A’s!

Published in: on December 20, 2011 at 9:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Monster Cookie Weekend

Saturday was an historic day in the three-year annals of “Holiday Stuffing”.  Four different cookies/candies were prepared.

I was out all day doing my thing for the local hockey club.  The CCC enlisted the assistance of the Banker Gal from the North Metro and they made some hay (and a lot of treats).   The ever-popular Nut Goodie Bar was the first one that I taste-tested upon arriving home last night.  There were also frosted sugar cookies, Maple Cream candies and something called Key Lime Coconut Napoleons (or KLCN for short).

In the interest of accurate reporting, I sampled some of the KLCNs today and they are terrific.  The CCC reports that they are a “pain in the ass” to prepare.

Somewhere in the prep for the Nut Goodie Bars, an entire bag of this disappears

Good old sugar cookies awaiting frosting and decoration

Tasty KLCNs cooling on the deck. The kitchen is only so big.


Published in: on December 18, 2011 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jingle Bell Rant

Update from an earlier post – I heard a new version of Jingle Bell Rock tonight – The Platters.  decent version…

On the cookie front, The CCC whipped up some Molasses Cookies tonight.

Now, a rant.  What is up with those indoor/outdoor holiday lights?  They used to last for YEARS.  You could count on ’em.  For some reason, this year, we have had the worst luck with these things.  I’ve already told you about the porch lights.  Now, tonight, we’re trying to get the tree decorated and there are problems of some kind with just about every string of lights that I pull out of storage!  One string that did test OK initially, once it got on the tree, was dark!  NOTHING!  I had to stop messing with ’em.  So I came over here to sit down and rant and The CCC took a break from the cookies to try to recover the tree lighting.

Molasses cookies need to cool (on the deck) before baking

Published in: on December 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sunday was not a day of rest

The Christmas tree is up.  The lights on the porch have been fixed.  (Did I mention this yet?  I was very proactive and put the lights on the front porch during one of those warm weekends early in November.  Then, about 10 days after I put them up, a portion of one of the strings of lights went dark.  So today, since it warmed up a bit outside, I replaced the bad string.)

On the cookie front, not only did we prepare the first batch of caramels of the season, but the CCC decided to whip up some Oreo Truffles and a few Peppermint Crunch cookies for the heck of it.  We were joined by the Number One Son, who was making a laundry visit.

Caramel prep - takes about an hour on the stove

WHO is going to eat all of these?



Published in: on December 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Inflatable Christmas

I’m sure that you’ve seen these.  Six-foot-high…ten-foot-high…twenty-foot-high inflatable characters on the frontyards or rooftops or decks of your neighbors’ homes.  (Or maybe your home?)

Yesterday I drove by a house that had a 20-foot-tall Mickey Mouse dressed in his holiday outfit perched atop the home owners’ front porch.  One of our neighbors down the street has three 8-foot snowmen characters, two 6-foot snowmen, a Santa-riding-a-rocking-horse, and two 4-foor penguins all “decorating” the front yard.  It’s pretty windy today; the snowmen are listing a bit.  The Santa/Rocking Horse has some kind of device inside of it that keeps the horse rocking.  Santa has one arm held high, likely intended to be a welcoming wave to the young children as they pass by, but it really ends up looking like Santa’s joined the rodeo and is riding the rip-roarin’est bull in all the North Pole.

These neighbors seem to add a new inflatable each day.  By Christmas morning, it will be pretty crowded over there and there will be enough hot air blowing around to melt the snow.

there are not this many on our street - yet

I’d love to hear about (or see) how the holiday decorations are shaping up in your neighborhood.

Back on the cookie front, we’re mixing up caramels today.

Published in: on December 11, 2011 at 9:59 am  Leave a Comment  

There’s a new cookie in town

Today’s cookie is actually a bar.  Mississippi Bayou Bars is the name.  And they are delicious.  Sort of a chewy, cake-like piece of pecan pie.  Yes, THAT good.  All butter and sugar and brown sugar and corn syrup and pecans, with a tiny bit of coconut.

Not sure how they got the bayou bars name.  This implies some connection to the marshy wetlands of the Mississippi Gulf Coast region.  Maybe its the pecans.

Mississippi Bayou Bars

Published in: on December 8, 2011 at 8:47 pm  Comments (1)  

Double Oven Action

so, the two that were mixed up last night are going in the oven tonight…as a reminder, those were Chocolate Crinkles and Rosemary Citrus cookies.  The Crinkles came out FANTASTIC, the Rosemary Citrus I will be bringing into work.

Then, the CCC is going for the Russian Tea Cakes/Nut Butterballs.

An all-time fav...Toffee Bars

Ready for the double oven

The CCC has both ovens going

Since it is the anniversary date of the Pearl Harbor attacks, this memory of Christmas Eve 1941 seems appropriate to share today.

Totally off topic and even more random, I was reading tonight that Mitt Romney’s father, George, was Governor of Michigan in the 1960’s.  He was a Republican who advocated for civil rights legislation and who met with ordinary citizens each Thursday morning in his office.  This has nothing to do with cookies, mind you, but is intended only to add interest to the blog.

Published in: on December 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tuesday Catch-up

After a fun weekend in Chicago to visit the Number One Daughter at school and enjoy one of her choral performances, we’re back home tonight. Thanks to Tulip the Kitchen Queen and The Cardinal for accompanying us on the adventure. And congratulations on having your very own suite in the Mundelein Center.

The CCC is in catch-up mode, working on Lemon Ricotta cookies now, after earlier mixing up the dough for both Chocolate Crinkles and Rosemary Citrus cookies.

Published in: on December 6, 2011 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

the chocolate and mint theme – part 3

Sunday night.  The Vikings have been Tebowed.  The Wild game is coming up.  And the cookie of the day is Chocolate Peppermint Crunch.

This is a reprise of the 2009 favorite, but this time, rather than dipping the chocolate wafer in white chocolate, we are going with almond bark.   So, to review, it is a chocolate wafer, dipped in melted almond bark, then sprinkled with crushed candy cane.  It is good.  Should be a fun night as we’ll be joined by some of the Number One Daughter’s college buddies, along with Tulip the Kitchen Queen and her date.

Preparing the minty cookies

The Finished Product

Mertz Hall Stamp of Approval

Published in: on December 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bakin’ to Jingle Bell Rock

White Chocolate Whalers finished product

so, how many artists do you think have recorded the song “Jingle Bell Rock” ?  It has to be a crap load.  I had the Pandora Christmas channel on during the baking process tonight.  And there was Hall & Oates doing “Jingle Bell Rock”.  And Randy Travis.  Turns out that there is also a Jonas Bros. version and a Neil Diamond version and a Billy Idol version and Brian Setzer version.  I am making it a personal goal this holiday season to try to find and enjoy every one.

Published in: on December 1, 2011 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment