I love to cook. Baking, however, is a different story. Mostly because it takes a great deal of patience, clearly something I lack. Cooking I can just throw things together, and see what happens. Baking requires measuring and planning, like a science. I also don’t have much of a sweet tooth so most baking loses it’s appeal on me altogether.
There is one exception to this rule for me. Christmas! Oh how I love baking a ton of goodies at Christmas and spreading joy to the world! Most years I will bake little plates of cookies to give to my employees, some of my vendors, and the beloved folks at my favoritest Starbucks. My employees almost expect it. It’s lost some of its luster for me. I swear they eat the cookies for their lunch that day, but I digress…
For my Starbucks baristas, it’s sort of a bribe. I use one of their handy rewards cards so I always pay for my Trenta Half Black Half Green No Water Iced Tea with the card. Hello, I love a deal and earning free coffee, I’m THERE! Which then results in me never ever tipping them ((hangs head in shame)).
About four years ago I decided rather than drop a $20 in the tip jar at Christmas (because really divided by 15-20 employees it doesn’t amount to much), that I would bake them a bunch of different cookies. And bake I did. About 10 dozen worth of my favorites. Yes, you read that right, TEN DOZEN COOKIES. I delivered them on a large plastic tray lined with Christmas tissue and cellophane. You should have seen their eyes pop out of their heads in excitement! I was so happy that they were so happy! So they snarf through the cookies in a record amount of time, and wash and return my tray to me every year, knowing they will get the baked goodies bomb the following year. And so it continues, years later.
Every year I decide to try something new. This year I ran across a Pinterest post that I just had to try called Pretzel Buttons. I grabbed parchment paper, the square pretzels, red & green M&M’s, and Hershey Hugs and went to work! (please bear with me, this is my first attempt at a food blog post…)
- First I heated the oven, just putting it on WARM. The original Pinner said to set it around 170-200 degrees, but my oven goes from WARM to 200 degrees, so I decided to err on the side of caution.
- Next I placed parchment paper on a cookie sheet, spread out the pretzels and placed a Hug on each one. This was the most tedious part- taking the foil off all of those Hugs!
- I put the cookie sheet in the oven for 4 minutes, taking them out immediately to make sure the Hugs didn’t melt too much. They still held their shape, just shiny like they were getting melty.
- I then smooshed in a single M&M in the center of each, and placed cookie sheet and all into the fridge to cool down and firm up.
- Lastly I took them off of the cookie sheet with a spatula and placed them on a plate to keep in the fridge until I’m ready to add them to my Christmas Goodie Plates!
For less than $5 in supplies I was able to make 70 of these bad boys. I only made as many Hugs as I had. I still have 3/4 of a bag of M&M’s and 1/2 of a bag of pretzels if I want to make more!
I hope my first food post was successful in your eyes. I am realizing that I may be a good photographer of people and events, but inanimate objects, not so much…
As far as the other goodies they can expect this year right now the plan is:
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Oatmeal Craisin and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Brownies with Crushed Peppermint sticks