How did it get to be December already? Am I the only one who just noticed that Christmas is now less than a month away? Good thing I’ve started Christmas baking. First of all, let me share with you my big baking news for 2013. Every year for as long as I can remember, I have baked dark fruit cake for Christmas. I think the most I baked in one year was 70 cakes, and these were regular sized cakes – not Gulliver’s Lilliputian sized ones. However, this year, I am not baking cakes. As much as I think people enjoy them, I doubt that anyone will be too disappointed, and I will have saved myself days worth of work. Now, if I could only figure out where those days have gone…
But back to the baking. Every Christmas season I bake with my good friend, Lois. We bake a number of recipes which have become our family standards, and then try one or two different recipes as well. On a recent Sunday we spent about seven hours baking. We baked gingerbread snowflakes and stars, two types of biscotti and loads of magic toffee. It was a great day. Then the following Friday we baked for nearly 10 hours. This time we baked gingersnaps, mocha slices, pecan crunch cookies and some green tea shortbread. We still have one more baking day scheduled together, along with our special invited guest baker, Barb, from Just a Smidgen. I wonder if she knows what she’s getting herself into!
Here are a few photos of the baking so far. Must point out a couple of thing. Note the sleeping cat in a box (supervisory position) above the cookie assortment. The green tea shortbreads were bright green before baking, but the color was more mellow and golden after baking. The recipe was for green tea shortbread leaves, but after struggling with 2 or 3 leaves, I decided that we should bake green tea shortbread coins. Much better. The taste of macha tea was subdued after baking and quite delicious.
I’ll post more photos after our last baking session. Perhaps I’ll arrange them on a pretty plate for the photo shoot. (Actually I will prepare a plate for an upcoming Christmas gathering.) I don’t like to do cookie platters until I have a full selection of baked goods to choose from. It just doesn’t seem right to put together a “partial” plate. Time to get back to work on some of the baking I do by myself. It’s not as much fun as baking with a friend, but I still love it!