Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bake Day!

I was first introduced to "Bake Day" the first Christmas that Ezra and I were married.  We traveled to the farm (from Columbus, AFB) a few days before Christmas, just in time for "Bake Day."  I had never heard of such a thing and was informed that it was a designated day before Christmas, often a Saturday, when the ladies (mostly) baked all the goodies for Christmas.  It included sugar cookies, brownies, Martha Washington cookies, cakes, and/or any other goodies that were planned for Christmas.  Ezra and I participated that year....My mother-in-law had even made me my own worn by Matthew.

Baking all these goodies in just one day (and with more than one person in the kitchen) was very different from how I had been raised.  Since my mom stayed at home, she baked and prepared goodies throughout the day, for several days before Christmas.....usually while my sister and I were at school.  We would come home to find Christmas cookies and such already made.  She would often begin around the 1st of December and freeze any treats that could be frozen in order to prevent baking overload closer to Christmas. 

Throughout the years, we have participated in Bake Day in various ways, depending on our Christmas plans.  This year, my three bigger kids helped their Nana bake and decorate sugar cookies a few weeks ago (which, by the way, have already been eaten).  I knew that I had several sweet treats that I was planning on fixing for either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  All week I had planned on getting started and maybe doing a little bit over a few days, but for some reason or another I never got anything done.  Therefore, today turned into an impromptu "Bake Day" for me and my littles.  The plan included chocolate dipped peanut butter crackers, almond bark covered Oreos, Oreo pie, and almond bark dipped pretzels.  I have plans later to bake a Red Velvet Cake and decorate a gingerbread lighthouse, but I think we are saving that for a Christmas Day activity.

My "helpers" are ready....And no, I did not realize until I downloaded the pictures that my apron was on backwards....

 "Act like you love each other."
Apparently Matthew wasn't too sure...

Lots of "help" in the kitchen, melting chocolate

White chocolate covered peanut butter crackers


Almond bark oreos

Plan A:  Dipping pretzels one at a time and letting excess drip off

Plan B:  dumping in a whole bunch of pretzels as once and gently stirring until coated

By the way, did you know there is a difference between white chocolate and almond bark?  Growing up, I always assumed that all white candy coatings were white chocolate; therefore, I claimed to like white chocolate, sometimes more than milk chocolate.  It was not until a year ago (seriously) that I discovered that almond bark and white chocolate are totally different!  All of the great treats growing up that I thought were white chocolate....turns out they were almond bark!  Almond bark is a vanilla candy coating, rather than chocolate.  No wonder I like it better!  Hello, my name is Allison, and I like vanilla better than chocolate.

And finally, today....

Oreo pie....yum.

Yes, I do realize that today did not actually involve any baking, despite the name "Bake Day."  It did, however, allow me to finish all of the sweet treats for tomorrow night, giving me time tomorrow and Saturday to bake meatballs, au gratin potatoes and squash casserole. 

Happy Baking and Merry Christmas!!!

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