Use Your Words - Best of Intentions

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

Kitchen ~ light ~ beautiful ~ steeped ~ hill ~ midnight

They were submitted by: On the Border - Thank you, Diane!

I am talking about my personal dos and don'ts during the Holidays, and one is to include other people in your advent calendar. 

Since Colin, our only child, has been little, we've always made it a point to not let it be his turn every day, so we usually divided the days among Colin, his grandparents, hubby and myself. This year we added some more people.

My best friend was one of the lucky ones. 

She and I are some of the rare Swiss people who appreciate all things chocolate mint flavored, so I got her a bag of Mint M&Ms from Canada. 

If this sounds lame to you, please consider that there are only three M&M varieties to be purchased in Switzerland: 

Of course I didn't want to leave it at a bag of M&Ms, Mint or not, and as the date  - December 10 - got closer, I had this special idea, and in my mind they were looking beautiful: 

Chocolate Mint Cheesecakes in a Jar! 

I was browsing Pinterest and watching videos, but none of the recipes quite matched my requirements: 

  • I wouldn't mind making a no-bake version, but didn't want to use either condensed milk or heavy whipping cream. 
  • For the crust I didn't want to disassemble Oreos, and while I like a good brownie, in addition to cheesecake this sounds like too much of a good thing. 
  • After all I wanted to taste some myself, too, and I couldn't have it taking up my entire daily calories budget! Better keep it light, right?

So Colin and I hilled up  our own ingredients and went for it!

  • Shortbread crumbs, cacao powder and butter for the crust
  • Reduced fat cream cheese, greek yogurt, sugar, red and green food coloring, peppermint extract and an egg for the filling
  • Dark chocolate, freshly brewed espresso and some powdered sugar for the frosting
  • Candy cane for decoration
This is what it looked like before baking. I was pretty pleased with it:

  • Those candy cane edges are sharp! Meaning they may actually destroy the ziploc bag  you've used to crush them with a rolling pin, and you'll end up with candy splinters all over your kitchen.
  • Start the day before (and with day I mean at a decent time, not shortly before midnight) so you're not getting into trouble time-wise. Baking, chilling, frosting, chilling, are we done yet?
  • Handling one squeeze bottle and two squeeze bags that contain a relatively liquid-y content at the same time is hard if not impossible!
  • As pretty as baked goods look when made in a jar, they're not super suitable for the oven. Batters and layers will start to bubble up and won't stay in place but will in fact  shift as they please!
  • If you must do it again, please grease the jars as you would any other baking dish! I steeped the jar for quite a while before putting it in the dishwasher! This is what the finished product looked like after scraping it out - because it was pretty much impossible to eat it our of the jar - Let's call it Christmas Crumble ;-) Was it yummy? Yeah! Was it worth the trouble? Nope.

  • Bury bake fails in other, fancy stuff!

  • Use the pretty set-up to participate in a photo challenge! I needed to include the following in the picture: something green, something sweet, something upside down and the Elf on the Shelf:

  • Have your 9yo repeat your delivery order to you! This is what I asked him to do: "Pick up your friends on your way to the Boy Scouts Christmas Party and leave the gift basket at their Mom's! And tell her to put the jars right in the fridge, they need to chill some more." This is what he did: went straight to the party - which was taking place in the forrest. While it was snowing and later raining. At least I didn't have to worry about the fridge...

As I was saying in the title... Best of intentions...

Before you leave, please go and check out my blogger friends' posts: