It’s December. We have officially broken out the Christmas music and the crocheted Christmas stockings. There is a poinsetta atop the table and pine cones are dangling from my chandelier. Yesterday Becca found a bit of mistletoe on an old oak tree, and this weekend we’ll go find some holly in our woods.
Now it’s time to start baking!
This week the 4 Moms are making cookies, and I hope you are too. Be sure to link up with your favorite recipes. Bonus points if you include pics of your little ones helping out!
Wednesday did not go according to plan. I thought we’d see Dad off to work, straighten the house, then do some fun baking and have a photo shoot for today’s post.
Instead, I realized at 2 AM on Tuesday night that I had a dentist appointment Wednesday at 2. I needed to get up in time to drive Perry to work so that I would have a vehicle to get to my appointment. I would have to make a full day of the outing as usual, getting groceries and running errands while I was in town.
Perry was taking 3 big girls and The Boy to work with him. I would need to take the baby with me, of course, and somebody old enough to watch him while I was in the chair. I also decided to take Rachael since she rarely gets to go. Hmm. That left just 3 people at home. What’s the point of that? We decided to go whole-hog and take the whole crew. There were no cookies getting baked at our house on Wednesday.
Ah, but getting groceries while dreaming of Christmas cookies is not good for the budget. I got 2 bags of chocolate chips to add to our supply at home, then I went to Costco where I bought the equivalent of 6 more bags. I also bought 8 lbs. of real butter, 3 lbs. of cream cheese (that’s like 6 big packages), 2 boxes of saltines, 10 lbs. of sugar (just in case the supply at home runs low), 5 lbs. of cranberries, 4 lbs. of raisins, an extra bottle of vanilla. We already have several bags of powdered sugar, 3 lbs. each of almonds, walnuts and pecans…you get the idea. I think I bought other food, but I had sweets on the brain.
Are you wondering what we’ll do with the saltines? Surely you’ve had Poor Man’s Toffee?
Poor Man’s Toffee
makes 50 pieces – great for gifts
- 1 1/4 cups butter, divided
- 35-40 saltine-style crackers
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 3/4 cups finely chopped walnuts
Pay attention. This happens quickly:
- Melt 1/4 cup butter; pour into foil-lined jelly roll pan.
- Arrange crackers over butter, evenly spaced.
- Melt remaining butter; add sugar and boil 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add condensed milk. Spread over crackers.
- Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, until bubbly and slightly darkened.
- Remove from oven, cool 1 minute, and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes (until chocolate is soft and melty) and spread.
- Sprinkle with nuts; press lightly into chocolate.
- Cool; refrigerate until chocolate is set.
- Remove foil and cut candy.
Yum! Rich, delicious and very impressive, and much faster and easier than it sounds. No one can ever guess the saltine cracker base – it tastes a lot like Almond Roca.
I also plan to make Russian Teacakes (also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes), chocolate chip cookies, cranberry bread, pecan pie, pecan raising pie, apple-cranberry pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin rolls, and any other recipe that catches my fancy.
Here’s what the other moms are baking:
Inspire me: what’s your favorite holiday sweet?
Upcoming topics to be tackled by the 4 Moms:
- Dec. 9- Toy management: Out with the old and in with the new.
- Dec. 16 – Feeding company: Because it’s rude to eat in front of them
- Dec. 23 – Questions for the Four Moms: Got a question? Get it in now!
- Dec. 30 – Teaching children to do their chores: If you’re doing it all yourself, then you missed your promotion.