12.01.2010

Bake-n-Blog Holiday Edition

You may remember during the summer I hosted the first ever Bake-n-Blog {see the final goodies here} and now my dear friend Kelly over at JAX Does Design is hosting a holiday edition, of course I had to take part!  {Thanks for keeping the Bake-n-Blog spirit alive Kelly!}

I chose to bake these beauties - Mary's Butterballs which I found over at For The Love Of Food.  I decided on these mainly because the photo is so pretty {I'm totally a visual person, pretty gets me every time!}, and because my late Grandmother's name was Mary, and she is one of my favorite people.

First things first, I never knew that you could make "Vanilla Sugar" by placing a vanilla bean in sugar {in a container with a lid} over night.  I chose to prep stuff one night and then bake the next day because the recipe calls for a few steps that require waiting, and I'm not good at waiting.  The vanilla sugar was prepped at night and by the morning... Yum.  The sugar really holds the vanilla flavor, it's a great way to add a little je ne sais quoi to any treat!

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I also prepped the dough at night, I had to lay out all of my ingredients before starting because I am a slight organizational freak, and it helps to ensure the baking process runs smoothly.

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I still find baking amazing and magical, much like a child would I suppose - taking sugar, flour and butter, mixing it together to get dough... Wow!  Funny, I know, but I really get amazed during the process... Is that weird?
  
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After wrapping the dough and placing it in the fridge for the next morning, I start to make the chocolate ganache {of course my ingredients are already laid out}...

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Yum, yum, yum.  By this point I was so excited about how these butterballs were going to turnout I actually considered pulling an all-nighter to finish them {chocolate ganache makes me do crazy things}! I decided to be a responsible adult and go to bed.

 
The next morning {after having sweet dreams, needless to say} I started to bake!  First off I made the balls and put them into the oven.

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During the baking process, my whole home smelled like shortbread, it was delightful {although waiting 10 minutes until they were done was hard to do}!

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Once they were out and cooled, I put a dollop of ganache in between two butterballs, then sprinkled on the vanilla sugar.  I couldn't decide if they were more cute than delicious, or more delicious than cute... Either way, I was very happy with how they turned out!

Of course I could not eat them all {or people would start calling me "butterball"}, so I packaged most of them up to give as gifts to the hostesses of a Christmas Party I was attending... They were delighted, and thought Mary's Butterballs were magnificent!  Overall the recipe was very easy to follow, and they turned out better than expected, however they were very time consuming to make.  I'd say if you have a whole afternoon set aside for baking then Mary's Butterballs are the project for you - they are worth the effort!  Be sure to head over to JAX Does Design to see the rest of the participants goodies, and perhaps pick up some new holiday recipes for yourself! 
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14 comments:

  1. Hi Staci
    Isn't it great to have another bake'n'blog party!? Your photos are just so beautiful. I wish mine looked that good. Happy holidays and happy baking x

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  2. These look delicious, not to mention they are adorable. What a great hostess gift. I love the jars you used and the red and white polka dot ribbon is a nice touch. So cute!

    *Tania @ Passport2Design.com

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  3. Hahahhah! I love your comment about becoming a butterball! :-D No need for you to worry about that!

    These cookies have such a cute name, and they look awesome - YUM! Would you believe I didn't even notice the chocolate in the center till I read your post and saw your picture of the finished butterball on the plate?! Observation skills are seriously lacking!

    It's so sweet that you chose these cookies in part because of your grandma :-) I'm sure she'd be thrilled to know that your love for her inspired you to make Mary's Butterballs :-)

    All the hostesses who are lucky enough to receive a jar of butterballs will be doing a happy dance!

    Thanks for participating, and for coming up with the wonderful idea for a Bake-N-Blog in the first place :-) OMG, I just realized that I forgot to mention that you're the founder of Bake-N-Blog in my post - BAD ME! I have to go fix that RIGHT NOW.

    Kelly

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  4. Your photos are so great!!! And vanilla sugar... so fancy! I'm trying these!

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  5. Oh, what a wonderful little giftable. Thanks for sharing the process.

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  6. Ok, you're making me hungry. They look scrumptious!

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  7. Your cookies look great and your presentation is beautiful.
    Love that first photo with the black ribbon and I love how you packaged them for the gifts.
    I think I'll give this recipe a try...

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  8. YUM! Staci these look great. I got to try these soon!

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  9. I remember you mentioning these last week and they DO look sooo delicious. I now want to try and make these! Thanks for sharing Staci! :)

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  10. Okay. First of all, they're just too cute! :-) And they look seriously yummy too. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  11. Oh wow, these look so darn CUTE!! I'm so giving these a try.. maybe even this weekend! :)

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  12. The Butterballs are WAY out of my league - beautiful photo series too!

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  13. Oh my goodness, please please send me a box of those!

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Oodles of thanks for the comment!