Sugar & Spice Make Christmas so Nice!

Annual Girls-only Christmas Baking Day

We came.  We baked and dipped and sprinkled and nibbled.  We dropped from sugar shock.


Each year, us Rhoades girls get together for a big bake-off…and to dip anything that can be dipped/rolled/bathed in melted chocolate into it!  Confectioners sugar, sparkly red and green sugars, Dr-Seuss-inspired sprinkles and nuts fly through the air as every available space, covered with calorie-laden ingredients gives way to platters full of pretty, delectable Christmas yummies! 

Tara was in Estes this year, so it was just Stephanie and her girls, Guini and Gemma, Tredessa, Stormie, Jovan and Averi and me (though baby Amelie Belle was nearby as an honorary decorator and did contribute by popping an icing-covered mini-sugar-cookie-star into her mouth to taste test (which we ever-so-quickly removed, but not before she was able to suck the buttercream clean off it).  She loved it and cannot wait to help again next year!

Best brand new recipe this year? 

Goes to Stephanie’s Oreo balls.  You could seriously die happy eating these, and perhaps could, for they are rich and sweet and melt-in-your-mouth amazing!

Best old recipe no one made because everyone thought some one else would be making it? 

The Girl-Scout Thin mint knock-offs.  They are so easy and stinking wonderful.  Even though there is already too too much, we will still have to make these (and by we, I mean Tara :D )! 


Runner-up in this category is the English Toffee that Tristan and I must insist upon, by Tredessa, who spent so much time creating thousands of the perfect Peanut Butter Balls yesterday, she just could not find the strength to toffee-candy make. 


I have also yet-to-make Dave’s family’s traditional “strawberry cookies,”which are not actual strawberries and do not even include anything strawberry-ish in the recipe, but are merely fomed into a strawberry shape and rolled in red sugar before being adorned with a green icing leaf and tendril, AND they are not really cookies because they aren’t even baked: just cooked ingredients on the stove top.  Nonetheless, he needs them each Christmas.  And the ingredients are staring at me from the kitchen counter presently.

Yet this morning my house smells sweet and chocolatey and peanut buttery and sugary all at once.


The boys are allowed to visit us at the end of these crazy-baking-hours for dinner and eating the treats.  So very sweet!

Now what shall I have for breakfast?  Raspberry Ribbons?  Peanut Butter Blossoms?  A few dipped pretzels might be nice?  Or some perfectly light-crunchy Peanut Brittle?  I am fond of the perfect sugar cookies, or some of Annie Hall’s amazing butter cookies (which can be used any number of ways).  Oh-oh, maybe lemon bars?  No-I know.  MEXICAN WEDDING CAKES with my coffee.  Oh my goodness: scrumptious!

Yes. Tredessa is ticked because I just threw flour in her face.  I was only trying to help because she was otherwise unable to “apply” her own.  Geesh.


“… we elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy cane, candy corn, and syrup …” ~Buddy-the-Elf in the movie, Elf

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