Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Baking Marathon

Saturday was a full day - I headed over to my mother-in-law's house at 9:00 AM for a twelve hour baking marathon. I sure didn't know what the day had in store when I left the house - I figured I would be over there for a few hours...but it turned into an entire day in the kitchen. My mother-in-law does TONS of baking every year for holiday gifts - she had called me earlier in the week and asked me to join her....when I arrived, she had over ten labor-intensive recipes ready to prepare. She had done some dough making throughout the week, so my first task was to cut over 100 sugar cookies and get them in the was a giant double batch and I was able to use every Christmas cookie cutter under the sun! While they were cooling, I rolled and shaped 75 candy cane cookies...baked them, then sprinkled the warm cookies with crushed peppermints sticks. I helped with the preparation of several of her famous candies, then it was time to frost and decorate all the sugar cookies - it seemed an endless task - I started out being all clever and decorating each one specially, but by the end of the day, I (admittedly) was just frosting and shaking sprinkles on each one. While I was doing the frosting, she was baking pumpkin bread and banana nut bread. By the time I left, we had made ten different candies, cookies, and breads - double batches of each...and we were both exhausted. After a very full day, we cleaned the kitchen and I packed up two small tins of treats to bring was a lot of work, but very fun to spend the day baking with my mother-in-law. I hope you make time to do some holiday baking with family and/or friends...

To assist with your holiday baking, here is a favorite cookie recipe from my kitchen:

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Star Cookies
1 bag chocolate stars
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar (for rolling dough before baking)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate star into the center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from baking sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. This recipe makes about 4 dozen "yummy" cookies.


  1. Looks like you had a great time with your mother-in-law. I'm drooling over my keyboard!
    Thanks for the recipe.

  2. The peanut butter and chocolate star cookies were always my favorite as a little girl! I'm sure many will enjoy all your hard work! :)

  3. Wow! What yummy treats you created with your MIL! You had me drooling with your opening picture of the buckeyes!


  4. Christmas baking is so much fun! Thanks for the recipe. I will have to give it a go.

    Hugs, Kaye xoxox

  5. wowwwwwwww yummy..thank you for the is sound so yummy..
    hugs xx

  6. Ohhhh they all look so delicious!!! I've started my marathon baking this week, and it's going to be hard not to eat everything I'm making before I give them away!!