24 December 2010

Just short of a baking disaster.

It's Christmas Eve and I have something very important to ask of y'all.  Tonight around 8 or 9pm, Josh and I will be travelling (with our dogs) to see our families for Christmas day.  We can't leave sooner, and we are hoping to get there before it starts snowing (estimated to be 3am).  It's a 7.5 hour drive.

Please pray for us as we travel. Josh will be very sleepy, so I'm going to try to drive most of the way, and I'm not a great night driver.  Yes, I realize this might be a pretty dumb thing to do, but it means seeing our families on Christmas day, and that means a lot to me!  I appreciate it very much!

Now, tomorrow I will be posting about several things that I've had to keep secret for the past few weeks, but I've been dying to share.  But I can't share until after our Christmas Eve services at church tonight because I don't want to ruin any surprises!

Today, though?  Today I shall share another adventure in my kitchen (it's long, so if you're in a hurry, just scan through the pictures).  If you've been around for any period of time, you know I'm not the best cook, but I went to a friend's house the other night (even though she's not a pet person) and was inspired by her insanely awesome baking skills.

It was amazing.  She kept her kitchen all neat and tidy and had every ingredient under the sun.

And she did it all with a smile on her face!

So I took one of her recipes that didn't look too awful hard, and decided to go for it.  I'd never heard of them, but they're called Cake Balls and seemed pretty yummy (and easy!).

First, you just make a cake according to directions.  I decided on a spice cake since it's for Christmas, but it can be done with any kind.

And then once it's baked, you let it cool for a little bit and dump it in a bowl.  :(  This is the sad part.

Then add in a tub of cream cheese icing and mix it all up!

Let it cool a little bit more, then roll it into balls.  I put them on wax paper over a cutting board so I could easily store them in the freezer for at least 2 hours... which is the next step.


While they're chillin' in the freezer, I got my toppings ready (and took a nap, which I highly suggest).  You can use sprinkles or whatever else... I used crushed up candy canes.

After at least two hours (or you can leave them overnight) of the cake balls being in the freezer, go ahead and start melting your chocolate for coating them in.


If you've ever melted chocolate before, you know how to not do it.  If you haven't, then be prepared because you will mess it up your first time.

Basically, follow the directions on the package... very closely.  On the package, it suggested to break the chocolate into pieces to help it melt faster.

So I did.  I cut them up into smaller pieces with a knife.  I also nearly cut my thumb into smaller pieces.  Don't be like me.

Luckily, it never bled, but it's really tough annoying to finish the recipe with a band-aid wrapped around your thumb, so I suggest using a knife like an adult.

So now we're to the actual dipping part.  I won't lie... this takes forever and it's super messy (especially if you're like me... which you shouldn't be).

Go ahead and turn off your stove.  I dropped a few of the cake balls in the chocolate, then fished them out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip off.  There are better utensils for this, but I don't have them.


Then drop them in these cute little muffin cups and sprinkle your topping over them.  Or don't.  I left some of mine as just plain chocolate.

Here's what my little system looked like.

And here is where Jigsaw stayed for the entire time.  Under my feet.  It worked well in his favor, though because...

I dropped a fork full of melted chocolate on the floor.  See all those splatters?  Melted chocolate adheres to linoleum like super glue.  It's amazing.  And dog tongues are apparently the only thing that can get it off other than hard scrubbing.

After a few seconds I made him stop and started trying to clean it up myself.  I quickly got no where, and then brought out the Swiffer, which I'm pretty sure did nothing to help the mess.  So I spent a good 5 minutes scrubbing chocolate off the floor while my chocolate on the stove was melting.

 I warned you to not be like me!

But in the end... success!  They turned out pretty cute!

This is not my worst baking disaster... I have so many more stories that led up to why I don't cook often. But I want to hear yours... what is your worst baking disaster?  Did it happen on a holiday?  That seems to be when we're in a time crunch and trying to keep the house clean all at once... and it never goes well!

Have a merry Christmas and... (shameless plug because I know you'll enjoy it) ... head out to a Christmas eve service at a church this year.  Some churches have a simple candlelight service where you look back on the year and remember what we celebrate at Christmas.  Other churches (like mine) have an all-out bash for Christmas eve.  I've been sworn to secrecy, but let me just say that it's going to be ridiculously awesome!


Rob said...

Mmmm...cake balls. Love em.

Sarah Halstead said...

Yummy! I have yet to make cake balls, but they look delicious!

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