Thursday, December 11, 2008

Baking, and more baking!

Two discoveries:
It is imperative that you use a brand name peanut butter when making peanut butter munchies, and I think that White Lily flour makes them better as well. Other peanut butter will result in a dry, rather than moist and chewy, center.
Other news: My giant ginger cookies won for best cookie at last night's scrapbook cookie swap! Woo hoo! They were a "big" hit...ha ha, sorry for the joke.
I just got through baking cookies for another cookie swap tomorrow night. I decided to make Giant Ginger Cookies. All the recipes I have been using recently have been from this magazine that I bought several years ago. Apparently they print it every year because I saw it on the rack at Hobby Lobby today. I plan to make the cute Santa ones you can see on the front as gifts this year.

The Giant Ginger Cookies are turning out GREAT! I have never been a huge ginger cookie fan, but the magazine said that when they first featured the cookies on the front of the magazine in 1998 that they got tons of calls saying they were the best ginger cookies ever, so I decided to give them a try. They really are good. You can click on the link HERE to see the recipe.

Here are some photos of the cookies during and after baking. See how big they are??? Mmmmmm...they are so chewy!

I have just discovered, while typing this blog, that I under-baked most of the cookies. I was sitting here waiting for the timer to beep and it was taking a long time, so I went to check and saw that I had forgotten to set a timer. I rushed to get the cookies out, only to discover that they were even bigger and looked even better than all the others I had made! Argh! We will see after they cool, but I don't think I baked the rest long enough. I think they taste great, they aren't doughy or anything, but that extra 3-4 minutes really made them "bloom" into true ginger-snap look-alikes. It could be that they turn into a crunchy mess, who knows...these pictures are of the "correct" cookies, as I took new photos and replaces the underdone photos! ha ha.
We were supposed to make 6 dozen cookies for the cookie swap, but needless to say I did not make that many! I think these cookies should count as at LEAST two each! (maybe three!) I used the same amount of dough that most recipes use, but it just called for you to make huge cookies. Even the first batches were huge, now these bigger ones probably could count as 4 cookies!
Now, I am sure I could have tried making smaller cookies, but I didn't want to mess with it this time since it was my first attempt. Maybe next time I will play around with the cooking times and try something smaller. I am hoping I can make smaller ones work because I think I want to do these for next year's "competition" cookie swap at church ha ha!

Speaking of baking, the kids and I have also been working on some Christmas baking projects. My mother-in-law gave us a Christmas Countdown book. Each day has a Bible verse and "word of the day" in a countdown till Christmas (of course)! Anyway, Saturdays have a family activity and this week's was to make salt-dough ornaments. We did it this week while Kaitlyn was here as a school project. The recipe is extremely simple (flour, salt, water), but I added some cinnamon and cloves to make it smell good and the house really did smell WONDERFUL while the ornaments baked. Our camera is still out, but I did get to borrow one so I could take pictures today of the three painting their ornaments. Here they are, and some pictures of Katie's and Noah's trees in their rooms, displaying their homemade ornaments.
There is Mod Podge on these, painted on to "seal" the paint and to preserve the cookie from falling apart or whatever. It dries clear.

Katie's white tree in her princess room. We now have a white/silver material covering the stand.Noah's tree. They decorated all by themselves.
Noah has a cookie print material covering the stand on his tree now.


ktwalden said...

The cookies look delicious! I am sure the kids had fun making the decorations and their trees look adorable!

andysbethy said...

Those cookies are HUGE!!! They look like they would smell and taste delicious. I may have to try those. Today was supposed to be cookie baking day with a friend, but it got postponed. I may have to whip up a batch of something anyway, just to hold me over. I am seriously craving Christmas cookies!

Michelle said...

girl you are a baking crazy person!!!!