Christmas Cookies 2013

It is THAT time of year again….holiday cookie time! I had so much fun baking today with my mom and sister!

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My sweet girl in her winter sweater!

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This weekend brought the first real snow storm of the year, which made today perfect for hiding in the warm house baking. My poor husband, on the other hand, has shoveled the driveway at least 3 times in the last 24 hours.

Prepping for fudge with walnuts
Prepping for fudge with walnuts

I am always grateful for help in the kitchen, but today was especially hilarious. We made all the family favorites; peanut butter blossoms, Grandma’s chocolate fudge, and walnut ball cookies.

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Not a year goes by where we don’t have these sweet treats at Christmas gatherings…they are one of the most delicious traditions in our family to date.

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After a total of 6 batches of cookies and one large batch of fudge I think we should be set until New Years…or maybe Valentine’s day.

This year I also tackled a new treat…I regretfully admit that it didn’t pan out as expected. Not to say that they don’t taste good…because they absolutely do. To put it nicely…they are not the most attractive dessert that I have ever made. I was inspired by a co-worker bringing cake balls to share a couple weeks ago. I thought, “how easy, I can make those”. I was half right; I could indeed make them. But my version brings to mind the word “rustic” instead of “decadent”. I want to share this recipe (even though it is not perfection) because experimenting without fear in the kitchen is important. And when all else fails…close your eyes and focus on how delicious they taste!  ; )

Ingredients

  • 1/2 recipe red velvet cake (can be homemade or from boxed cake mix)
  • 1/2 container vanilla frosting (8 oz.)
  • 12 oz Candi-quick; chocolate flavored

Make cake according to recipe or package directions.

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Let cool completely.

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Place cake in a large bowl and break up into crumbs with a fork. I will admit I felt guilty crumbling a perfectly beautiful cake, but it is for a good cause.

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Next, spoon the frosting on top of the cake and mix to combine. Begin melting the Candi-quick in a saucepan over medium-low heat; stir often until completely melted then turn off the heat. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the cake mixture, roll into a ball, and dip in chocolate mixture.

imperfectly delicious
imperfectly delicious

Coat the cake ball completely in chocolate and transfer to parchment paper to cool. In hindsight I think I would chill the cake/frosting mixture for several hours before rolling in chocolate.

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This may prevent the cake from melting into the chocolate coating and make it easier to roll. Stay tuned for cake balls 2.0 coming soon! I love how festive the cake balls look when you bite into them and reveal the red cake.

I have several more holiday treats to make before Christmas day, but I’d say this was a pretty productive snowy December Sunday. Wishing you happy holiday baking with your loved ones; enjoy!

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