Third Annual Bake-a-Thon

So Bake-a-Thon was a little different this year. In year’s past, a bunch of us have gathered at Edwin’s apartment where we work like a chain gang for an entire day – measuring, mixing, chilling, baking, cleaning, repeat.

edwin mixing

This year we hosted the event at Jane’s house, which provided us with a lot more room to scamper around in the kitchen. Bake-a-Thon also coincided with a historically large snow fall on the east coast that barricaded us inside (except for Edwin, who seems to enjoy taking his life in his hands).

jane scary face

But those who weren’t already at Jane’s when the snow started falling could never make it over, thus our chain gang was cut in half. And since everyone brings a recipe of their choice to the event, we were down in cookie varieties. Some bakers even had technical difficulties (sigh… me…). Bake-a-Thon 2009 was, you could say, a struggle. I could tell you tales of hardened espresso powder and overly softened butter…

jane espresso

We also had distractions – watching snow accumulate outside, a whining furry puppy trying to steal butter wrappers out of the trash and New Super Mario Brothers for Wii – we were bombarded on all fronts. It was also the first time I had actually seen Edwin and Jane since moving to Charlottesville in August. Now that I think about it, it’s truly amazing that any cookies were made at all.

edwin stirring

Holiday baking is a battlefield. I also forgot my apron and hat – Qué lástima!


There was also some PDA in the kitchen. Tye set up a video camera in the kitchen, so I’m sure there is a time-lapse video of all the trials and tribulations somewhere.

edwin's doughbutter

Edwin probably walks away with the cookie award for his perfectionism in the kitchen. He moved along on schedule and his cookies looked beautiful.

jane tea

Jane enjoyed some tea.

mario party break

Right before a round of Super Mario Bros Wii.

steak break

Yeah… there was a steak break, too. Courtesy of Dong.

edwin circles

Edwin drowned his guilt about gorging on steak by heading back to work.

edwin butter

See? He’s not even looking at the pretty snow outside.

jane espresso dough

We all had a laugh at Jane’s Espresso Shortbread Cookie dough. Something is just odd about pouring dough in a Ziploc.

jane edwin

Edwin arranged his cookies to cool, while Jane ate them.

cherrycherry cookies

Edwin’s Sour Cherry Hamantaschen

russian tea cakesfinished tea cakes

I was very embarrassed about my Russian Tea Cakes. I’ve made them 100 times without problems, but the 101st time really got me. Two batches – one with butter softened via microwave and one with it left out for 45 minutes – neither was perfect.

espresso shortbread

Jane had success with the Espresso-Chocolate Shortbreads from Smitten Kitchen.


Tune in next year for the 4th Annual Bake-a-Thon! Will we have another record-breaking snow? Will Edwin finally fall victim to distraction? Will I ever reconcile my differences with room temperature butter? Time will tell…