A great time....


I'm riding the Tuesday Train

We had a wonderful time last night at our Secret Sister gift exchange. I swore I was not taking cookies to the party. But cookies is what I ended up making. They are laying new water lines in our area and the water was going to be shut off most of the day so I had to work fast and get my baking done with stuff I had on hand.
I love spice cake with caramel icing, but I wanted something for the dessert that would fit in with finger foods. So I went to Duncan Hines website and found the recipe for converting cake mix into cookies. You ignore the directions on the cake mix box and simply add 1/2 cup oil and 2 eggs. Then you drop by rounded teaspoons full on a cookie sheet (using parchment paper will keep the bottoms from getting too crispy). Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

I used Duncan Hines caramel icing and put it on the cookies while they were warm. This will cause it to "glaze" over and be a firmer set icing. This allows you to stack the cookies after they are completely set without having to work about them sticking together. They turned out really good. At Christmas, most of the cookies I make get a little sprinkle of red and green sugar for that extra Christmas look.

While I was in my dessert zone, I went ahead and made some of my Reese's Peanut Butter fudge. It is so simple and so delicious. Put 4 cups of sugar and a can of Carnation cream into a medium sauce pan. Mix well and place on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture comes to a complete boil, set your timer and let it boil for 5 minutes, stirring most of the time to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and add 1 bag of Reese's peanut butter baking chips and one stick of Parkay margarine. (I have tried other margarine and butters, but it doesn't turn out as well unless you use the Parkay). Beat until smooth and pour in a 9 x 13 pan and place in the refrigerator. Let set and cut. It will need to be kept refrigerated except when you are setting it out to serve.

While I was at it, I kicked into my Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade zone. I love that lady. I grabbed a box of Molasses cookie mix from the cabinet and mixed it per the directions. I added a teaspoon of ginger and a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to give them some zing. I delivered them to my "car guys" where we have bought all our cars for the past 12 years. They are a great bunch and are always up for sampling any new desserts. They said the cookies had that little ginger kick to them that made them divine. So I guess I can add that recipe to my list.

So I headed out to our Secret Sister exchange. There were only 8 of us, but we had a wonderful time. Lots of great food. I ate until I couldn't eat anymore.

We had sausage balls that were without a doubt the best sausage balls I have ever eaten in my entire life. We also had little sausages in a cranberry sauce mixture, mini pigs in a blanket, spinach dip, a homemade cheese ball that was the best I've ever had, several other types of dips, two different types of sandwiches, a no-bake fruitcake that was a huge hit with everyone, brownies, cookies, cinnamon loaf, lots and lots of goodies.

 My secret sister has been awesome all year. I have received some great gifts, but she topped herself last night. Since my birthday is next week, I got birthday presents and Christmas presents. Check out everything I got.

That little angel in the front is going to go on top of the little Christmas tree in my home office. I was beyond thrilled with all the gifts. Everyone had such a wonderful time. We played several Christmas games that were really fun and then everybody won one of these little Pillsbury candles just for playing the games.

I can't wait until January to draw names again so we can get started on next years fun.


Sunray Gardens said...

Thanks for stopping by and I am following also. Like your site.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Rachel said...

Cookies look delicious! Ann Burger also does the cookies from cake mix. Try the lemon cake mix or the orange cake mix. Delicious! Glad you had a good time at your exchange.