Pics From My “Baking Fest 2011”

Every year I have an all-day “baking fest” and make all sorts of baked goodies for my husband’s co-workers. It’s just something that I love to do and I turn it into a fun activity to do with the kids.

Each year it gets a little more fun as the kids get older and can help out and enjoy it more. They love to help mix everything and add on the sprinkles and such. This year, they were a *huge* help in getting all the wrappers off the Hershey’s kisses that we used.

I thought I’d share a few pictures of some of the things that I made and where I found the recipes in case you were looking for something new to add to your baking day. Mine never turn out as great as the originals as I’m not really that great at making everything look so pretty and perfect. But…it all tastes the same and my hubby’s co-workers appreciate everything so it’s all good! :)

These are little square pretzels with melted candy cane kisses and an M&M on them. This one is from My Computer is My Canvas and she has a great M&M Nativity Legend you can add to it. I printed these and put the pretzels in a separate bag and put them on with the red twist ties that came with the bags.

These are “North Pole Cupcakes” made from cupcakes, frosting, candy canes, sprinkles and a topper. The original recipe used a red Gobstopper but I forgot to buy them. I didn’t have anything else to use so I came up with dyeing a small marshmallow with some red dye. Totally a last resort as I don’t like using dyes. The marshmallow topper and sign are added on with just a dab of frosting. This one comes from One Charming Party. She also has the North Pole printable available.

I had to add this photo so you could see how the sprinkles kind of look like snow. They are such a nice touch if you can find them. I used some Wilton Sprinkles that I found at Michael’s Craft Store. I used a 40 or 50% Off coupon for a deal on them.

These are Peanut Butter Blossoms that I tried to make look like a Christmas tree. Didn’t work so much as my fingers were so tired by then! They have some star sprinkles that if you put on top, adds a nice touch. I didn’t have time to make “homemade” so I used a Betty Crocker Cookie Mix this year–something I almost never do!

These are always the favorite with his co-workers. They are so simple to make. It’s just pretzels that you dip in melted almond bark. You need to add the sprinkles on before the almond bark dries, which is usually pretty fast! I’ve found that using two forks is the best way to allow the almond bark to drip off them.

These are just your typical Rice Krispie Treats Recipe. I really don’t like using dyes so I keep them plain and add sprinkles and some frosting. Though, you could make them more festive by adding green or red dye to the mix before adding in the cereal.

Mmmm….Brownie Oreo Bites! These are so delicious!! They are fairly easy to make. Basically you make the brownie batter according to the box, drop the Oreos in and get them covered and then put them in a generously sprayed muffin pan. When they are done, you have to run a knife under them and pop them out. I found it easiest to put down some waxed/parchment paper and then flip the pan upside down to get them out but you may find an easier way. This one comes from Picky Palate. All the cooking details are there along with beautiful pics of hers. I didn’t add as much icing on top. I just used some almond bark I had left over from the pretzels and shook a fork over them to make the lines.

I had to show you what these look like on the inside. They are so festive if you can find the green or red Oreos to use. And did I mention they are delicious? :)

I put everything, except the cupcake, in these cute candy cane goody bags that I found at our local dollar store. 20 of them for just $1.10. I am just glad that he works for a very small company so that I could give each of them one. I ran out of steam but had wanted to make these Melted Snowman Cookies that Crazy Domestic has. Maybe next year because they are soo cute!

Baking is so exhausting for me but it is such a good time that I actually do look forward to “Bake Fest” each year.  I love sharing quality time with the kids and getting to send in some treats to everyone. I found several of these recipes by following Moms By Heart’s “100 Days of Christmas.” Lori really does find some of the cutest stuff so you may want to check out everything. There’s more than just recipes there, too.

Hoping that you all have a fun time if you are planning a baking day, too! Remember that it’s not about everything looking pretty but about all the love that you put into making it. That’s what really counts in the end! Happy Baking, Everyone!!