I decided to send her an assortment of goodies that were each quite different from the others. Since her only request was No Fruitcake, I figured she and her husband were quite easy to please. I decided I'd send three of our family favourites that get gobbled up really quickly: Spice Cake Truffles, Banana Bread Biscotti and Walnut Wafers. Simple and easy to prepare (although a little time consuming), they all keep really well and would hold up in shipping. I also included some of our favourite Hickory Farms' Melt-Away-Mints and a winter themed stationary set, which I hope she enjoys.
I got these goodie containers from Oriental Trading -
they also come with covers for Halloween for dual usage.
Spice Cake Truffles
adapted from a Bakerella recipe
makes between 35 and 50, depending on size of truffles rolled
- 1 box of spice cake mix, prepared and baked as directed in a 9x13 pan and completely cooled
- 1 can of cream cheese frosting (I use between 1/2 and 3/4 of the can)
- 2 packages of white chocolate bark (about 12 oz. worth)
- wax or parchment paper
- Crumble cake in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix thoroughly with frosting, starting with 1/2 the can and adding more as necessary - you want the mixture to easily form into a ball, but not be overly moist, mushy or sticky.
- Roll into quarter-sized balls and lay on a cookie sheet (I like to line mine with parchment paper). Chill for several hours in the fridge, or for 30 minutes in the freezer.
- When cake balls are thoroughly chilled, remove from fridge/freezer, and melt bark as per package directions.
- Rolls balls in chocolate (use a spoon to dip and roll, tapping off the excess), and place on another sheet of parchment paper until firm (I firm mine up in the fridge).
adapted from What Did You Eat?
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup walnuts, shelled and chopped
- Line one regular loaf pan or 2 mini loaf pans with plastic wrap (a regular loaf pan will give you quite large and fewer cookies, whereas a mini will give you more and small cookies).
- Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat the sugar and butter together with a mixer for about 4 minutes.
- Reduce speed, and add in the eggs and beat until creamy. Add in the flour in 3 additions.
- Press dough into the pan(s), and wrap well with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 2 hours, or as long as a month.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from the pan, and allow to soften slightly. Cut as many 1/8 inch slices as you can fit in your pan (about 8). Cover the remaining dough, and put back in the freezer until you're ready to slice and bake more cookies.
- Place slices on a non-stick baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle each slice with walnuts, and bake until dark brown (about 8-10 minutes). Once finished, allow to fully cool on a wire rack.
adapted from Picky Palate
makes about 25 biscotti
- 3/4 cup mashed overripe banana (about 2)
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar Splenda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Splenda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place bananas, egg, brown Splenda and vanilla in a large bowl; mix until combined.
- Place flour, white Splenda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cinnamon chips into a large bowl; mix to combine.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined.
- Divide dough into two even parts and place onto a lined baking sheet, 4 inches apart. Dust your hands with flour, and form each into 7 inch logs, about 2 inches wide.
- Bake for 25 minutes, and remove from the oven. Reduce heat to 250 and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, slice biscotti into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal.
- Bake slices for an additional 25-35 minutes, or until crisped .
And just for fun...
the other half batch of the Spice Cake Truffles, ready to hit my stepmother-in-law's birthday party - don't you just love the sprinkles?
I'm sending the biscotti and wafers over to Joelen for this month's Tasty Tools: Baking Sheet Pans!