Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lessons From The Cookie Jar

Years ago I decided I wanted to start baking lots of holiday cookies and give them away.  Why?  I have no idea, I just like to.  I started when I was single, in grad school, and had plenty of free time during my holiday vacations.  I had complicated cookies that were just for looks but also plenty that were delicious.  I wanted to have these over flowing baskets of glorious baked goods that sparkled, amazed and would make people ooh & ahhh and think that Martha Stewart had nothing on me. 

Now I am married, have a full time job and responsibilities that have made it impossible to stay sane and keep up the illusion.  So in response I have cut the complicated but beautifully realistic peppermint candy canes that tasted mediocre at best to make only the delicious crowd favorites.  In the past by New Years we were packing them in to keep from wasting them or throwing the extras away.  So I have cut back from making the copious quantities to just enough for everyone to have a taste.

This year I was inspired to try gingerbread because it is a classic that I have never made.  In the past I have had brick hard gingerbread that I did not enjoy.  I learned that I actually like well made gingerbread and have decided that it will become a new staple in my repertoire.  I am also going to throw out the sugar cookie snowflakes next year.  They are buttery, delicious and gorgeous, but not worth it.  Many puff up during baking and break when coming off the cookie sheet.  The gingerbread recipe makes enough that I will have plenty to decorate as snowflakes in addition to the other shapes.

 These are show stoppers but they aren't going to make the cut next year.

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