Friday, December 19, 2008

Cakes Baked in Jars & Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

When I saw this idea over at Mommy's Kitchen to bake cakes in jars I knew I had to try it. It's the one thing I really wanted to do for gift giving but kept putting off for some reason. In hopes of spreading around the idea even further, in time for Christmas next week, I pushed myself to make these last night along with some chocolate covered pretzels for my son's PJ Christmas party at school & gifts for the teachers.

The night was perfect. Christmas music playing, lights dimly lit, a vodka & tonic in hand & just me & my mason jars. Although I am only on 4 1/2 hours of sleep, it was worth it. A feeling of accomplishment waved in after a week of being overwhelmed. Now I just have to clean the chocolate off my walls. You can see more cake in jar recipes here, including Pumpkin Bread & Banana Nut. Awesome idea, huh?!?! See here for more storage & sealing tips . Cakes last for a while unrefrigerated.

APPLESAUCE CAKE BAKED IN JARS



8 pint size mason jars with no neck
2/3 cup shortening
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cloves
2 2/3 cups sugar
2 cups applesauce
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup nuts or raisins

Sterilize jars in boiling water. Dry & grease the insides very well with shortening. Do not use cooking spray. You can sterilize the rings & lids while cakes are cooking.

Cream together shortening & sugar, beat in eggs one at a time. Add applesauce & water. Sift flour, baking powder, soda, salt & spices. Add to mixture & stir in nuts. Fill jars half full with batter. Place jars on a baking sheet & bake for 325 for 40-45 minutes. Don't be alarmed if the cake rises above the rim of the jar it will go down when removed from the oven.

When the cakes are done remove from the oven wipe rims clean. While still hot add a lid & then screw on the jar ring. The jar will seal as it cools down. Store in cupboard. Recipe yields 8 pint size jars. Wrap a pretty fabric & ribbon around the jars with a tag & they are ready to give as gifts.

My Thoughts:

I used craisins & walnuts in my cakes but you can use what you like. This recipe yielded 8 jars for me & they did not rise above the rim of the jar. One thing I will do better next time is pour the batter into the jars more neatly. It was hard to get off the rim once it hardens. But I did test one & it was delicious & moist. Slid right out of the jar!!!!!


{Click Here to Print Recipe}


CHOCOLATE DIPPED PRETZELS




8 oz milk chocolate, broken into pieces
Toppings: flaked coconut, green, red & white sprinkles
12 oz bag pretzel rods (8 in long)

Place chocolate in microwave safe 1-cup measuring cup. Heat, covered with wax paper, in microwave for 45 seconds. Stir & heat 20 more seconds until it is fully melted. Dip & twirl pretzels in chocolate one at a time, tipping cup to cover about half of the pretzel rod. Allow excess to drip back into cup. Sprinkle on your topping & place rod in a pie plate or baking sheet, leaning uncoated portion on egde.

Refrigerate about 20 minutes to set coating. Store in tightly sealed container with waxed paper between layers, at room temp up to 1 week.

My Thoughts:

Using the 1 cup measuring cup was totally key for me. The little spout was extremely helpful in allowing a little more chocolate on the pretzel. If the chocolate hardens a bit just place in microwave for 10 seconds. I used the milk chocolate chips. This makes about 30 pretzels.

{Click Here to Print Recipe}

*** *** ***

Have a great weekend everyone. I don't know about you but I am aiming for some quiet time & a short reprieve before the lovely craziness sets in again next week as I prepare a Christmas dinner for 10.

69 comments:

mommaof4wife2r said...

yeah for fab food! i want to eat all that choc in the dipping bowl!

Tina at Mommy's Kitchen said...

They looks great! good job the addition of cranberries looks so good. I love the pretzel rods so pretty. I am glad you finally got to make them.

Kiera said...

What an awesome gift to give...cakes in jars. Who would've thought? Now go to sleep!! Get your rest!!

:)

Posh And Trendy Living Frugal said...

Yum! I've made cake in a mug before but never in a mason jar.. how long will those keep on the shelf?
AND I've been wanting to make some of those dipped pretzels.. going to have to get off my butt and do it :)
Enjoy your weekend rest.

Erin, Nick and Merrick said...

yum! I love mason jars!
I am totally making your apple thyme martinis for my bday next week!

Carrie said...

Ohmigosh! The cake is the coolest idea! SUPER-COOL!

rachael said...

i agree, that cake is such a great idea!

Life with Kaishon said...

I never saw cakes in a jar before but I think that is ADORABLE! I want to make them this weekend. I hope I have time! Really clever! Who wouldn't love a present like this. Thanks.

KDLOST said...

Merry Christmas! This post makes me hungry! What a cool idea.

Hope your holiday is restful and fun... even the planning and cooking part!! :)

Pam said...

Both treats look like tasty and wonderful gifts. Your friends are very lucky!

Mommy2Twinkies-Deb said...

I'm definitely trying your version of the chocolate covered pretzels next time.. no more of that "painting"! They look great! I'd love to know what you're making for Christmas dinner!

les_mason_curt said...

fabulous ideas, I wish I had your baking heart, If I did I would weigh like a gillion more pounds... Good thing I am not that good of a cook, I love looking at your fun stuff and dreaming about making stuff...

Lump said...

mmmm the pretzels are one of my favs!

the cakes in a jar are interesting. I can see myself eating them with a spoon! ;)

Kristina P. said...

There's an Etsy store that sells cupcakes in mason jars, but they cost an arm and a leg! Thanks for posting the recipe!

Rachel said...

You always make the best stuff and it looks flawless! Yet so much time and love goes into it...bravo to you!

I will definately try the pretzels!

Have a great holiday...good luck with the dinner!

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

I LOVE this idea (and the atmosphere, I'm going to have to bake my cookies that way!) thanks so much for sharing!!

Ace C said...

Thanks for the Friday torture.

Scary Mommy said...

So, when exactly are you planning on sending these to your readers? I want to make sure I'm the one to answer the door and not Jeff. Thanks.

Jen said...

those look like some awesome gifts. One of these years I am totally going to do something like that.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

AWESOME. I can't wait to bake those cakes in some jars! What a cool idea. :)

Mommy2Twinkies-Deb said...

Just used your recipe to make these pretzels to send home to some friends, and they came out great! Thanks! I'm thinking of trying duck for Christmas dinner! (eek!) Glad you liked the connecting post. Glad you called your hubby! :-)

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

love the pretzels - we do that and marshmallows every year - yet to be done!

~Marie~ said...

Now this is really interesting! I may give the cake in a jar a shot.....

Have a wonderful weekend also!

Life, Love And Lola said...

Those pretzels are beautiful! I finally tasted the homemade Kaluha. Yum! I'll get you the recipe.

Bre said...

...very kewel ...I know I can always get a big dose of cooking inspiration on your blog!

I tried the lo mein dish - it was delish and easy but I did use teryaki sauce as I wasn't sure about the thai chili sauce . I had sweet chili sauce but I'm not a big risk taker in cooking lOL

Christmas Cheers,

Bre

Bre said...

...very kewel ...I know I can always get a big dose of cooking inspiration on your blog!

I tried the lo mein dish - it was delish and easy but I did use teryaki sauce as I wasn't sure about the thai chili sauce . I had sweet chili sauce but I'm not a big risk taker in cooking lOL

Christmas Cheers,

Bre

Brad said...

I've received a couple of the cakes in a jar's the last few years - it's a great 'guy' present for us who love to eat but arn't to good in the kitchen.

Tabitha Blue said...

Ohhh, those really are such good ideas!!! What a great gift. It would be so much fun to give... and get!!!!!

Oh, and the rum cake can be made with either... I have a friend that uses dark... I happen to have white!! All good!!!!


:)
~Tabitha~

freshmommyblog.com

Mrs. Buck said...

Those cakes in jars look so delicious - I've never seen anything like that before. I was thinking of giving out the mixes in jars as gifts but this may be a much better idea for next year!

The Blonde Duck said...

That would be so freaking delicious with ice cream. I want a cake in a jar!

Deb said...

Love your dipped pretzels! So Festive! Hope you are having a great weekend!

Tam said...

Wishing you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS MY Friend. I have been busy and not blogging or anything but wanted to stop by and tell you how yummy all your goodies look!

Ritch in Love said...

Steph those pretzels are so fun to make! I love choclate dipped anything! Cake in a jar is something I have not tried...maybe when I have more time I'll do that. Because what a fantastic gift for the neighbors!

April said...

i *love* the cake in a jar idea!!!

TattooedMinivanMom said...

I just know I would burn the crap out of my hands if I sterilized jars. Mini TMM found a cute recipe for Hot Chocolate Cupcakes. You bake them in coffee cups and put whip cream on top so it looks like a cup of hot chocolate.

Missed you!

Michelle said...

WOnderful idea! you are so good! Way to push through and get it done. I know those teachers appreciated it!

Hula Hank said...

What? Cake baked in jars? I love it!!

I am absolutely dying for chocolate covered pretzels. Quite good if first dipped in caramel then chocolate. Unfortunately,I cannot get pretzel rods down this way, so I will just drool over over your photos!

Mary said...

I made these at a baking party earlier this month...but we dipped them in caramel first...then chocolate, and added white chocolate to the outside. They are always a hit, and super tasty!

Chef Chuck said...

Pretzels with Chocolate count me in!
Enjoy your quiet time.
Thanks Chuck

coffee fiend said...

happy yummified hollidays

Angela said...

The pretzels are beautiful!! I will have to make some of those this year to snack on while we put up the tree!!

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Mythbusting the Flu VaccineOctober 12 3:41 PMby Cheryl Wischhover 0 Comments Photo: iStockPhoto It's finally cool enough for boots and army jackets, so this [url=http://savebigshopping.com/]coach outlet[/url] can only mean one thing: flu season is upon us. In the US, flu season lasts from September through May, and tends to peak in January and February.  It's been estimated that Americans miss as [url=http://savebigshopping.com/]coach factory[/url] many as 70 million work days per year due to the flu and if you're one of the millions who don't get paid sick days, you can kiss those Rag and Bone booties goodbye if you're one of the millions of people that don't get paid sick time. Not to mention what a runny nose, red watery eyes, and hacking cough does to your appearance—not exactly sexy. In all seriousness, the influenza virus can wreak a lot of havoc on your body, even if you're seemingly healthy. Remember 2009-2010's H1N1—formerly called [url=http://savebigshopping.com/]coach factory outlet online[/url] "swine flu"—epidemic? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that between 8,870 and 18,300 died as a result. Scary.  A flu vaccine's made available every year. There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about this vaccine, so let's set the record straight. MYTH: The flu shot will give you the flu. We spoke to Marc Foca, MD, an infectious disease specialist at New York Presbyterian Hospital. "Certainly any vaccine can give you a reaction, like a site reaction [which means redness at the site of injection] or muscle aches. But [url=http://savebigshopping.com/]coach factory[/url] a lot of people talk about getting the flu from the flu shot and that's totally incorrect." The shot contains inactivated  influenza and the nasal spray contains very weakened virus. If you have asthma, there is a chance that the nasal spray can exacerbate it. Otherwise, expect mild to no side effects. MYTH: The flu shot contains a lot of [url=http://savebigshopping.com/]coach factory outlet[/url] mercury. Some vaccine preparations contain thimerosol, a preservative which contains a miniscule amount of  mercury. However, many vaccines this year DON'T contain thimerosol. If for some reason your healthcare provider doesn't offer a thimerosol-free version, Dr.Foca said it's "not an issue at all for a healthy adult." MYTH: Only sick and old people should get the vaccine. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of six months receive a flu vaccine. Not only are you protecting yourself, but you are protecting the people in your life who [url=http://savebigshopping.com/]coach factory[/url] may be at high risk for bad outcomes from the flu, such as the elderly, babies, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems. So there's also an element of the greater good here. If that doesn't answer your most pressing questions, you can get complete information about influenza and the vaccine from the CDC here and always check with your healthcare provider before receiving a vaccination. And, of course, remember that the best form of infection prevention is low tech: wash your hands! Tags: health flu winter rag & bone

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