For those of you worried for my sanity, I do this every year. I enjoy it. In fact, I don't have enough people to give the baking away to this year, and I'm doing it anyway. Hell with it. It's part of my holiday ritual, and I like it, so I'm gonna. The husbeast can unload it on the guys at work, and I'll give it out to everyone I know locally (Terby, you are on my hit list).
Trish, I don't think I'm making fuckeyes this year. Sorry.
The reason I'm coming up with a kajillion recipes is, I know myself. Once I get everything dragged out and in place, my thought process goes something like "Heck, this is all out anyway, I might as well make (fill in the blank - cookies, bread, seven layer cake, linzer torte, croquembouche, a nuclear reactor)." So it's better to have a plan, or in this case a list of recipes, than it is to just turn me loose in the kitchen when the baking urge is on me. That's how we wound up with crumb cake at Thanksgiving. You know, the recipe that starts off by melting three sticks of butter (because the holiday food wasn't enough calories or fat, we needed more). "Heck, I've got the stuff out to make pie... might as well do a crumb cake."
This year, though, I have a plan to help me not gain weight. Ready?
I'm gonna bake stuff I don't like.
That's right. My in-laws are all big fans of fruit cake, and I can't stand the stuff. So fruitcake it is. They also like citrus (that lemon merengue pie at Thanksgiving?) and I have no trouble resisting it. I've located a recipe for lemon truffles. You get the idea. No doubt I will break down and make something chocolate, and I had a specific request for the shortbread toffee chip cookies that I love, but mostly... it's gonna be lemon, by god.
On the other hand, Bouche de Noel has always eluded me... I'm gonna give it another try this year. (I got my second wind on sponge cake after watching Tyler Florence totally fuck up a Bouche de Noel on Iron Chef last week. Does the heart good.) With luck I might even make merengue mushrooms and maybe some spun sugar spanish moss, for southern authenticity.
Yeah, yeah, I need my head examined. But I'll have fun. If only baking too much was the worst anyone did in the world.