First up was to make some Gingerbread with my Amish Friendship Bread starter. Many of you have probably heard of this or even used it. My "starter" is about six years old & was given to me by a neighbor where we used to live. I've shared it with many, many people & always have some in my freezer. If you haven't tried it & want to check it out, go HERE. I've made so many variations, & the possibilities are endless.
Miss Betty is a "prep" first kind of cook, so we got everything measured and lined up prior to the actual mixing.
This bread recipe has vegetable oil (I use Canola), but I top off the amount with a flavored olive oil -- Vanilla Bean for this recipe. We have an Olive Mill just a short distance from our home, & they have some of the best olive oils I've ever tasted. The flavored ones are very intense, so it only takes a small amount.
Right away, Miss Betty filled the sink with hot-sudsy water, so she could keep things cleaned up. Do ya'll do that?
We used the Pampered Chef divided loaf pan stoneware (it makes the perfect size little breads to give away or pop in your freezer) & popped it in the convection oven.
Next up was Biscotti. This was a Family Circle recipe that I found in Pinterest. These were actually disappointing in flavor & texture, so I won't even share the link for this recipe.
This biscotti had cranberries & orange rind. Do you used a Microplane? It's really a fantastic tool, super-sharp, & makes quick work of many grating jobs.
Miss Betty wanted to share a little FYI about mixing fruit into recipes. She suggests adding some of your flour mixture to the fruit which helps separate the pieces (these are cranberries) prior to adding the fruit to your batter. She also did this with the raisins for the Gingerbread. She just has so many helpful tidbits after her many years of baking....lol!
Once again, we are using a Pampered Chef Stone bar pan for the Biscotti. I'm fortunate to have double ovens, so this went into the lower oven because it takes about an hour total baking time.
The Gingerbread is all done & on the cooling racks. At this point, my house smells soooo.....GOOD!
Then it was on to one of our family favorites, Snickerdoodles. This recipe is from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book that has been in my collection for 35+ years!
You can see it has shortening in it, but BC used mostly butter.
Normally, the balls are rolled in cinnamon sugar, but I love all these colorfully-festive sprinkles for Christmas.
We are again using the convection oven because both racks get evenly cooked & in much less time.
The next recipe is from Martha Stewart's Cookie Book -- Molasses Crinkles.
These are kind of chewy and were a big hit last year!
The batter is soft, so it needs to be refrigerated at least an hour (longer is better).
Do ya'll know what this is? Well, it's made of clay & needs to be soaked in water periodically, and......
then placed in the canister with your brown sugar to keep the sugar from drying out. Totally works! Oops, BC forgot to remind me to take some pics of the Molasses Crinkles after baking....lol!
Here's the array of goodies all loaded into the containers ready for the freezer or delivery.
Another little FYI, when filling your cookie tins, do layers of different things separated with parchment or waxed paper. Then when company stops by or you need some goodies to take to a party, you can pull out one tin and have a variety. Yes, that's fudge which I forgot to tell you about. It's a super-easy recipe from a fellow blogger which you can find HERE
I love to do "Neighbor" gifts, & this one is for the sweet family who lives right next door. They have adorable 4 yr. old twin boys who just love to come over to see what "The Man" is doing in his workshop. For this, I simply punched holes around the edge of one of those thick paper plates & ran some red ribbon through the holes. Just makes it a bit more festive!
Here are some of the little breads, wrapped in saran & then place inside some cute plastic bags I found at Walmart. I put tags on everything & most of these will be going to neighbors.
Well, hooray, my baking is all finished & stored in the freezer. Miss Betty isn't quite as frazzled as last year, but she's tired & wants to take a nap. If you want to stop by, I'll have some yummy goodies & a nice cup of tea for you. Hope you enjoy every last minute of this week before the "Big Day!"
I'm merrily linking to: