Baking

>Cookies!

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My morning was spent in the kitchen baking cookies, today. 
I actually made my dough last night, so that today all I had to do was bake them off. I love doing that – makes things so much easier. I simply made a double batch of my favorite shortbread cookie dough (some call these butter cookies) and then I divided the dough into thirds. One third I shaped into a disc and wrapped so that I could roll it out and cut and stamp these cute bunny cookies:
Then the other two thirds I shaped into logs so they could be sliced and baked. One log of dough I rolled into ground walnuts. Once baked I topped these off with some poured fondant icing for my homemade version of my favorite local bakery’s “fondant cookies”. This is not exactly like theirs – I cannot for the life of me figure out their cookie recipe. But it’s close enough for me. =) I made both plain and nut versions for two reasons. One being my dad can’t eat nuts, and two being I didn’t have enough walnuts for both logs of dough anyway. 
I also made a batch of chocolate fudge, which miraculously turned out very well. As far as kitchen ventures go, fudge has been my most desired and most failed treat. I’ve attempted to make it so many times over the years and only had it turn out right a handful of times. I decided today I would try again. I needed something else to go with the cookies and I figured it’d been years since I attempted fudge and I’ve learned quite a bit since my last attempt. Maybe it was the knowledge I’ve gained since my last fudge attempt, maybe it was pure luck… whatever it was, the fudge is rich, creamy and delicious! However… it’s not entirely PRETTY. LOL I did not have the patience to wait until it had cooled completely to cut it into little squares, so that of course resulted in messy little squares of fudge. But I can live with that. =) 
I am really glad the fudge turned out though. I am in need of a new candy thermometer as many of the numbers and markings on mine have come off. =( Not cool. (For the record this is not even an old thermometer, nor has it been used many times.) I’ve browsed Amazon a bit but find myself overwhelmed by the options there are these days! The one thing that seems to be the case with all the thermometers like the one I have, regardless of price and brand name, is that the markings come off after just a couple uses. Which stinks, because I really like the style of mine. But I guess I will have to pick something else instead – after all, a thermometer is useless if there are no markings on it.
So what’s with all these treats? I’m getting a big box of goodies ready to send to my aunt and her family, and I decided a tin of treats would be a good addition to everything since it’s pretty much stuff just for my aunt. This way there’s a little something for everyone to share and enjoy. The original plan was just to bake cookies. But there was still some room in the tin after I filled it with cookies and I needed just a little something extra to fill it up. So the answer was fudge! Now hopefully the cookies will survive the trip. *crossing fingers* I’ve got them packed pretty well, I think… they’re sung in the tin, and the tin is pretty full. Each layer is separated by a sheet of parchment paper. They should be alright. We’ll see what happens though. But hey, even if they don’t survive… cookie crumbs are still tasty. =D
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