Monday, November 5, 2012

Post Bake Sale Baking Haitus

Last week I spent 6 days in Virginia visiting my family. My Grandmother passed away on Thursday the 25th, and I flew out with Doodle Bug and my dad on Friday the 26th to celebrate her life with my mom's family. While I was in Courtland (a tiny town with the population of about 2,000 at most) I was able to flip through some of my Grandmother's cookbooks. I came home with many different southern recipes and my Great-Grandmother's recipe for caramel icing (I can't wait to try). My Grandfather gave me a rolling pin and one of my Grandmother's 8x8 baking dishes as well. I know that every time I roll out my cookies she will be smiling down at me.

When I returned to work on November 1st, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I had grading, recording, and organizing of papers that would take days to complete. I was overwhelmed before the first bell even rang. All of my anxiety quickly melted away as my 6th graders began to enter the classroom. They smiled, ran over, and hugged me (the real genuine kind). I felt so blessed to have such a wonderful class to come "home" to. They made me card,s and throughout the day different students would randomly place them on my desk. I think they must have known that I needed their love and encouragement to get through my first day back in one piece. This is the kind of class that career teachers will teach for 20 years just waiting for. It's the kind of class that one dreams of having... and I am beyond appreciative of them.

After returning to school on Thursday, I had to rush home and start up a baking storm. I signed up in September to be the co-chair of our MOMS (Ministry of Mothers Sharing) Group Bake Sale. We needed to raise close to $1,000 in one weekend in order to obtain our goal of buying Christmas gifts for multiple children from two local charities. I offered to bake for many different people and was planning to bake all the items over the course of a week. Considering I had spent my baking week in Virginia, I knew I had to kick in full gear in order to complete the task at hand. I stayed up until midnight on Thursday night baking S'mores Bars, Cinnamon Walnut Oat Bars, Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownie Cookies, Lemon Sugar Cookies, and Cinnamon Walnut Cookies.

On Friday after school I had to rush home to bake it up a little more. I made White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies, and then went to my friend's home (who has the most AMAZING DOUBLE OVEN) to work with other MOMS friends to finish our baking. We made bread, muffins, pies, cookies, mini pies, etc. She also had these little nifty contraptions that made mini pies, cake pops, and muffins!

Over the course of the weekend Masses at church we were able to sell about $800 with of baked goods. We were happy to come so close to our goal and were very impressed with the generosity of our fellow parishioners. We know now that next time we need to bake more pies, bread, and larger cakes-- we were blown away by how many requests there were for these items.

Okay, so enough rambling... here's a recipe that I tried for the first time during my baking frenzy. After this past weekend the whisk, stand mixer, my recipe books are locked in the pantry for at least a week... I need to regain a little sanity and stop the dreams of cupcakes that overflow their wrappers... Darn muffin tops-- We women and bakers hate them for SO many reasons.

Cinnamon Walnut Oat Bars
I got the base of  the recipe off the back of the bag of cinnamon chips with a little One Smart Cookie rendition
  • 1 cup butter softened 
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 dash cinnamon 
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins and craisins mixed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 package 12 oz Hershey's cinnamon chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease and flour a 9x11 inch pan.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars.
  3. Add eggs one at a time mixing well between each addition. 
  4. Add vanilla and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. 
  5. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and pp spice.
  6. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixing well between each addition.
  7. Stir in cinnamon chips, walnuts, and raisins/crasins. 
  8. Add oats last.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
These are SUPER yummy! Enjoy :)

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