I spent the weekend baking. I also wrote holiday cards, blared Christmas music, and drank a fair amount of wine. And I didn't have to shovel any snow. It was fabulous.
This year, I took a practical-slash-strategic approach to my holiday baking. I went for all things that would stay fresh for at least a couple of weeks. This allows me to distribute things over a few days without fretting over stale cookies or crusty cupcakes. I also went for all things bite-sized, so that one can easily enjoy one of everything without feeling like a hippopotamus.
(Random aside: Why do the radio stations what have played nothing but Christmas music since November 1 never ever play "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas?")
So, you ask, what's the lineup? Well, in the cookie department, I went for Italian tri-colored bars and shortbread. I also made truffles, chocolate fudge, and pralines. The final palette is a little nut heavy, but I'm okay with that.
I'll spend the rest of the week posting pics and recipes for each item. In the meantime, I'll pay homage to the ultimate holiday baking tradition: the cutout cookie. My friend Lindsay (author of the addictive Tales and Sales of a Shopaholic) made up a batch this weekend with her daughter, Lily.
Although Lindsay likes to think of Lily as a shopaholic in the making, I think she's showing real promise as a baker. Looks like she'll be a girl of many talents and excellent taste.
Hope you're all having a jolly good time with whatever celebrations and traditions you have this time of year. Deck the halls and...
Keep it sweet.