After an enormously busy month, I finally began Christmas baking today! I confess my heart wasn't in it at first because I'm tired. However once I pushed myself to get started, it became so much fun that I pushed myself to see how much I could actually bake. After all my family has been patiently waiting to have the traditional favorites to enjoy.
One of the family favorites is fruitcake, the dessert of ill repute! However we love it! I use a recipe my mom always used, one from a vintage Borden cookbook. I bet it's in this cookbook. Today you can see it on the Borden website here. Just looking at the ingredients brings back sweet memories. I know, I know. The fruit and peels have a bad reputation but they are good in this recipe. When I open the mincemeat jar the room suddenly smells of Christmas. I think I want another jar to make a mincemeat pie. My mom used to make that for every Thanksgiving and Christmas too. This fruitcake is also moist. We don't start eating it until Christmas Eve. I've made some "traditional" fruitcake in the past, making my own mincemeat and fruit mix, but they were awful. I keep coming back to this faithful, easy and delicious recipe.
I also made bark. In my busy-ness I forgot to add the sprinkles until the chocolate had set. So I put the baking sheets of bark into a warm oven for a few minutes to remelt the chocolate. Then I added the sprinkles so they would set into the chocolate. I think I have enough sprinkles for next year too. Once these pastel ones are used up I'd like to find some red and green ones. I first had this salty/sweet snack in college. When it was first offered to me I thought my friend was crazy. But to be polite I took a taste and I've been hooked ever since. This year I found Ghiradelli candy melts so I thought I'd try them. It's still setting up.
Then I made some fudge. The simple kind. Why go to more work when simply is decadent...and fast?! In my version, though, I use regular sweetened condensed milk instead of fat free.
Also different from the original recipe is that I add chopped macadamia nuts to it once the chips are melted. I love the texture!
I also made magic cookie bars and pumpkin bread. The bread is going to be part of breakfast on Christmas morning. We'll see how much more I'll do tomorrow. Then I'll save the rest for next week to bake.