Wednesday, December 28, 2016
I have probably the biggest sweet tooth ever (which in reality isn't a good thing). So every time my favorite candy and cookie brands release a new flavor, I like to get a package to try it out. For the seasonal flavors I can't always remember if I tried it or not. Such was the case for the Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses. While I still can't remember if I've tried it or not, I decided to bake with it. The perfect opportunity came when Auntie Vicki sent out an email about Christmas Day and I offered to bake these. They're basically like the Peanut Butter Blossom cookies with the regular kisses except instead of peanut butter the cookie is chocolate and brownie-like. The Hershey's website does have a recipe for these but I decided on one I found on Pinterest (I really need to cut down on my Pinterest use for baking).
Every year for her birthday Nonni gets her favorite spice cake. To me this means she would like the cookie version (or any sweet with lots of spices). So a couple years ago I found a from-scratch cookie version and gave it to her in the form of a jar for her Christmas gift (you know what I'm talking about - the dry ingredients for a baked good are layered in a jar with the recipe attached and all you have to do is empty the jar, add the wet ingredients, and bake). Not sure it went over well. So this year I decided to make the cookies. I thought I had pinned a from-scratch recipe but all I could find was one with the spice cake mix. Which was perfect since that's what Auntie Vicki uses to make the cake. And it's just how I like to use box mixes nowadays.
Last year when I was picking out Kevin's girlfriend Helen's present all Kevin would tell me for her favorite flavors was that she liked chocolate (which I kinda already knew). In a way, it wasn't that helpful (as evidenced by how I picked Kevin's gift, I can be indecisive at times). Still, over the last year as I've come across super-chocolatey recipes on Pinterest, I've saved them. I ended up having quite a few chocolate recipes to choose from so I just picked one of the death-by-chocolate cookie recipes at random. I have many, many more years to use the dozen or so other recipes.
As I've said before, one of few things my mom likes that almost no one else in our family does is coconut. So even when I don't have coconut in my pantry, I tend to focus on the coconut recipes on Pinterest when searching for Mom's presents. For Christmas I chose a white chocolate coconut cookies recipe from - believe it or not - Ebay (apparently they have a whole section on their site for recipes and how-to guides and such).
When picking out Kevin's beer-infused present, I just kind of randomly picked one that looked quick and easy (keep in mind I had about 7 separate baked goods to make. Quick and easy had to happen at some point). And what's quicker and easier than something that goes in a square pan? Well, these were a bit more complicated than that but I was still able to get them and another quick batch of cookies done by dinner.