Friday, December 24, 2010

The List

Last night I prepared a list of ALL the things I wanted to make today and this weekend. I've managed to cross off quite a few things...and one that needs to be repeated because it was a fail, but more on that later.

After preheating the oven first thing this morning, I successfully made the following:
  • Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Pfeffernussen
  • Lemon Rosemary Thumbprint Cookies w/ Strawberry Preserves
  • Coconut Macaroons (yet to be dipped in dark chocolate)
  • Sweet & Spicy Rosemary Nuts
I then tried these Coconut Date Walnut Truffles that I thought my mom would like since she loves those coconut covered dates from Trader Joe's, plus I had some dates that needed used because I think they're icky even though I know they're good for you.

The results were less than stellar for me, but I think that's more due to a failure on my execution than the recipe. If I were to ever make this again, I'd leave out the marshmallows, which seem like an odd addition to begin with. The mixture was so sticky that I gave up and put the rest of it in a pan, hoping that I can cut it into bars or something.

I can only imagine how long this really takes because I halved the recipe and there was still a ton of it. I rolled some in ground walnuts and the rest in unsweetened coconut.

My next project turned out pretty well considering it's something I've never tried before. I made some mini fruit pies with puff pastry and apples. With one sheet of pastry I managed to make four nice sized treats that I set aside for our dinner.

They were super simple: just mix together diced apple with brown sugar (and cook it a bit to soften, a step I totally left out but they were fine), spoon the apple mixture onto a piece of dough, wet down the edges, fold over and pinch the edges a bit, seal the edges with a fork, pierce the top a few times, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

They puffed up beautifully and smelled terrific. I forgot to take a photo of them at dinner where they were served warm with a scoop of Jeni's Honey Vanilla Bean ice cream and fresh whipped cream made with Snowville Creamery cream. Mmm...

My next project is one I've tried (twice) before without much luck. No, not the caramel, but granola. I used this recipe, following everything but using dried cranberries for my fruit add in. I think this time I had a winner. I'm always worried about it burning or smelling like it's burnt, but this time I lucked out! I filled two large mason jars- I might bring one to my mom tomorrow. Hopefully they'll like it!

Right now I'm torn between having this for breakfast tomorrow or another one of those apple pies with more whipped cream. Hmm...decisions...

My last experiment of the day before I shut the oven off until dinner was Chex Mix. My husband loves the stuff, but I hate buying that garbage. I've tried it one other time, using a recipe from the actual Chex site, but I burned it a bit and there wasn't enough flavoring to truly cover all the cereal. This time I tried a Martha Stewart recipe for Chesapeake Bay Snack Mix. I left out the pretzels and used Goldfish crackers. North Market Spices even had a Chesapeake Bay spice mixture. I guess it's supposed to be the same as the Old Bay seasoning, but I've never used that before. I also used half the amount of Tabasco sauce, but it still was
WAY too much. The end result is super spicy and he won't eat it. And since I'm not a fan of the stuff to begin with, I really don't want to eat it either. I might try to pawn it off on my family tomorrow, but they're not big on spicy. I hate wasting food! Especially when you consider I used that entire box of cereal.

I'll try again on Sunday or sometime early next week once I can get my hands on some cereal- I wasn't in the mood to leave the house today even though I was starting to run out of things. I'm going back to the Chex website for their recipe, using only the half recipe amount of  cereal (which is all he really wants) and either doubling or tripling the regular amount of butter/seasoning. And being vigilant to not burn it!

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