Annual Bake Day – 2010 Virtual Advent Tour

Posted 14 December, 2010 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 35 Comments

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One of my favorite family Christmas traditions is our Annual Bake Day. Of course we always baked holiday goodies when I was growing up, but for the past four years we’ve had an official bake day where we all bring together recipes, our pots and pans, and more butter than anyone would ever want to imagine.

This is not your casual bake day—a fair amount time goes into picking out recipes to bake (old favorites and new things we’d like to try), creating the shopping list and dividing ingredients between bakers, and then working our fingers to the bone as we measure, sift, pour, stir, and bake our goodies. Of course, there’s always a healthy dose of smiles, laughs, Christmas music, dancing, and the occasional knife fight (I joke, but a knife always seems to find itself in one photo shot).

This year our bake day was especially fun because my aunt, cousin, and sister all flew into Dallas just for the bake day. We had 11 recipes on the menu and though at times the outcome looked a little sketchy, we pulled everything off beautifully.

My apologies for the picture overload, but we had such a great time I couldn’t NOT include some of these pictures.  Blogger isn’t letting me preview posts, so hopefully the spacing is OK. 

2010 Annual Bake Day

Sister Kim and Cousin Rachel making Strawberries

Aunt Debi and Sister Brooke

Nick, Trish, Kim – The obligatory knife photo

Scott dipping oreo balls

Nick shaking cookies in powdered sugar

Trish, Mom, Brooke figuring out measurements

Kim, Trish, Aunt Debi, Mom, Rachel, Brooke

Aunt Debi, Rachel, Mom, Trish, Brooke


But we lost our insanity

The Goodies
(some of them)
Cherry Chocolate Sumsum (don’t know technical name)

Buckeye Delights

German Shortbread with Jame

Toffee-glazed cookies

English Toffee


Christmas Strawberries
(family favorite passed down from paternal Grandmother)

Christmas Strawberries
2 large packages strawberry jello (separated)
1 lb or 7 cups coconut
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
20 drops of red food coloring
Combine 1½ of jello packages in a large bowl with remainder of ingredients. Reserve the other ½ of jello package in a smaller bowl for rolling strawberries.
Mix ingredients well. Shape into spoonful-sized strawberries and roll strawberries into reserved jello mix. Allow to set on wax paper. Use buttercream icing for green stems/leaves.
A very sweet and tangy treat.  Has anyone seen anything similar?  Wondering if it’s a Swiss thing?
What will you be baking for the holidays?
This post is part of the 2010 Virtual Advent Tour – a fifth year tradition in the book blogging community which allows book bloggers around the world to share their holiday traditions with one another.  Two years ago I shared the competing Christmas villages-a tradition between my husband and me.  Visit the 2010 Virtual Advent Tour site for other book blogger’s holiday traditions.

Life update: Test is done–won’t know score for another month but pointless to worry anymore.  Need to put away those Halloween Decorations (not kidding) and then hopefully I’ll be free and clear to do whatever the hell I want!  I forgot what that feels like…

35 Responses to “Annual Bake Day – 2010 Virtual Advent Tour”

  1. Wowwwww! You have some really Gorgeous women in friends and family! Brooke is such a nice name too :)

    Oh my, I cannot believe this, this looks so much FUN! and they look absolutely delicious!! :)

    Love this post!

    And I hope you have great scores for your Tests :)

  2. Oh my Gods, you will SURELY need help eating all of that, can I be invited next time??? Please? ;-) It looks like SOOO much fun – I think I might steal your idea for next year!!!

  3. I’ve got to say my first reaction to this post is WOW your sisters look just like you!! I kept thinking it was you and then seeing the labels! :D

    The cookies look good too. I really need to get to the baking part of Christmas…

  4. *Violet – We always end up with WAY more goodies than we think we will. You should start a bake day–good way to spend time with family or friends.

    *Veens – Awww, blushing. ;) Brooke is a really lovely name, huh? And thanks for the test wishes. :)

    *Joanna – Ha! So, in addition to broadway singalongs and Christmas music we’ll just add baking to the list? ;) And yes, you should totally do a bake day where you are!

    *Rhapsody – All three of us sisters do have a lot of similarities between us–and I talk and laugh JUST like my mom–it’s uncanny.

    *Chris – Lots of fun and yummy goodies for sure.

    *Amanda – Ha! We do look a lot alike though I don’t think I see the similarities like others do (except the mannerisms I get from my mom–we laugh the same way). Yes, bake and then share a recipe!

  5. What a lot of great goodies and that must have been a lot of work. Good to see the men helped out too…

    The photos look so good, it doesn’t look home made at all.

  6. I need to start baking, but I haven’t decided what to make. It looks like you had a fun and very productive day. The pictures are making my mouth water. It all looks so delicious.

  7. Your baby bump? Adorable.

    Those chocolate cherry ones? I have never seen/heard about them. Until last week at a cookie exchange. And then now on your blog. Weird.

    The buckeyes? Are those the peanut butter balls? Yum.

    And the strawberry treats? I think the would be a fun summer treat. Can I make them in the summer or is that blasphemous because it is a Christmas cookie?

  8. *Paxton – Aren’t they a great looking bunch? My brother always comments how crazy we are, but I’d rather that than boring, right? :P

    *Lesswammes – Well, my husband did more damage in regards to eating than helping, but my little brother was a great help. ;)

    *Kristi – So much more fun to bake with others rather than by yourself. Do your kids like to help around in the kitchen?

    *Elise – Ha! Was it Debi who brought the treats to the exchange? She’s the one who shared the recipe for the choco-covered cherry. And yes, the buckeyes taste like reeses–they’re some of my favorites. Will probably post recipe in more detail later. And the strawberries are so good but VERY sweet–most people don’t like them. :-/ But they’re fun.

    *Bermuda – Yes, it’s such a great family tradition–we look forward to it every year!

  9. It brought tears to my looking at your wonderful family photos. YOu all look so happy and together. I love the idea of baking lots of things together. How many do you make in each batch? Do you share them out? and How do you store them all till Christmas? Do you freeze them?

    I have definitely missed something too, what test?

  10. Fantastic post Trish! I can’t believe how much you all look alike. What a great way to spend time with the family and boy do those goodies look yummy!

  11. My kids do love to help in the kitchen–especially when I’m baking. Sometimes they aren’t very helpful in their helping, but we have fun anyway. :)

  12. Trish I’m so jealous of your large family fun! Everything looks awesome.

    And I have never heard of those strawberry things. How odd!

  13. *Vivienne – We normally just do one batch of each goodie–typically it’s just me, my mom, and one sister baking so to divide 12 things by 3 people is really overwhelming. My sister and I bring our goodies to work and my mom gives hers away to friends. Last year we froze some for when my sister was coming home for the holidays (she lives across the country), but this year I think it all got gobbled up! Oh, and I’ve been more or less unplugged this past month while studying for a big work-related test. ;)

    *Joy – We definitely had enough cookies to share! ;) And yes, it is a really fun tradition–glad we continue it every year.

    *Darlene – It cracks m up when people see so much similarity because I don’t see it as much. But yes, this is such a great way to spend a day together!!

    *Kristi – Ha! I’m sure that’s how we were as kids–now we usually have too many leaders of in the pack. ;) Gingerbread houses are a great activity with kids–have you made them before?

    *Melody – Thank you Melody–I’m very grateful for such a fun and loving family who mostly live so close. I know I’m lucky.

    *Laura – Boooo-it all got devoured by the accounting department. ;) Are you baking at all this year?

    *Christina – Unfortunately the strawberries aren’t as big a hit with other people as they are with our family. They’re VERY sweet–but so tasty. :)

  14. We have done a gingerbread house for the past four years. My oldest is really artistic so he gets really into it. My three year old doesn’t help as much but just likes eating the candy. :)

  15. Wow, Annual Bake Day looks like so much fun! That picture of the table, especially, is pretty darn impressive. My mouth is watering!

    This is the first year I’ve known about a couple of food issues, so I’ve been testing some “Erin-safe” cookie recipes for the holidays. I’ve just come across a gingerbread cookie recipe that I’m planning to make for my family. I love baking…especially at the holidays!

  16. I LOVE this post!! What a wonderful tradition… had no idea relatives actually fly in for this. My daughters and I are planning a bake day this weekend, but now I’m thinking next year we should include my mom and sisters, too! Thanks for inspiring us.

    … and I see a very strong family resemblance in the pictures, too!

  17. Wow, so much tastiness! Not only does everything look super delicious, it looks like everyone had such a fund day. What a wonderful Christmas tradition.

    Hubby and I had a baking evening the other day. We made sugar cookies, Christmas hazelnut cookies, and chocolate-peppermint cookies. We still have the honey-ginger cookies to make, which are one of my favs.

  18. *Kristi – I’m sure your toddler provides much entertainment though. ;)

    *Leslie – Thank you for visiting! We had a blast this year.

    *LifetimeReader – Sadly we still have a ton of goodies left–perhaps we need to cut the menu next year! ;)

    *Erin – Oh no…I’m sorry to hear about your issues. Are they glutten related? My husband has a lot of food allergies (mostly fruits and vegetables) so I know how limiting and frustrating it can be. Hope you find something that works!

    *Valentina – LOL! Just a strange coincidence that we were mostly all wearing red. But festive, eh? :)

    *JoAnn – What a sweet comment! This is the first year we’ve had people actually fly in for the day–typically it’s just whoever is in town. It was a lot of fun having the extra hands.

    *Alita – Christmas Hazelnut cookies sound absolutely divine! And I’m a tad jealous you were able to get your husband to bake with you. What a fun way to spend time together.

    *Maw Books – Sadly the oreo balls didn’t turn out like we’d hoped. My aunt brought the recipe but she’d never attempted them before and the balls (mostly oreo and cream cheese?) disintegrated in the chocolate. Might have to experiment again and let y’all know how it goes.

  19. It looks like the Hope ladies were a fun addition – Its so nice to see pictures of everyone together. I cant even remember the last time I saw you guys…
    And those treats – your neighbors must love you :)

  20. Wow. I cant believe how behind I am. I love that you have an annual baking day tradition. I think I would love to do that with my girls when they are older. It looks like you guys had a blast!

  21. Rae

    I am SO behind on my blog reading. I LOVED this post! It was so fun to be there. Thanks for taking so many great photos!

  22. I clicked over from Rachel’s blog and this was so awesome! What great pictures you took! What a fun filled weekend…….great memories!

  23. Nadia and Michelle–wish you could have joined the fun!

    Rae and Debbie–so glad you joined us.

    Annual tradition? Come on down!