In the kitchen

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Monday, December 24, 2012

holiday baking: a practice in insanity

This year I said to Sandi, "I think I'm going to skip my holiday baking this year."

Too much cost, too many hours, too much stress.

But maybe I could just do a little.  I would make a few batches of heath bar and petite fours.  And just give them to a few people.  But what people?  And it would be such a prettier plate if there were more items on it.

Before I knew it I was in baking mode.

Ella's teacher asked me to be in charge of making sugar cookies for her class to decorate as part of their holiday party.  She wanted 140 cookies. I made 100 and had another mom make 40.

I stand corrected.  I, along with my assistants, made cookies.

Then it was on to a coconut birthday cake for our amazing niece who was turning 10 - a whole decade (!) old. This year we had a birthday celebration for her followed by a family trip to the nutcracker (a Christmas gift from my mom- thanks mom).  Ella made her a birthday card that said, "Happy Birthday! Happy Nutcracker Day!"

This cake is from cooking light and has coconut water and coconut extract in a fluffy, angel-food-cake-like layers separated by raspberry filling.

All of this is topped with a cooked, egg-white frosting and toasted coconut flakes.

Then one of my asset/liability personality traits kicked in and I started baking and freezing and baking and freezing some more.
Truffle iced sugar cookies
There was one day I literally spent 7 hours in the kitchen.  Another day I got up at 4:15 with Sandi to make peanut butter cups (it is a task best done in the quiet).  I made cookies before school, biscotti late into the night and heath bar at all hours of the day.   I ate way too much, sometimes forgoing breakfast in favor of warm cookies from the oven.

I told Sandi to please remind me not to do Christmas baking next year.  She said, "That's what you said 2 weeks ago."

Yup, that's the kind of crazy I am.

Then, in two batches of 12, I filled containers and plates for friends and neighbors.  Twenty-four in all.

What can I say?  I just can't help myself.

It doesn't help that as I delivered them around, many people who have come to expect these goodies literally jumped up and down to see us coming.  Delivering these treats gives me a chance to wish so many people we love a Merry Christmas, to bring the girls to visit an 86-year-old friend who greatly appreciates company (and give her a little massage) and to appreciate our very amazing neighbors.

I love it.  I do.  But it makes me crazy and immoderate.  What's an ambitious girl to do?

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