Wednesday, December 24, 2014

This Year's Christmas Baking

These pseudo Christmas pudding cakes are my favorite things that I've made this holiday.  They're simply inverted chocolate cupcakes topped with buttercream, cinnamon candies, and mint leaves, but oh!    They're so darling, I'll likely make them every year now.  Last year at this time, I was lamenting that I spent so much time baking every Christmas and never made anything that I liked:  Everything was sugar cookies and peanut butter-filled treats for Mike.  I don't like either, really,  although I love making and decorating the sugar cookies, and I really don't like all that slaving away with no treats around for myself, so this year, I wised up and baked a few of these tiny chocolate cakes. 
I also bought myself a couple Russell Stover-brand chocolate marshmallow snowmen.  I'd never had them before this month but treated myself to one a few weeks ago and have treated myself to a few more since.  ;)  The marshmallow inside is a chocolate-flavored marshmallow, thank you very much.  There are a couple "Val desserts" in our home this year, then, and I'm a happy camper. 
The chocolate Rice Krispie balls above were a (gluten-free) treat I made for Mom while home last week.  Jessica at Such Pretty Things (a gorgeous blog if ever there was one) posted a similar recipe awhile back, and I adjusted it to suit Mom more by using chocolate cereal and drizzling them with melted chocolate chips. 
She loved them, which is always a great feeling for a cook or baker, and they looked cute in their gingham loaf pan packaging too.  If these would survive being mailed--and it seems like they would--they would be cute in care packages.   
I made my brothers the now-traditional gift of our grandmother's fudge.  A seller on etsy created these adorable A Christmas Story-themed ornaments, and since the movie is also part of our family holiday, they worked perfectly as the fudge's package decorations.  :)
Sugar cookies have been baked--
and now decorated, as well.  
Dish-washing, gift-wrapping, and Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas-watching are next.  The night is young.  My favorite night!    

It is currently a balmy 58° here--almost unheard of in this region at this time of year--and all our windows are open.  There is no worrying over family driving on icy roads as they travel to my parents' house tonight for Christmas Eve dinner, at least, and maybe this odd weather will ultimately make this winter feel shorter.  And it will make it easier for me to get out and walk off all the marshmallow snowmen and Christmas pudding cakes in the days ahead, yes?  Yes.  :)  As I do every Christmas Eve, I have been happily imagining what you all are up to today, much like the hostess of the old "Romper Room" show looking into her magic mirror and seeing what all the children were up to at that moment.  "I see Lisa:  She's listening to Christmas carols with her cat!  I see Lorraine now!  Look, she's taking a stroll through her Florida garden!  There's Alyssa!  She's keeping an eye on the Elf on a Shelf!"  I have been like this all day, with all my loved ones coming to mind.  I hope my "magic mirror" is correct and that you are each as happy and safe and cozy as I'm envisioning you.  Happiest of holidays to you all.   


Lisa said...

Val, I think we're about ten degrees cooler here than you, but I heard the weatherman say we'd get up near sixty overnight. But an inch or two of rain also.

Right now the nightly jazz program is on, playing some cool Christmas music and Dolly is nearby on the back of the couch, listening. I have on occasion sent greetings and a photo to the host of the program, and of course he says she's a "cool cat". Henry is also nearby listening quietly. I made an interesting mac and cheese today with tree-shaped pastas and no milk! Chicken broth instead. I will have to post about it.

Your little faux puddings are brilliant! I'm glad you decided to make some things you could enjoy. As for Russell Stover marshmallow things - it's at Easter that I always search for their eggs. They have such nice marshmallow flavors: raspberry, strawberry, maple, chocolate, plain, and some with a bit of caramel. I never think of them at Christmas.

Enjoy! And Christmas greetings to Mike and Stuffed, too. xoxo

Teresa Schubert said...

OOH Val,
I wish I could reach right through the screen and grab one of those pudding cakes YUM YUM :-) It all looks so good! Here's wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas indeed!!
sugar spice and whatever's nice

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Val ~ What fun you had baking and I love the way you decorate it all. It looks so yummy! I didn't do much baking this year for Christmas, but plan to do a little more next week. :-)

I chuckled when I saw my name mentioned and my strolling through my FL gardens. I will do just that later. We had a thunderstorm around 2:30 which gave us a nice heavy rain for a bit. It's been very warm and humid here, so the a.c. is on.

May you and Mike have a lovely Christmas filled with much love, joy & peace and may 2015 be GREAT.


Marie Rayner said...

VAl, you are well set for Christmas goodies. I find myself doing the same, baking things for everyone else, but not doing my own favourites! Next year I will be sure to make one or two for me. I remember always being disappointed when I watched Romper Room as a child because she never saw, "me." Oh well, it was still fun to watch. Happy Christmas! xoxoxo

Nellie said...

Oh, my! What lovely treats you have been creating! Very tasty indeed! I believe I could go for one of those snowmen created by Russell Stover! We had rain off and on Christmas Eve, and today we have a glimmer of sunshine here. No snow or ice for worries, thankfully. Merry Christmas to you!

Val said...

Thank you all. What great, "meaty" comments! I loved reading all these. Merry Christmas! ♥