Monday, September 24, 2012

Baking Sweet Memories

I love this time of year. When fall rolls around I get even more excited about baking than I do any other time of the year. Summer ends and the real baking begins. The last months of the year are full of special reasons to spend time with family, share smiles, and bake sweet memories.

Pecan Pies

One of my favorite baking memories is making pecan pies with my uncle. We make them every year around Christmas but I thought I’d share the recipe with you again a little early this year. It’s too good to wait until December.

My grandmother used to make these pecan pies. Her recipe made three perfect pies at a time. She made them every year for family and friends. She loved it. And when she became less able to keep up with the same quantity of pies she liked to make, my uncle Ronnie became the official pie maker. He doesn’t bake and he’s not really a dessert guy but he makes a mean pecan pie. He’s been making them now for well over a decade since my grandmother passed away. He’s continued making them every year for friends and family to carry on his Mama’s tradition. And now I bake with him every year I can and if not I make sure to bake them in my own kitchen. It’s our family’s way of keeping her with us during the holidays.

And the pies are delicious too, so that’s awesome.

Mini Pies

Of course, I had to put my touch on them and make them mini. Major cute. But I still wrap them just like she did. Simple and sweet. I love these refrigerated and I eat them like a giant pecan pie cookie.

Here’s the recipe how my grandmother made it and here’s a link to the original post with step-by-step photos demonstrated by my uncle and a little more about my grandmother.

And keep scrolling for a fun giveaway below…


Mama’s Pecan Pies
Makes 3 pies or about 32 individual pies

16 oz. pecans
2 sticks margarine
16 oz. package light brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon (serving tablespoon, not measuring spoon) self-rising flour
16 oz. bottle Karo light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
6 eggs
3 regular size (not deep dish) frozen pie crusts – or make your own (enough for 3)

  • Melt margarine in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until melted and set aside.
  • Prepare your pecans. Remove any unwanted dark brown pieces from the pecan crevices and shake out pecan crumbs in a colander.
  • Place brown sugar in a large bowl. Work out any lumps with the back of a spoon. If the brown sugar is too hard, you can loosen it up in the microwave. Heat it for a few seconds and it will be fine.
  • Add a heaping serving tablespoon of self-rising flour and stir until the flour disappears into the brown sugar.
  • Add the bottle of corn syrup. Then add 1 serving tablespoon of vanilla and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Add melted margarine. Fold carefully into the mixture so it doesn’t splatter. Fold until the margarine is thoroughly worked in and disappears.
  • In a separate bowl, crack open six eggs. Remove the “roosters” and loosely beat the eggs with your spoon.
  • Fold the eggs into the pie mixture until they disappear.
  • Add pecans and stir until completely coated.
  • Remove three pie shells from the freezer at this point and check for cracks. (If you do have a crack, thaw and knead the crack together and refreeze.)
  • Pour the mixture evenly into the three shells. You’ll probably have a little bit leftover in the bowl. Tap tops with a spoon to check consistency and make sure there is the same amount in each pie. Redistribute pecans if necessary to make equal.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350. Cook pies until they swell and then fall. At that point they are done.
  • Remove and cool for about three hours to set. Store on the counter or in the refrigerator depending on how you like your pie. Or eat right away and really warm – the pie just won’t hold it’s shape at this point but it will be amazing.
  • For mini pies: chop pecans, use mini frozen pie shells, removing them from the freezer as needed and bake in three batches on a baking sheet for about 35 minutes each. I’m guesstimating the time. Watch them and make sure they are done.



And now, I’d love for you to share your favorite baking memory.

Holiday or any day.

You could be the lucky baker to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and a Williams-Sonoma Gift Card.


  • Prize includes a KitchenAid Stand Mixer (valued at approximately $650) and a $200 Williams-Sonoma gift card. Approximate Retail Value: $850. Tasty!
  • Giveaway runs from September 24, 2012 at 12:00 am ET through October 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm ET. Sorry, Time’s Up! Winner will be announced this week.
  • One entry per person. You must live in the U.S. for this one (I’m sorry my international friends) and be 18 or over, too to be eligible to win.
  • To enter for a chance to win the mixer and gift card, just leave a comment on the website and share your favorite baking memory. And if you don’t have one yet, the giveaway lasts long enough for you to bake one. : )
  • One winner will be chosen at random and announced during the week of October 8th in a follow up post here on the site.
  • Note that it may take a few minutes for your comment to display.

Good luck guys and I can’t wait to read your baking memories.


This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Toll House® Morsels, the perfect special ingredient for all of your family’s favorite treats!

Shawna Vaudrin said...

In high school home ec we made bran muffin mini-loaves of some sort, and I remember everyone’s coming out nice, light, and moist. Then there was mine, which were not nice, light and moist but were un-risen, hard, chewy, lumps. Since then I have had more success, and enjoy baking with my children. We love scouring the internet for new things to try, the latest one being oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies…YUM!

October 1, 2012 05:43 AM
Betty Jo said...

One of my favorite baking memories would have to be the first time I watched my grandma make peanut brittle. I had no clue as to how it was made and I still remember being amazed at what happened when she added the baking soda.

October 1, 2012 06:08 AM
Natalie D said...

For the last several years my sister and I have gotten together during the end of November and started our holiday baking. We make houndreds of cookies for friends and family while our boys get to play together. It’s a tradition that I look forward to every year.

October 1, 2012 07:04 AM
Michael Linn said...

My memories include a kitchen aid with my dad too. I would help him make and eat the cookie dough. Now I carry this on with my own sons.

October 1, 2012 07:27 AM
Karyl Holden said...

My Mom and three siblings and I would gather in the kitchen to bake all kinds of Christmas goodies. I can still smell the wonderful aroma.

October 1, 2012 07:31 AM
Jennifer said...

I learned to bake from my grandmother, who always had some tasty treat in the house “just in case” company stopped in. We made some incredible things, but the ones I remember most clearly are the ones that didn’t turn out exactly as we’d planned. The cake that inexplicably baked up higher in one end of the pan than the other? Turned into a bed, complete with a pillow and a tiny frosting teddy bear. The cupcakes that fell apart when we pulled off the papers? Tasted wonderful as a layer in an impromptu trifle. She taught me that frosting can cover a multitude of sins. Most importantly, though, she taught me that being in the kitchen is fun, and food can be a very clear expression of love.

October 1, 2012 07:33 AM
Chanel Davis said...

My favorite baking memory would have to be the Christmas of 2009 when I got my first Kitchenaid hand mixer (before then, I’d been mixing everything my hand with one of several wire whisks..still do sometimes lol). My mom and aunt helped me make spiral cookies, thin mint brownies, even egg nog! It reminded me why I love baking so much and why I doubt I’ll ever stop.
Thanks, Bakerella!

October 1, 2012 07:57 AM
Heather said...

My moment is a simple one, but one I’ll never forget. My son is just under 2 and loves to help with things, whether he knows how to or not!
Growing up my mother never baked with me. We didn’t cook together, and she went a little crazy anytime I got dirty.
So a few weeks ago I was making cookies and had my son come in to help me mix. I had my hands over his on the little handheld mixer and sure enough, he managed to pull it out of the owl while it was still mixing! Batter went all over the cabinet and all over us, but he and I just stood there laughing.
We ended up with only half the batter for cookies, but it didn’t matter. We had such fun making them, and I love that I could do somethig with my son that I was never able to do as a child myself. I can’t wait to make more baking/cooking memories with my son!

October 1, 2012 08:13 AM
Rita Lautenschlager said...

Baking cookies was as much a part of Sunday as was going to Church. It actually was looked forward to more but I wont admit I said that! Chocolate Chip Cookies were the Favorite!

October 1, 2012 08:20 AM
john waligroski said...


October 1, 2012 08:32 AM
Raechel B said...

My favorite baking memory I’ve had was this year when I made like ten different unique flavors of cupcakes for my friend’s church auction. It was fun coming up with new ideas and new flavors! Also last year for Christmas. I made like 400 cookies. I don’t think I’ll do that again!

October 1, 2012 08:51 AM
April said...

Baking Christmas treats with my kids to share with our friends and family.

October 1, 2012 08:58 AM

Best time to bake is for a St. Joseph’s Alter.

October 1, 2012 09:03 AM
Jane Z. said...

We don’t live near family so my children and I bake treats for our friends at Christmas. It is still enjoyed by all even though most are teens.

October 1, 2012 09:03 AM
Cait said...

My family did/does plenty of holiday baking (all the cookie plates!) but my favorite memory is our yearly reread of “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote; which is about family, and baking, and Christmas, and fruitcake. (The real stuff.)

October 1, 2012 09:06 AM
steve steele said...

my mother would bake cookies and candies at Christmas time.took her several days, but well worth. i am 70 years old and still remember the great aromas.

October 1, 2012 09:27 AM
Lisa said...

My favorite memory is baking sugar cookies every year with the kids. We bake them Christmas Eve, decorate them, and then put some out for Santa…a perfect day!

October 1, 2012 09:29 AM
Amanda Frisbie said...

I have plenty of memories learning to bake with my Mom, and baking cookies for the neighbors during the Christmas holiday. But my favorite memory occurred two years ago during the first year of marriage to my wonderful husband Zach, who at the time was deployed in Afghanistan. I went home to my parents for the holidays and reminisced about my love of those christmas cookie memories with my Mom, and baked together christmas cookies for Zach’s entire company. Being able to include my husband in Christmas while he was away, and bond over baking with my Mom again is my favorite baking memory.

October 1, 2012 09:33 AM
Mary A said...

My grandmother baked the cookies and there were always so many different kinds. The best part was the warmth and sweetness in the air and being able to lick the spoon from each batter (before we knew eating raw eggs might make you sick).

October 1, 2012 09:33 AM
Tara C said...

My favorite baking memory was licking the beaters when my mom would bake. It wasn’t all the time, but it was fun to watch. Now, i have 3 of my own girls, and they love to help. We are making our own memories now, beaters included!

October 1, 2012 09:35 AM
Janine Diaz said...

My Grandfather was French and when I was 9 yrs old I went to live with him and my Grandmother for four years, a few years earlier he had a stroke and his left side was disabled. Even through that disability every year for Christmas he would enlist me to help him make a batch of Christmas cookies which we would then decorate with frosting and wrap individually to gift to everyone that went to church on Christmas Eve. He passed away a couple of years after I went back to live with my parents and still to this day I make the cookies every year and gift them at church.

October 1, 2012 09:35 AM
Kaylen said...

My favorite baking memory was working with my mom and creating a five-layer dark chocolate and marshmallow cake when I was nine or ten. I obviously couldn’t have done it without her, and it was for my dad’s birthday. NOW I’m a professional baker and I’m opening my own bakery! I’ve come a long way :)

October 1, 2012 09:42 AM
Sarah said...

My favorite baking memories are from my semester that I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. My friend and I would find cool recipes online and try them out every week. We had almost no tools and would have to improvise on just about every step, including converting from cups to grams because we only had a scale. We spent hours in the tiny tiny kitchen, and that was how I fell in love with baking.

October 1, 2012 09:51 AM
Tami Chitwood said...

My favorite baking memoryi sof my mom and my sisters (3 sisters) and I making Christmas goodies. We would make and decorate tons of sugar cookies, nibbling on far too much cookie dough. We also made pecan logs and what my mom and her family call Heavenly Hash. We would layer marshmallows and pecans in a lasagna dish, then pour melted dark and milk chocolates over it all. Still one of my favorite treats today!

October 1, 2012 09:54 AM
Sharon Gilstrap said...

My favorite memories are baking with my kids when they were little. We would roll out dough, use fun cookie cutters and make all kinds of shapes. We always had a good laugh when they came out looking like alien creatures, not the Christmas Tree, Bunnies or Kitty Cat we thought we were making!

October 1, 2012 10:02 AM
pat michaels said...

Making Christmas cookies with my seven kids, Pat

October 1, 2012 10:11 AM
Mary said...

My favorite baking memory is also with my grandmother.. cherry pies for my birthday which is around Thanksgiving time and usually overlooked.. She would always take the time to bake my my “own” cherry pie, usually letting me help..Yummm and now strolling off down down memory lane…thanks.

October 1, 2012 10:22 AM
Kelly said...

Baking with my little sister. I think more of the brownie batter was on our faces, aprons, and floor than in the actual brownie pan. It made for some great pictures & wonderful memories!!

October 1, 2012 10:26 AM
Jessica Johnson said...

I’ve always loved baking, but now I get to share this with my 3 year old daughter. Our favorites are cake pops and spritz cookies. She was thrilled when we left homemade cookies for Santa last Christmas!

October 1, 2012 10:28 AM
Linda S said...

Making Sweet Buns! They are a family tradition. It just would not be Christmas morning without them! When my Mom could not make them any longer, my sisters and I took over the “job”. Now, it just wouldn’t be the holidays without the sweet smell of yeast and cinnamon/sugar!

October 1, 2012 10:36 AM
Sweetwater Cakes said...

My favorite baking memory is making a 4x of pretzels with my sister when she was in 8th grade and I was in 4th grade. This was the start of my infatuation with baking! Thanks for being such a great sis, Katie!

October 1, 2012 10:38 AM
jennifer brotherton said...

My favorite memory is with my Grandma Bunny making tollhouse cookies with the recipe from the bag! She always burnt them- but we had a great time

October 1, 2012 10:40 AM
Priyanka said...

My favorite baking memory transpired this past summer. Every summer, my cousins and Aunt who live in China come spend a few months at my house. My 9-year-old cousin, whom I just adore, and I are basically inseparable during these times, and our favorite activity is baking. This past summer, we were baking banana bread, and she was really excited because she wanted to write about it in her blog. Well, for banana bread, you need really ripe bananas, and we were short one. So I just instinctively stuck one in the oven. She thought this was just hilarious, and her laughter doubled when, as an avid lover of cinnamon (I add it to everything), I accidentally dumped a pile of cinnamon into the dough. Not only did we have a wonderful time, the bread turned out to be the best we’ve ever made :)

October 1, 2012 10:40 AM
Jane F said...

I remember baking chocolate chip cookies and cut out Christmas cookies with my Mom when I was a child. We always had a wonderful time baking and then, of course, eating the cookies.

October 1, 2012 10:40 AM
Emily said...

My sister and I spent a day making sugar cookies and decorating them with our little twin cousins. Best baking memory so far!

October 1, 2012 10:46 AM
Daf said...

Surprised my roommate with her favorite cake she had been missing from her days in Texas, tres leches cake. She’s a picky eater and it was delicious! We polished it off in two days.

October 1, 2012 10:47 AM
Laura Brown said...

My favorite baking memory is still being made. I love baking with my son. I love watching him bake with his Uncle as well. These are the best times…he’s 5 and loves making cookies or brownies.

October 1, 2012 10:48 AM
Lauren D said...

My favorite baking memory would probably be my grandmothers desserts. i never had a chance to bake with her and didn’t fully get into baking until she passes away about 4 years ago, but I was lucky enough to get some of her recipe books. The page with the cream puff recipe has stuff ALL over it and I feel closer to her when I see things in the cookbook that I know she did over and over again : )

October 1, 2012 10:50 AM
Debbie in Tennessee said...

Baking with family and friends, especially pumpkin rolls and watching people enjoy eating them. They can be difficult sometimes, but every now and then they turn out perfect and no one really cares if they crack or not.

October 1, 2012 11:01 AM
Jess said...

Probably baking my first cheesecake from scratch and using no mixer!

Thanks for the recipe! ;)

October 1, 2012 11:05 AM
Diamond said...

My favourite baking memory is making our treats to enter in the fair. My children pick their recipe and do all the work except for the oven, and reading the recipe for my youngest. Part of this baking experience includes taking it in to the fair for the judging, and then going to the fair to find out if our treats placed.
This year my 8 year old won a first place ribbon! We are already talking about next year’s fair entries.

October 1, 2012 11:10 AM
Megan Winston said...

My favorite baking memory is making chocolate chip cookies for the first time with my two oldest kiddos. They were only 2 and 3 years old at the time, and had to stop every few steps to do important things like sniff the vanilla and sample a few chocolate chips :)

October 1, 2012 11:17 AM
Shawna said...

My grandma was the best cook and teacher ever. She was featured in a local newspaper for cooking lunch every weekday for her kids, grand kids and who ever could stop by for lunch. I got my sense of making things up as I go and using what you have to make things….also no one can make pie crust like grandma!

October 1, 2012 11:19 AM
Alyssa F said...

My mom and I made our first angel food cake a number of years ago at Christmas time. Unbeknownst to us, you should never, ever bake angel food cake in a glass pan!! A little ways into the baking time, we heard the most terrific “pop” in the oven: it looked like ‘smores (minus the graham crackers & chocolate) had literally exploded over every inch of the over. Three hours of cleaning and belly-aching laughter later, I think we bought one at the grocery store!!

October 1, 2012 11:32 AM
Marianne said...

My favorite memory … Is baking cookies with my Mom at Christmas time. But before that it was Christmas time with my Great Grand Mother Straub. She always had a huge spread of cookies. I hope someday to make that many. :D

October 1, 2012 11:33 AM
Mary Walker said...

My favorite baking memory was baking a cake for the bicentennial celebration on July 4, 1976. My mom bought tons of ingredients and just let me go to town with my imagination! It ended up being a yellow cake with chocolate icing. I created a liberty bell with slivered almonds and made red and white stripes out of sprinkles. It was so ‘homemade’ but I was SO proud of my creation!

October 1, 2012 11:45 AM
Rachel Watters said...

My favorite baking memory would be sneaking chocolate chip cookie dough batter from the mixing bowl. My mom didn’t seem to mind as long as we still left some for her to bake!

Also, the smells of baked goods… banana bread, cookies, pies, brownies…

October 1, 2012 11:51 AM
John Schmieder said...

We kids used to always love helping my mother bake cookies for all the kids in the neighborhood…she made the best cookies and I loved the aroma !

October 1, 2012 11:58 AM
Donna Glennon said...

I was baking chocolate chip cookies with my 6 year old daughter & after I mixed all the ingredients & I layed out the cookie sheet & handed my daughter a small mellon baller, her job was to ball the mix and put it on the sheet, when she was done I put the sheet in the oven….when the cookies were done cooling we all had one.

Not one cholate chip was in any of the cookies, my daughter picked every single chip out of the mix. They were still pretty good.

October 1, 2012 12:03 PM
Jody Rivera said...

My favorite baking memory is when the kids and baked cookies, pies and fudge for Christmas for everyone. Having five kids help you bake and get into the holiday spirit is awesome.

October 1, 2012 12:03 PM
Christy L said...

Some of my favorite baking memories have been with my mom growing up! I loved baking cookies as it got colder outside and being in a warm kitchen with all the smells of spices wafting around!! I would love to win and continue this traditions on with my little girl!!

October 1, 2012 12:04 PM
Kasia said...

My favorite baking memories are baking with my daughter. She is always in charge of measuring the ingredients and cracking the eggs.Fun times!

October 1, 2012 12:14 PM
Maria said...

My favorite memory is making a Bunny cake for Easter with my sister. I’ve been making it almost every year since my twenties (long time ago). I didn’t make it one year and my niece was so disappointed. I didn’t realize that she looked forward to seeing it and having a piece every year.

October 1, 2012 12:27 PM
Sonnie said...

My step mom’s mother would bake dozens and dozens of cookies each holiday, she was a pastry chef. We always decorated them at her house and she was always so encouraging of the designs, never criticized how bad they looked. She always found something nice to say about how yummy my cookies looked. I have very fond memories of those cookie decorating adventures!!!

October 1, 2012 12:30 PM
Shelli said...

My grandmother was a pie-making machine! She could easily churn out the yummiest pies with the most buttery, flaky crust. It was always a treat to watch her bake and I have fond memories of helping her in the kitchen.

October 1, 2012 12:31 PM
Samantha Daleo said...

What a fantastic giveaway!

October 1, 2012 12:34 PM
Lisa P said...

My Mom makes the BEST fruitcake cookies at Christmas. They are wonderful to eat while the kids are opening Christmas gifts!

October 1, 2012 12:36 PM
Amber said...

When my brother and I were young, my mother let us and the babysitter do whatever we liked, including baking so many Christmas cookies that we had the entire kitchen including the floor covered with cookie sheets that were covered in baked cookies, it was just like the Pippi Longstocking movie , we loved it!

October 1, 2012 12:49 PM
Natalie J Vandenberghe said...

It’s hard to name just one favorite baking memory. My step-Dad was a Chef and I remember watching him make his “Famous” cheesecake using his treasured KitchenAid Stand Mixer. As a Mom of four, I think most of my favorite baking memories involve my kids–whether them “helping” me make something (like sugar cookies) or their delight when they taste and enjoy something special I’ve made for them. I descend from a long line of sweet-lovers and the legacy continues ;)
Thanks for the giveaway!

October 1, 2012 12:49 PM
Bernadette said...

my favorite baking memories were with my mom making banana bread. it was always “a little of this” and “a little of that” and a whole lot of delicious!

October 1, 2012 12:54 PM
cris pigg said...

My best memory is having my grandmother teach me to bake pies! She made the best crust ever!

October 1, 2012 12:55 PM
Shannon said...

My favorite baking memories are making secret elaborate Christmas cookie boxes and wrapping them up all gorgeous, with our four teenaged daughters and son. We’d stay up all night Christmas eve finishing off the decorating … and then drive all over town early Christmas morning dropping them on dear friends’ door steps who were having hard times. Truthfully, Anytime baking with my children was my favorite <3

October 1, 2012 12:59 PM
Dawn Busch said...

My favorite baking memory is when we were much younger and my brother was in Boy Scouts. He had to donate a cake for a bake sale the Boy Scouts were having. My parents made this into a family affair in that Dad and my brother came up with the design, Mom and I baked the cake and we all decorated it.

Coming from a “car” family of course the guys chose a car. Not any car – a classic coupe. We baked a ton of cakes until we got the shape right, we frosted and started decorating. Those mini silver balls are not easy to decorate with a toothpick and tweezers. After several hours of patience and each person taking a turn we finally finished it.

It came out absolutely wonderful and my brother donated the cake that brought in the highest donation! :)

October 1, 2012 01:01 PM
kathi said...

My favorite memories of baking are when both my kids were little and every christmas eve we would make sugar cookies and decorate them for Santa. They still like doing that even though they are 26 and 32.

October 1, 2012 01:09 PM
Jillian Q said...

My favorite memory was when my parents moved our family away from the small town where all of our relatives live (weird, right?).
It was bittersweet because while we didn’t have the big family holiday baking session, we created one of our own. Many of my best memories come from that time in our lives. I also started a tradition of baking a beautiful apple tart each Christmas, which I still make to this day.

October 1, 2012 01:15 PM
Angie T said...

Both my Grandmother’s are incredible cooks, but my Maternal Grandmother is also an excellent baker. I remember when my cousins and I would come over and we’d clear off the kitchen table to cover it with sugar cookie goodies to then bake and decorate to our hearts content! It was an amazing time that I will always remember.

October 1, 2012 01:17 PM
Gretchen said...

Pecan pie is one of my favorite desserts of all time. I have loved it (and anything related..pecan pie bars, tartlets, etc) for as long as I can remember.

October 1, 2012 01:19 PM
Karen said...

One of my favorite baking memories is making cupcakes with my goddaughter when she was about 6 years old. We mixed up all kinds of different colored frostings and she went crazy with about 10 different kinds of sprinkles. So much fun!

October 1, 2012 01:20 PM
Allison Gardner said...

My favorite baking memory was indeed on a holiday! On a year when my four siblings and I would have been short on gifts, my mother traded the Christmas budget to buy a bounty of baking supplies instead of barbies and CD players. Together as family we baked up gift boxes of delicious treats. Between learning family recipes and decorating cookies, making the baked goods was just as enjoyable as delivering them (complete with a carol) on Christmas morning to our friends in need of a little extra Christmas cheer.

October 1, 2012 01:30 PM
Katie S. said...

My favorite baking memory is making oatmeal cookies with my grandmother. She had a little apron and a little spatula just for me, and she’d even let me eat the cookie dough!

October 1, 2012 01:38 PM
vivian kelley said...

my favorite memory is the aroma of my mother baking home made mollasses cookies.

October 1, 2012 01:41 PM
Julie J said...

Baking during the holidays (especially Fall & Christmas) is one of my favorite things to do! Now that I have 3 daughters I love creating memories with them! My husband is currently begging me to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!

October 1, 2012 01:41 PM
Nichole M said...

My grandma has been making cookie trays for family and friends at Christmas time since I can remember. The grandchildren were always in charge of using their artistic abilities to decorate the sugar cookies…no 2 were allowed to look the same. It was so much fun and we continue to do it every year and I am now in my mid 30′s.

October 1, 2012 01:50 PM
Jenna said...

Growing up, we never had sweets in the house. Except for Christmas. I always loved making cupcakes with my mom – still do!

October 1, 2012 01:51 PM
Lauren Masotti said...

My favorite memory of baking of course is from when I was a little girl – back when baking was 100% fun and carefree, instead of intricate and complex as it is now when as an adult. My grandmother was the typical old school Italian “Nonna” who made everything with her hands and measured things by a “pinch” or “to taste” – something I have inherited genetically. One of my favorite things to make with her for Christmas was Strufoli (Honey Balls). She would hand me pieces of dough to roll into a pencil shape and cut (with a plastic knife of course) into little “pillows.” I would then roll those pillows into hundreds of little balls and pass them back to her as she dropped groups of them into the pot of hot oil. This process took forever, but was time well spent bonding with my grandmother and enjoying her company as she told me “Lauren, Bella Mia, you remember this recipe I teach you and make them with your kids one day okay?” I would sit impatiently to see these browned fried dough boils hoping they didn’t fluff into pieces of popcorn (she never cared if they weren’t perfect, as long as she had her little helper). Then, came my favorite part… she would pour melted honey over this mound of golden spheres, and give me the honors of dousing them with a million of tiny sprinkles. This is my favorite and most treasured memory of my grandmother and of my novice days in baking. Every year, I continue this tradition whether it be with my mother’s help or just by myself with the presence of my grandmother playing through old school Frank Sinatra songs. People say a recipe is never perfect and can always be improved, I say sometimes the recipes perfection doesn’t rely solely on it’s ingredients, but who you share the memory with. <3 R.I.P Nana – Love you forever xOx

October 1, 2012 01:51 PM
Lee said...

I grew up with a bunch of guys, and every Christmas I made them cookies They would all call me and ask when they would be ready. One Christmas I went to my best friend’s house, and his mom got really excited to receive the cookies. He confessed that he doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, but always acted so excited because he saw how happy it made me. From that point on, he always got Christmas Beef Jerkey :).

October 1, 2012 01:55 PM
Dannika said...

For Christmas my sister always make lots of different kinds of cookies for gifts and I always help her. We spend a couple of days doing this and I love it. I always look forward to this during the holidays!

October 1, 2012 02:03 PM
Kris said...

When I was newly married we were invited to bake and decorate sugar cookies with several families from church. It was such a fun experience that when my children were young I would invite several families over to decorate sugar cookies that I had made earlier.

October 1, 2012 02:14 PM
Sarina said...

I love during christmas time making almond crescents with my mom and sisters. I just love the almond flavor and when we sprinkled confectionery sugar, it was like it was snowing.

October 1, 2012 02:16 PM
Jackie U said...

My favorite cooking/baking memory, I guess doesn’t really involve real “baking”. I remember every Christmas season my mom and me making “buckeyes” (peanut butter balls to those who don’t live in Ohio). She’d haul out her stand up mixer (which I was FASCINATED by) and mix away. We’d sit at the kitchen table rolling the little balls of deliciousness talking about so many different things – school, the holidays, her memories of baking with my grandmother. And then she’d let me help with dipping the buckeyes – using our toothpicks and then smoothing the little hole over so they looked really pretty. Such a fun, fond memory for me!

October 1, 2012 02:21 PM
Anonymous said...

My Grandmother was the best cook I ever knew. Everything she cooked was wonderful and her baking skills never ceased to amaze me. I always wanted to watch when she baked anything. From biscuits to cornbread to cakes and pies, she was the best!! I never once saw her use a measuring cup or measuring spoons even once. I’m not even sure if she owned either of them! :) She just always knew how much of everything to add to that flour bowl, and if you asked her how much she was going to put in, she’d just say “till it’s right”. I miss her so much, but I’m so glad that I was able to be sitting there at that big table taking it all in while she worked her magic!

October 1, 2012 02:28 PM
Anna B said...

Baking oatmeal scotchies with my mom every Christmas!

October 1, 2012 02:35 PM
Holly said...

When one of my brothers was turning 5 or 6 he requested just frosting for his birthday, no cake. Being the awesomely cool mom that she is, she made him a batch of frosting.

We had an old video him consuming the frosting gleefully…but he never did ask for that again. :-)

October 1, 2012 02:44 PM
Suzanne A. said...

I will always cherish the memory of when my husband’s grandparents came to my house, loaded down with grocery bags, and taught us how to make their famous homemade banana pudding. Such a special memory!

October 1, 2012 02:46 PM
DEBBIE H. said...

I didn’t have a baking tradition when I was a kid. I have 3 kids myself, and started my own tradition with them. Every holiday that comes around we bake and design cookies to represent that holiday. As they have gotten older, they still like to sit down and do cookies with me. I hope that they will carry on this tradition with their kids.

October 1, 2012 02:55 PM
Jenna R. said...

My grandmother always baked a five-flavor pound cake for holidays and birthdays – she used a very long (18″) loaf pan, which made it look different from any other cake I’d ever seen. I also have yet to taste a pound cake that is even slightly similar to hers!
My mom has continued the tradition of making it and I have started experimenting with it myself…can’t let the tradition end! It’s a huge part of family get celebrations :)

October 1, 2012 02:58 PM
Swapna said...

Baking holiday cookies with my sister!

October 1, 2012 03:03 PM
Joanna Drivalas said...

A few years back, I found a cookie cutter in the shape of a schnauzer at a Sur La Table in South Florida. I bought it happily, excitedly–dreaming of all of the KKs (that’s my stepdad’s schnauzer’s name) we would make. Now every year, when I come home for Christmas, my mother, sister, and I make KK Cookies–it’s tradition. We play a game with them, too–the others–including my stepdad–have to guess what kind of KK we made. For example, Pilgrim and Native American KK made an appearance last year. It’s a fun tradition we look forward to every Christmas.

October 1, 2012 03:07 PM
Susan said...

My favorite baking memory is with my Grandma – I would stay by her side as she rolled out Jiffy pie crust. As soon as she would trim some of the excess dough off her round, I’d scarf it up. Yummmmm…..raw pie dough tastes great!

October 1, 2012 03:19 PM
brian albertz sr said...

i enjoy baking for the hollidays and they are comming soon

October 1, 2012 03:19 PM
Eileen said...

My favorite memory of baking always revolve around my mother. I love her approach to making anything work even if we are missing half the ingrediants. One of my favorite memories is stealing the hot cookies cooling on the brown paper sacks and shifting the other cookies so yor could not tell one was missing.

October 1, 2012 03:23 PM
Karen Warner said...

I loved making strudel with my grandma on her table.

October 1, 2012 03:32 PM
Ronald Gustafson said...

My wife has baked goods on hand for me on a continuing basis and they are the best, most all made from scratch.

October 1, 2012 03:33 PM
Debb said...

I grew up baking with my mom and both grandmas. It brings joy to my life to be baking with my daughter now. She is very creative and loves trying her own twists….I am sure they are smiling from above.

October 1, 2012 03:43 PM
Jennifer Marie said...

When my sister and I designed and put together my mom’s wedding cake. It wasn’t traditional and we were able to do whatever we wanted and let the imagination run! It was a great time!!!!

October 1, 2012 03:43 PM
MARY S said...

My Mom and Aunt would always bake the best cookies for the Holidays. They would box up the cookies and pass the cookies to the neighbors who were elderly and alone.
I would help!

October 1, 2012 03:50 PM
Robin S said...

My mother was known for her holiday baking and we would make huge platters of homemade cookies and stollen (a traditional German fruit bread) and give them to neighbors, the dentist, doctors offices and to school. So many families don’t do that anymore. My sisters and I try to keep the tradition going by doing a cookie exchange using Mom’s recipes for things like spritz and pecan fingers…she still makes stollen if I ask-turns out the rest of my siblings never liked it!

October 1, 2012 03:56 PM
Alicia M. said...

My mother always made our family’s birthday cakes. But with the help of our Dad my sister’s and I got to make hers. Her birthday is 12/26 and my family has this tradition of “birthday eve” where that person gets to feel a little extra love. So Christmas has always been my Mom’s birthday eve, with everyone saying “Happy Birthday Eve” instead of “Merry Christmas”. One year my sister’s and I created what can only be described as a monstrosity of neon orange and green (her favorite colors) frosting. With what ended up being a crooked “Happy Birthday Mom”. Looking back at pictures it was the ugliest cake, but it tasted pretty good.

October 1, 2012 03:57 PM
Marilyn Schmidgall said...

My favorite memories are coming home from school and smelling fresh baked bread or cinnamon rolls. My mom always had a Kitchenaid, and made wonderful things,and taught all 4 of us girls to bake too.I love to bake now.

October 1, 2012 04:01 PM
Jennifer said...

When I was small, my mom would very often take us to the library. On one of those visits, my book selection included a cookbook. My mom was always a great baker and through her I had also come to enjoy it. After bringing the book home, we chose the recipe for Chocolate River bars and baked them together. They turned out wonderfully and became a go-to recipe for family events. Now that I think of it, I actually have not made them in years. It is about time I whip up a batch of those bars with my own kids!

October 1, 2012 04:05 PM
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