Monday, December 21, 2009

Lots of baking ... check.

Aside from the old sugar cookies from my freezer, I did manage to do some real baking this Christmas season. This year, I tried a new recipe, made an old favorite, and made one that almost led to the demise of my marriage. Let me explain ...

The new recipe I tried was Orange Poppy Seed Bread. I doubled the recipe and made 8 mini loaves and 2 full-size loaves. I used these for gifts for my staff at work and teacher gifts. I have not eaten any yet, but it smelled delicious and I got good feed back from everyone who got this yummy treat last week. The recipe called for Imitation Butter, which I had to check at two different groceries stores for, but other than that, it was a breeze!

One of my all-time favorite cakes is this Sugar-and-Spice Cake from Southern Living. And this cake is made from a mix, which makes it super-easy. The icing is simply "to die for." See photo below ... my cake really did look like this ... minus all the fancy "greenery".

{photo courtesy of Southern Living Magazine ... styled by Rebecca Kracke Gordon. She tailgates with us at all of the Alabama football games. Check out her personal cooking blog here.}

Last, but not least was my attempt to make the infamous cake ball. You've probably read about them here and here. These people act like they are just the easiest things in the world to make, but I am here to tell you that THEY ARE NOT! I tried to make these last year, and my sweet hubby volunteered to help me dip them in the chocolate. About 150 cake balls (and several hours later), we called it quits and threw the rest of them away. We did get high compliments from Will's co-worker and his family who got some of the ones we finished.

Last year, I missed the all important step of chilling the cake/frosting mixture before I made the balls. So, I thought I would try again this year. It did not go any better. We even tried and different dipping chocolate after the first night did not go well (I thought maybe my almond bark was old) and new chocolate did not make the process any easier. We did about 50 chocolate balls before I called it quits. I still have the red velvet cake balls in the fridge ... I am hoping I can get up enough energy to frost them. Otherwise, they will be trashed too. Does anybody have any secrets to making this work? If so, please enlighten me!

I guess that 2 out of 3 success rate is not too shabby! I'll take it!


Phillips Phamily Mama said...

I had the same problem with my cake balls. It was like I couldn't get the coating thin enough to easily dip them. We got three done. I quit to save my marriage.

Hillary @ The Other Mama said...

I have seen those cake balls everywhere, but had no idea or enough courage to make them! They look great, though...if someone else will make them for me! I'm sure I'd gladly eat them.
And imitation buttah? Really? Is there such a thing?
I have a friend who works at SL, too and I'm so jealous! What a fun job, right? I'm sure they don't have stress at all and they sit around drinking mimosas all day. :)