This is how Santa’s elves must feel!

I am so tired now, too much time spent in front of a hot oven. I do though feel happy + that the effort was well worth it…and of course was lots of fun. I ended up making 2 batches of magic cookie bars (these are not vean and I did not set aside any for Tom…but a couple for me because I love them) You can however find a vegan version here. I have never tried it, and did not realize it exsisted untl this afternoon.

I made everything else vegan though because another guy Tom works with is also vegan and I figured it would be easier. Although I sometimes have visions of Year Of The Dog. When Molly Shannon offers the amazing looking chocolate cupcakes to her co-workers. When she mentions the fact that they are vegan…everyone puts them back! ha!

I also made a pan of brownies, blondies with chocolate chips (sadly I cannot for the life of me find the link to the recipe I used), and truffles! The truffls were very easy, and although my food processor is too small for the cream cheese part I used my upright mixer and that worked just fine. Mine are coated in butterscotch sprinkles, cocoa, and chopped almonds.

I went with all bar recipes (besides the truffles) because it is much faster then cookies. Thanks to Martha and her amazing house boxes (which the truffles fit into perfect in white cupcake wrappers, stacked 3 high), and clearance merch from last year’s after Christmas sales I had plenty of fun stuff to pack the goods in.

Now I’ve got to clean the kitchen, haha the worst part!

Ah nuts!

Today is a big time baking day! I am making little treats for all of Tom’s co-workers (and that means at both shops) and all of K’s teachers (which I think is 7 or so). The first thing I made this morning was cinnamon + sugared walnuts. I love walnuts and this is a really easy recipe.

Cinnamon + Sugar Walnuts
16 oz walnuts
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
In a large bowl mix walnuts and oil and vanilla, drain off any excess oil and then pour cinnamon +sugar+salt(aready mixed) over the walnuts. Toss them until well coated. Then spread them out on a parchment covered cookie sheet and bake at 325F for 30 minutes. Pull them out and stir the nuts every ten minutes, and check on the well during the last ten minutes to prevent any burning. Once completly cooled (1-2 hours) you can package them up.

I used the walnut containers to make cute new holders, but I have also been saving any neat reseable containers for the past couple of months (mostly anything I could not recycle..we are limited to plastics 1 and 2 where I live) Things like baking powder, peanut butter jars with screw on lids, and of course little walnut containers.

All you need is some pretty paper, ribbon, scissors, glue, and maybe a couple of clips to hold the paper in place while it drys.

Cut a few strips of paper slightly longer then your container is round. Lay the container down and use it as a guide for folding the paper under (to give your paper a nice edge).

Place a line of glue to adhere one end of the folded paper. You can spread the glue out with your finger for a less bubbly edge. Just glue down the one side, do not rub glue over the whole container or your paper will dry bubbly.
Bring the other end of paper around, fold the edge under as you would when wrapping a present. Add another line of glue under this edge and hold closed with a small clip at the top.

Once dry you can add some waxed tissue paper and then fill with the nuts. Add another small piece of the waxed tissue paper on top and close the lid. You can then add ribbon, labels, etc.
Have fun…more later this evening!