Last week Thursday, some friends of mine and I got together to bake some holiday goodies. I love getting people to bake for the holidays because it’s a great opportunity to reap the benefits of a wide variety of cookies without having to actually make all the cookies yourself. Plus, you get to hang out with fun people while you bake up those treats! Really, what could be better?
As it turns out, there are a couple of ways to make an already wonderful baking experience even better. While I’ve hosted holiday baking parties before, this one was a little different, and special, for the following reasons:
- We met at the Logan Park Community kitchen where we were able to utilize 2 – count them – 2 ovens!! If you’ll remember, my friend Angela and I embarked on a tomato canning adventure a few months back in a Minneapolis community kitchen. That experience planted the seed for this baking adventure. Really, you can get so much more done with 2 ovens!
- We donated a large chunk of the baked goodies to the NE Meals on Wheels program as a reward for the volunteers who deliver tasty meals to residents in the neighborhood. I think I can speak on behalf of all of the bakers – we were happy to be able to share a little cheer to help thank volunteers for their dedication to our community!
- I finally got to meet my new blog friend Molly from The Found Recipe box in real life! If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, do. I think she’s one creative cookie and I’m glad she was able to make it to our baking extravaganza.
There were about 8 of us in the kitchen at Logan Park and everyone contributed some fantastic recipes. Despite a little minor smoke plume emitting from one of the ovens, we still managed to yield quite the assortment of holiday treats! We had spritz cookies, raspberry tarts, rice krispy wreaths, peanut clusters, ginger cookies, chocolate crinkles and a family classic – the Dough Boy. The cookies all turned out to be quite tasty and plentiful and we were able to divvy up cookies for each of the bakers while still donating a bunch for the Meals on Wheels program, much to the dismay of the elementary wrestling team who was practicing in the gym adjacent to the kitchen.
And now, without further adieu, I present to you the classic and coveted Dough Boy recipe (imagine the narrator from A Christmas Story as you read this part because that’s what I would like my voice to sound like right now). No, this is not a dough boy as in the Pillsbury Dough Boy. These Dough Boys are not pale and pasty, nor do they giggle uncontrollably. Quite the opposite. They are rich, chocolaty pieces of heaven that melt in your mouth and cause you to make that “mmmm, mmmm” sound. In a word, the holidays just aren’t complete without a plate of dough boys. Or at least Christmas can’t go on in my family without a plate of Dough Boys.
Dough Boys (from my mom, from her Grandma, from who knows where)
13 whole graham crackers, finely crushed
1 12 oz. package chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand)
Heat oven 250º. Layer crushed graham crackers, chocolate chips and condensed milk in a 9 x 13″ pan. Place in oven for approximately 10 minutes or until chocolate chips appear glossy. Remove pan from oven and mix all ingredients together. Quickly roll into small balls and roll in powdered sugar. Tell people they are from a complicated Martha recipe.* Enjoy!
*Clearly this line is not from my great-grandmother. But it is from my mom circa 2002 when she first emailed the recipe to me and a friend. The subject of the email? “The no-longer secret family recipe”.
Thanks to all of my baking friends for joining me in the community kitchen and for donating the fruits of your labor to the Meals on Wheels program. I hope we can do something like this again next year!