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Monday, December 24, 2012

More Christmas Baking

Sunday is normally my gym day. Ok, I have to admit last week I didn't go either but it was because we had a Christmas party to go to and this week was due to the fact that I have too much to do before Christmas. After frosting the cookies in the morning, I did some more shopping. Came home and made another cheesecake for my brother Cliff to take back to Philly then got ready to go to dinner with my cousins. When I got back it was time to get back to making more delicious treats.

I made lemon bars for my friends Jocelyn and Eli. Made more of the copy cat Twinkies cakes. Then made vanilla cakes and chocolate cakes. Originally the vanilla cake is for the trifle and the chocolate cakes are for a 3 layer cake for my sister in law's Christmas Eve party. Of course I have to make things more complicated and made a Checkered cake.

Twinkies copy cat cakes and Lemon bars. 

Sugar cookies and chocolate chips cookies (made by J). 

I bought this Checkered cake kit years ago and probably only used it twice. Since I have vanilla and chocolate cakes, it's the perfect time to make it again. There are two ways to make the cake checkered. One is following the instructions and filled the cake pans with alternating colors of cake batters (while using the plastic guide) or just bake two sets of cakes and use the plastic guide to cut the rounds out and assemble the cakes. I went with the latter, which is a pain in the ass. Don't ask me why I did it that way. I think all the baking and lack of sleep is affecting my brain.

I'm so glad this baking marathon is ending soon. Tomorrow all I have to do is to make the chocolate frosting and frost the Checkered cake and on Christmas day I just have to make the fresh whipped cream and assemble the trifle which is super easy. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Since I'm back to working full-time, I don't bake or cook as much. My new job is very demanding and fast-paced so by the time I get home or when the weekend rolls around I just want to sit around do nothing. I'm so glad I have the weekend to prep for Christmas this year or else it would end up being like Thanksgiving where I totally slacked off.

So far I've made a brownie topped with mixed berry jam and drizzled with white chocolate for our company potluck on Friday. Today I made red bean mantous, cheesecake and sugar cookies. I left the sugar cookies unfrosted and will frost them tomorrow.

In the past I use a standard sugar cookie dough that requires chilling but I saw an interesting sugar cookie recipe from In Katrina's Kitchen. It doesn't require chilling before rolling and holds it's shape very well.

You can find the recipe from Katrina's blog. The only difference was that I used 2 tsp of lemon zest instead of the 1 tsp of almond extract.

I tasted a unfrosted one and it's definitely a winner. It's not overly sweet so once you frost the cookies you feel like you can have more than one without feeling like you are in a sugar coma.

1 lb block of butter!

Ready to be frosted tomorrow!