Being Betty Crocker (287th new thing).

February 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

My mom has often made giant plates of holiday goodies around Christmas time. Mince pies, sausage rolls, sugar cookies, shortbread, and white chocolate dipped oreos have been included in these giant trays of deliciousness. She’ll give some to neighbors or friends and the family gets to eat the rest. On Day Two Hundred Eighty-Seven, I decided to try my own hand at baking. I made home made shortbread, peppermint bark, and the old standby, chocolate chip cookies.

I researched some sweet tooth recipes online before narrowing down my selection to items that should be easy enough to make in an evening. While I have indeed made chocolate chip cookies from scratch before, it had been long enough for me to question my baking abilities. Usually my method of making cookies involves scooping out the dough from a store bought tube.

I began with the shortbread, using the easiest recipe I could find (with the most positive reviews). I whipped together the sugar (both brown and white to merge a few different recipes), butter, and flour then rolled out the dough thickly. Too thickly. After they came out of the oven, golden brown and ready for sugar to be sprinkled on top, the pieces kind of looked like small bricks, three times the size of the traditional Walker’s Shortbread. At least they tasted good.

Next I moved onto the peppermint bark. I gathered my ingredients: milk chocolate, white chocolate, peppermint oil leftover from Patrick’s birthday Grasshopper Pie, and crushed candy canes from last year’s tree. The chips melted easily in the microwave. I mixed in some peppermint oil and then layered the gooey mess over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. First the milk chocolate, then the white chocolate on top (after first popping the beginning layer in the freezer to set). I sprinkled in some peppermint pieces and returned the concoction back to the cold recesses of our ice box. Once it had set I clumsily broke apart the chocolate into jagged pieces. Another success.

Finally it was chocolate chip cookie time. I had bought Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips and chose to simply follow the recipe on the back of the bag, adding walnuts as a personal preference. By the time these staples came out of the oven I had gorged myself on enough dessert to have me set for the entire holiday season, but there is always room for chocolate chip cookies. The still melted chocolate stuck to my lip as I greedily wolfed down a few bites cookies. They were really good.

Once I had finished my baking experiments, I looked around the kitchen and figured I had too many sweets in the house. I gathered my mom’s old Santa plate from the previous year and piled a little bit of everything onto it. I would take a page out of her book and bring some to share with my coworkers the next day. The rest I felt sure Patrick and I could take care of.

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