Thursday, December 23, 2010

Big Baking Fail

Yesterday I decided I should probably start my Christmas baking, yikes! To say it didn't go well is an understatement! Now, I was no where near as ambitious as I was last year, we just don't have the time nor money this year to even do half of that. I decided to make these Peanut Butter Balls, but I wanted to make them dairy free so that Grace would have a dessert she could eat on Christmas. Well, they came out so gross! The dairy free chocolate I used was unsweetened and just  gross, I tried to sweeten it myself using Grace's soy milk and butter, but I had no luck! After only dipping a few of them in dairy free chocolate I sent Cole out to get real chocolate chips for the rest of the balls. I tried a different method of dipping them using a mini muffin pan and it was an absolute disaster! I ended up running out of chocolate and having some naked peanut butter balls left over!

Then I tried to make these Saltine Toffee dairy free as well, bad mistake! I normally LOVE these, but I failed again. The dairy free butter combined with the dairy free chocolate equals a huge disaster. I tried to save these by adding confectioner sugar to sweeten them up, but had no luck. Grace loves them though and ate 3 of them yesterday. I'll probably bring them to Christmas Eve any ways but warn others against eating them.

After those dairy free disasters I made the next one with dairy! I made these but with M&Ms instead of candy corn. I don't know what went wrong here, but for some reason I didn't have enough white chocolate so it turned out to be more of white chocolate coated oreos and pretzels instead of a bark. Ugh! These are suppose to be presents for people! I ended up still using them as presents since it still taste good, it just doesn't look as good.

Next I attempted to make these popcorn balls, dairy free for Grace. The dairy free butter makes things extra liquidy (I know totally making up words here!) so the first batch was super runny, so it never hardened enough to make any sort of ball out of it. The 2nd batch I used more popcorn and had better luck. I can't really say that I or Grace really like these, lime popcorn is just kind of weird.

Overall not a good baking day, AT ALL! I've never been so disappointed in my cooking! I'm so unhappy using these as gifts and bringing them to people's houses for dessert, but I have no time nor money to remake them, so it is what it is!

Even after failing all day, I decided to make some reindeer food and Santa cookies with Grace last night while Cole was at hockey. The reindeer food is just oatmeal with lots of Christmas sprinkles, it makes it all pretty and shiny! Grace thought it was really cool. We'll sprinkle it on our lawn on Christmas Eve so that way Santa's reindeer will see it and be sure to stop!

Reindeer food
Close up of the reindeer food
 After we made the reindeer food, we made some cookies for Santa. Now, because I'm always pressed for time I just bought the pre-made cutout cookies that even come with the frosting to decorate! Grace was very excited about making cookies for Santa and insisted on watching them bake!
 (Yup those boxes to the left are all presents that need wrapping! I may not be sleeping until after Christmas!)

I may take to many pictures, because Grace now insists on pretending to photograph everything, including Santa's cookies!
 Grace hard at work decorating Santa's cookies!
 The final product! Please note that after we individually decorated 5-6 cookies, we then took the Jackson Pollock approach and frosted all the cookies at once in a splatter sort of fashion.
 Grace managed to swipe herself a cookie!
 This morning I prepped the buffalo chicken dip for Christmas eve. I still need to finish my Christmas shopping, but can't do it until after Cole gets home from work and then I still need to wrap A LOT of presents! Oh man, this could be a very, very, long night! Cole is also working a regular full day tomorrow so I won't have time in between wrangling 3 kids to do any of it tomorrow. In fact, just trying to get all 3 kids plus myself cleaned, dressed, packed and ready to go will take a miracle to accomplish! Once everything is finally all set I think I can start to get into the Christmas spirit!

And just because they are cute, here are a few smiles from the babies!