I just went to the post office and feel like I practically risked my life to do it.
The house is TRASHED after 4 days of being mostly shut in, toys and snow pants fighting for dominance on the living room rug, fire making mess by the kind-of-doesn't-really-work wood stove, wrapping mess around the tree, baking mess in the kitchen, packing peanuts forming a cushy path between the two...
The last several days have been focused on survival basics like heat and food and not so much on getting ahead on my Christmas list of to dos. I was able to get some of my gift box baking done yesterday but still had some to finish up, as well as packaging, and boxing up today. When I woke up this morning I knew I had to put a serious move on if I was going to get it all done and in the mail with even a remote chance of making it in time for Christmas.
And I did. I got 6 boxes packed and boxed appropriately and juggled into and out of the post office (with rowdy stragglers entail).
First let me refer you to last year's POST. Sadly, due to my time constraints, and sheer exhaustion, I wasn't able to turn out the same level of Christmas box.
This year I used packing peanuts instead of freshly popped popcorn (GASP!).
No cloved oranges.
In short, this year I was a helluva lot more approachable. So if you wake up everyday wondering how you can live up to my level of awesomeness.. well... this year is for you.
This year I made my Iced Sugar Cookies...
note my all white theme. Lazy or brilliant... you decide (I vote lazy & brilliant). I'm pretending it's an ode to our recent snow storm. The truth is white icing vs multiple shades of icing... is ten times less work.
I made my Gingersnaps...
And instead of Caramel Corn & Dipped Candy Cane Oreos, I made what my mother calls Cake Balls.
Now I can't say "cake balls" without feeling a little "Miss Jackson" if you catch my drift.
So I have renamed them..
"Triple Chocolate Cake Bites"
Here is how you make them (since I know someone will ask): One box cake mix (any flavor) baked as directed in a 9x13 pan. While hot break up into crumbs with two forks. Add a container of prepared icing (any flavor) and mix thoroughly. Chill. Using a spoon and your hands roll Tablespoonfuls of your mixture into balls. Place on cookie sheet and chill. Melt chocolate (any flavor) and dip balls into chocolate to coat. Place back on cookie sheet (sprinkle with toppings while still wet!) and let chocolate set before packaging.
I packaged them a couple of ways. I set each one in a mini muffin liner and placed them in the bottom of egg cartons, or for my brother's brood in this covered peanut tin. While I'm loving the look... I'm not sure anything can top the egg carton for shipping purposes... and seriously... how cute is the half and egg carton?! I got that idea somewhere on the internets but can't remember where. So thanks random crafty person!
FYI that is my wrapping paper for this year (love it) and I got it at (where else?) Target.
Now, I am going to warn you that I found the cake bites to be pretty labor intensive. The dipped cookies were MUCH faster to make. But one pan of cake makes about 80 cake bites so maybe it's worth it. They are very rich and truffle like. I used devil's food cake and dark fudge icing. I coated them in white chocolate, milk chocolate,and dark chocolate. I sprinkled some with sprinkles, some with crushed candy cane, and left some plain. They definitely taste better "the next day" once they have set more. So these are potentially great for gift giving.
The rest of the recipes can be found HERE.
That's all folks!
I'm off to try and take a breath and force the kids to watch Hallmark Channel Christmas movies.