This is it! Today is the day! 30 Days and 30 Bites has come to an end! I have made it through heaps of chocolate, fondant, fruits, FLOUR and more…and I am still standing and still married to my amazing husband :). I cannot express to you how glad I am that it is over! I am so happy I chose a THIRTY day challenge, and not a 365 day challenge. I give major kudos to Julia for making it through that cookbook in a year! I thoroughly loved this walk down the baking path, but I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. The last thing I want to look at for at least a week is SUGAR. I don’t want to smell it, see it, eat it, feel it…I may even bring what I have left to my neighbors so it is out of the house!
When I started this challenge I thought it would be a good idea to keep track of the volumes of the various items that it took me to make it through the 30 days of baking. This was a bit of a let down actually. I definitely went through several bags of powdered sugar (all that icing!) and there is a good dent in my Sam’s Club size vanilla extract bottle. Other than that though, the amounts of things were not that impressive. I may have used 10 lbs of flour and five of sugar. Definitely half a (big) bag of brown sugar. I didn’t even use more than one or two cake boxes though. I did, however, buy all sorts of things I never thought I would. For instance, almond paste, which took forever to find and looks like a refrigerated sausage. This just goes to show though, baking can certainly be done on a budget. For the most part, if you do any baking at all, you are probably going to have most of the materials on hand. And let me tell you, Chips Ahoy ain’t got nuthin on my chocolate chip cookies! I would much rather bake fresh goods than buy them packaged, any day!
I would like to thank my husband, who not only encouraged this baking bonanza, but also gave his honest opinion. Thank you sweetheart, for always eating the ugly cookies and cupcakes so I could save the pretty ones to give to our friends. You are the best!
So, a few things I learned: there is no such thing as too much vanilla; washing all the baking utensils every day is REALLY annoying; chocolate is God’s gift to mankind; my husband really will eat anything; sometimes simpler is better; sometimes better requires A LOT of work; I have a long way to go before opening that bakery!
So what am I going to do now? I thought about 30 Days of Diet, but to be honest I actually lost 4 pounds this month. I certainly had my days where I pigged out on that daily concoction, but for the most part I was so good about only eating one of what I made. Let me tell you, it was rough at first, but you already know how I feel about sugar now! I really do know why bakers can be thin…you really get to the point where you just can’t eat anything made with flour and sugar anymore!
Needless to say, I am taking a break from the kitchen. I have a few things (like those mango muffins) that I have the supplies for, so I need to bake them! I think I’ll enjoy it even more now without the pressure of having to write about it each night! I only missed one day out of 30, and that was day 15. I figure I deserved a break at the halfway point.
Of course, now on to the topic of tonight’s post…
I was trying to be so clever for my big finale. First I thought I would do some enormous topsy turvy cake. I decided I didn’t have it in me. I’ve tried that once before and the results weren’t pretty. Then I thought I would do something that required NO baking. Alas, I did not feel like making cheesecake (I just ate a friend’s 2 days ago) or no bake Krispies cookies. I finally just decided that I would delve into my allrecipes.com recipe box and find something I have been wanting to do for a while and haven’t. The final decision: Magic Peanut Butter Middles.
These required a little bit of extra work. As I have shown in the picture, you form the middles of a peanut butter mixture and then wrap them with a chocolate mixture. Everyone’s comments on the site were about different ways to make this work. You can try one or all of them, but in the end, it is all about what you feel comfortable doing.
The cookies received rave reviews after we brought them to a friend’s house this evening for game night. I definitely think I prefer the peanut butter cup cakes I made on day two of 30D30B. Those took a lot less work for something that tasted just as great, if not better.
Still, the best word to describe these: YUM!
I hope you have all enjoyed 30D30B. I know I have! Thanks to you for reading and thanks to my neighbors for allowing me to invade your houses with baked goods this month!