The only thing I had to do was move the Christmas display from the island because she said she would need to use that for baking. Well, you know us "tweakers" can't just set something aside even when it's only temporary. So this is my temporary dining table vignette.
Well, then Miss Betty (is it Miss, Mrs. or Ms.? -- I don't know) started setting things out on the island. I had a list of what needed to be made and had purchased all the supplies which made her very happy. Oh, she had such a spring to her step as she started measuring, pouring & mixing. It was truly contagious. The Man even offered to help by putting our Christmas By the Fireside DVD on the t.v. making sure Miss Betty could hear it over the sound of the mixer. Wasn't that nice of him?
The first thing she did was to check the recipes for anything that needed to be chilled before baking. Yep, those Molasses Crinkles from Martha Stewart's Cookie Book needed just that. You might be wondering how BC felt about using a recipe from MS, but she assured me she was just fine with it. After all, BC did teach MS all she knows! Her words, not mine. Okay, Molasses Crinkles dough is chilling and Miss Betty moves on to Snickerdoodles which is in her Cookie Book. She decided to double the recipe which I queried her about, reminding her just how many little balls she would need to roll in cinnamon-sugar; but, that woman is quite strong-willed and reminded me that Snickerdoodles were my son's favorite cookie, so we needed a lot. Well, really, who am I to argue?
Oh yes, lots of little balls to roll in the cinnamon-sugar.
Nothing smells or tastes quite as good as a warm-from-the-oven snickerdoodle.
She really is one amazing woman. She actually was washing and cleaning up the area as she worked, but I was starting to notice a bit less enthusiasm than when she started. I think she may have been on a sugar-low that comes after the sugar-high when you've been doing a bit too much sampling of your own goodies. Yep, she was sneaking cookies and even giving samples to The Man. Can you believe that? Still, on she moved (after a shot of caffeine) to Lemon Squares. These, too, she decided to double-batch because they are my daughter's favorite.
She enjoyed making these because this was another one of HER recipes and it's super easy. She was starting to look a little haggard as she gave the Lemon Squares their dusting of powdered sugar.
Next up was a recipe from The Pioneer Woman's website called Cleta Bailey's Toffee Squares. Miss Betty again acquiesced to preparing someone else's recipe because she is pretty star-struck by anything the Pioneer Woman does. She prepared the base recipe and popped it in the oven. Then she grabbed the huge bag of chocolate chips that had been sitting on the counter next to the oven all day, and I could see a bit of concern cross her face. She said the bag felt a bit squishy in places, but she immediately moved it to a cooler location like that would instantly help. Please, Miss Betty, why would you leave a bag of chocolate sitting next to the oven (not on it, just next to it, but still)? She was able to salvage most of the chips and had plenty to go on top of the Toffee Squares for the second layer. She decided to finish off the Toffee Squares before making a plan for the melted chips. Just some chopped pecans on top and that's finished.
Now, what to do with all this gooey, partially melted chocolate in this bag? I ventured to suggest a recipe for fudge that I had just seen that morning in a blog party which was supposed to be very, very easy. She agreed to give it a try after giving me a long hard scowl. Hey, she's the one who left the chocolate chips next to the stove, right? Anyway, this recipe is Super Simple Fudge from While He Was Napping and it was very easy.
By this time, Miss Betty was no longer washing up as she went along. She was tossing things in the dishwasher that I don't think she had ever put in the dishwasher before. She was moving toward the door when I stopped her and reminded her that we (I mean, she) still had those Molasses Crinkles to make and some Friendship Fruit Breads. Again with that darn scowl. She was kind of being "Scroogy." She said she would have to return in the morning to finish up. I thought, fat-chance, she's not coming back here. But guess what, she did come back and finished up the baking. She asked me not to plan on her coming back to my house for a good long time, at least a year. That's okay with me. My waistline and hips couldn't take her being here any more often than that. This is the array of goodies she made, and I'm truly grateful.
Look at all that lemony goodness.
Brown sugary crust topped with chocolate & pecans -- yum!
I made several pretty plates of these goodies to share with our children & Grands, some as a "Thank You" for being good neighbors, & one to our Vet who always takes such good care of our little Abby when we have to be away.
I hope y'all enjoyed my little experience with my special guest and oh, before I forget, Miss Betty asked me to tell all my friends that she is NOT for hire!
I am linking to:
Cottage and Vine
The Twelve Days of Christmas Goodies
Amaze Me Monday