Turn off that Oven!: Christmas Baking Minus the Burnt Cookies
Now that Christmas is less than two weeks away (seriously???), there are two words that have been secretly haunting me each day…Christmas…and…baking!!!
Usually each year I use Christmas as an excuse to make some delicious treats to bring to parties and have around the house over the holidays. I go all out and spend hours, making time consuming recipes in order to impress my friends and family.
There was this one year that I decided I would make gingerbread men to give as presents for everyone. I slaved over these little guys and was so pleased with myself as I slid them in the oven to bake. Unfortunately my oven can be a bit temperamental so when the oven bell rang, I opened up the door to discover that my gingerbread men all had burnt feet!!! As I had spent so much time on these little guys and had zero time to redo them, I shamefully still gave them as gifts and just decorated the feet to look like they were wearing little black boots…no one ever said anything to me but I’m sure those feet tasted more like real feet than gingerbread!
Next were the gourmet rum balls where I had to melt three separate pots of chocolate making sure not to burn them (I burned one right off the bat!) and then form the chocolate balls, dip them once and put them in the fridge for a couple of hours…. then dip them again and put the in the fridge for a couple of hours…then…Sorry, you get the picture. All this work and I think I only ended up with 24 rum balls which tasted amazing but everyone only got 1 ball in their cookie tin that year!
There is no way I have time to create these holidays treats this year − not with a now semi-mobile, rolling across the floor, six month-old son! Plus, my baby brain would never allow me to actually remember to take the cookies out of the oven (even though I would hear the oven alarm go off!) I can’t tell you how many dinners I’ve burned since my little guy arrived. I hear the bell and think “Oh, I better go get that” and then something suddenly distracts me and only when I smell smoke, do I remember there’s something in the oven. I’m sure all you mothers out there can sympathize!
So to avoid the burnt cookies and the post pregnancy hormonal tears sure to follow, I’ve decided to do create all my Christmas treats this year SANS oven. That’s right. All of these recipes can be made without actually baking them − plus, they’re super delicious and take no time at all!
This first recipe is my husband’s absolute favourite Christmas treat…I usually have to make four batches each Christmas…two batches for friends and family and myself and two batches just for him (he has a bit of a sweet tooth!)
No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
• ½ cup Cocoa
• ½ cup Milk
• ½ cup Butter
• 2 cups Sugar
• 1 tsp Vanilla
• 1 cup Coconut
• 3 cups Oatmeal
• ½ tsp Salt
Boil the first 4 ingredients for 5 minutes (do not boil any longer or they will dry out!…I actually did so on this batch while tending to my son. See below for example of what they will look like if you do this).
Stir in coconut, oatmeal vanilla and salt. Immediately drop by teaspoon on wax paper and cool. Makes 3 dozen.
This next recipe is new this year!! I going to try it this weekend which will allow my husband time to consume all the chocolate oatmeal cookies first! But they look fabulous and couldn’t be easier to make.
No Bake Chocolate Snowball Treats
• 6 cups graham cracker crumbs
• 1 1/2 cups butter, melted
• 1 cup milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
• 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Mix until evenly moistened.
Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting, for 1 to 3 minutes (depending on your microwave). Do not overheat or chocolate will scorch. Stir the melted chocolate into the graham cracker mixture; you may need to use your hands to make sure it is evenly combined.
Shape into 1 inch balls and roll them in the coconut. Store in an airtight container. Voila!
Please let me know what you think of these yummy treats if you decide to make them. Trust me, you’ll thank me when you do and so will your family and friends who get to bypass having to eat burnt cookies this holiday!