Sunday, December 13, 2009

Crazy Cookie Weekend

This weekend I performed my annual marathon cookie bake. Friday I went to Hobby Lobby for my cookie plates and to my favorite grocery for the rest of my supplies. Buy For Less happens to be a locally owned chain, which is a big plus for me. The fact that the deli and produce departments are outstanding doesn't hurt. Because it is locally owned the various stores can have a slightly different inventory to suit the customer base (one of them has an excellent Mexican bakery). I found everything I needed there. Of course that was no big problem because most of my Christmas baking requires pretty ordinary ingredients. The list of treats: Brown Irish Soda Bread, Sugar Cookies (which Aunt Rita helped me decorate), Almond Spritz cookies, Paula Deen's White Chocolate Chunkies (subbed cranberries for candied cherries), Cranberry Pecan Pinwheels, Walnut and Black Pepper Biscotti, Saltine Toffee, Haystacks, and Aunt Bill's Brown Candy (Shana pitched in and did half of the 10 minutes of vigorous stirring it needs). I did everything but decorate the sugar cookies in one day and moved everything out to the freezer as soon as it cooled. I have a freezer full of treats in my garage all ready to make up gift trays and bags. Making everything in one day is hard work, but doing it that way I can just leave all of the supplies out from the time I bring them home from the store until I have finished making everything and only have to clean up after baking once. This is an obvious benefit to those who have ever seen the kitchen after I finish with it. Many years ago my nephew Kyle used to help me. In more recent years Aunt Rita has worked with me, but she's not up for the long day anymore and really would rather just decorate cookies. This year streamlined the decorating by making all of the cookies in one shape - trees. I just piped green icing on them and Aunt Rita sprinkled them from our large selection of sprinkles. It went quickly and with very little mess.

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