Last night I sat down and made the list of holiday baking to do. The last couple years I've gotten a little carried away with it, because we go to Ohio and I don't have to cook the actual holiday meal. And the cookies are a good thing to hand out to everyone - these days, hand made anything is considered a real treat.
By the time I made a list of all the old favorites, there wasn't much room for anything new and fun to be added (each year I like to try something new, which often gets added to the old favorites list, making the list grow every year).
Here then, is the proposed (NOT FINAL - stuff gets ditched as time runs out) baking list for Christmas 2006:
-Buckeyes (chocolate-dipped peanut butter candies)
-the date cookies
-toffee chip shortbread cookies (roll and slice, very fast)
-Snickerdoodles (rolled in colored sugar to look festive)
-cut out cookies (geckos - a tradition I started in Hawaii)
-lemon cookies (a successful experiment from last year)
-macaroons (really fast and everyone oohs)
-scandinavian orange bars (like soft biscotti - fast to make)
And the new experiments:
-chocolate dipped arrowroot cookies (a joke for my father-in-law)
-macadamia lace cookies
-ginger bars (I hope these work like fast gingerbread, 'cause I hate making gingerbread)
Other than the buckeyes, date cookies, and cutouts, nothing is labor intensive. I get out my cookie scoop (small-sized ice cream scoops, available at restaurant supply stores) and the silicon parchment paper, and can whip through a batch of cookies in an hour. I also start with the more classic 'cookie cookies' because they freeze well - do them two or three weeks early and chuck them in the freezer.
Once the freezer's full, I quit baking. That's the rule. Haha.
Before I had The Baby, when we were in Hawaii, I would mail out baked goods instead of Christmas cards... The baking would start the day after Thanksgiving, and everything would be in the mail (still frozen, usually) by the second week of December and I would sit back and drink Cosmopolitans while the thank-yous would roll in.
This whole waiting and baking fresh is a new idea, but it's kind of fun to hand the stuff directly to the people who get it.
I love baking.
I hope I don't gain 20 pounds this Christmas.