Another Advent and Christmastide has come and gone all too quickly. As always, we enjoyed baking (and eating) a lot of treats along the way!
We didn’t make quite as many cookies this year, but we made all of our favorite kinds…thumbprints in two flavors (raspberry and apricot), chocolate peppermint crunch (those are the ones we didn’t make as many of…I only made about half of what we usually bake), sugar, and gingerbread:
Of course we had lussekattes on Santa Lucia Day!
Cherry coffee cake for Christmas Day morning:
I’ve made Oreo truffles in the past, but I’ve never made an Oreo truffle Christmas tree…pretty and delicious!
I baked three different cakes in about two weeks’ time. Chocolate for Jesus’ birthday, a more formal tuxedo cake for New Year’s, and a Guinness cake for Ryan’s Epiphany birthday:
It’s become a tradition for me to make baklava for Epiphany, too:
And one new recipe for a savory baked good…cheese thumbprints with pineapple jalapeño jelly. That recipe is definitely a keeper!
I’m always amazed by how many baking staples I go through at this time of year, and the kitchen is always busy, and smells kind of like a bakery for weeks on end. I will admit to looking forward to a break from various doughs and batters, though!
It’s been two weeks since I finished our Christmas cookie baking, but we just finished our share of the cookies a few days ago! This year, I baked somewhere between 50-60 dozen of seven different kinds of cookies…sugar, gingerbread raspberry-almond thumbprints, chocolate peppermint, cranberry white chocolate, chocolate chip peppermint m&m (which we used to make ice cream sandwiches on Christmas Day!), and Saltine Christmas crackers.
It took about three days to bake all these cookies…and they were very full days! We watched a lot of Christmas movies throughout the baking process, especially different productions of the Nutcracker. Mostly, though, it was a fun family tradition, that looked a lot like what we made last year, plus a little something different, just for fun!
On the twelfth day of Christmas, the Christmas baking is finally done!
I think this was a record year…I baked over 60 dozen cookies. About 15 dozen each of raspberry-almond thumbprints and chocolate peppermint cookies (the two most popular that I bake), Another 12 dozen or so each of gingerbread and sugar cookies, plus kolaches and hot chocolate cookies. I also made two trays of Christmas cracker candy, which are kind of cookies and kind of not.
Our big family baking day is always so much fun!
We’ve really upped our decorating game! Turkey made Mario and Luigi snowmen, and Bunny made the “leader of the hosen”…I really liked that she included a feather in his cap! And we also added actual ninjabreadmen cookie cutters, which provided even more opportunities for creative decorating…
There were other special baked goods, as well, including our St. Lucia Day lussekattes, baklava for Epiphany, two birthday cakes (one for Jesus and one for Ryan), a bûche de Noël, my first-ever lattice top pie, a trifle, and a coffee cake:
I even baked one savory item…smoked Gouda cheese straws:
The Markel Bakery is now temporarily closed…but I’m sure it won’t be too long before I get the itch to bake something again!
This was another successful season of baking, although, this year, we didn’t get it all done before Christmas. We ran out of time for the cut-out cookies, so we saved those for a “12 Days of Christmas” activity, which we just wrapped up today! Other than the cut-outs, we managed to give most of them away, thankfully…we made a lot of cookies!
Here’s the rundown on what we made:
3 trays of peppermint bark:
2 trays of Christmas cracker candy:
1 pan of baklava:
1 plate of chocolate dipped pretzels:
13 dozen raspberry almond thumbprints:
12 dozen chocolate peppermint cookies:
Two and a half dozen sugar cookies:
2 dozen gingerbread cookies:
And, one plate of mint truffles (which I will never, ever make again! It’s back to Oreo truffles next year!)
So, that’s it for this year. As always, I’m a little bit tired of baking!
It was another busy season of baking in our household. This year we may have set a new family record…we baked around 24 dozen cookies (and gave most of them away, thankfully…I don’t need that kind of temptation!). We also made two trays of Christmas cracker candy, two bags of chocolate dipped pretzel rods, half white chocolate and half semi-sweet, and about six dozen Oreo truffles, half mint and half regular (I went through about 2 1/2 pounds of Baker’s chocolate making the pretzels and truffles!). I think I’ll be sweeping up sprinkles until next Christmas, and I may smell like frosting and/or chocolate until Valentine’s Day, but we had a lot of fun!
Here’s what made the final cut…nothing really new or exciting this year. I definitely have a standard Christmas cookie rotation!
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods
Christmas Cracker Candy
This year, we baked close to 20 dozen cookies, plus I made two sheets of Christmas Cracker “Candy” and three-and-a-half dozen Oreo truffles. The only new recipe I tried was for spritz cookies, and the recipe itself is basically just a shortbread cookie–it’s using the cookie press that was new. That will definitely take some practice before I routinely get nice cookies out of it!
Raspberry-Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies
Christmas Cracker “Candy”
Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies
I don’t want to bake or decorate another cookie for a very long time! I’m not opposed to eating them, though, which is a good thing, because I need to find the counter that I’m pretty sure is still under all of these cookies!
Here are the results of what we made this year:
- Peppermint Fudge
- Oreo Truffles
- Strawberry-Vanilla Cake Balls
- Gingerbread Men
- Decorated Sugar Cookies
- Raspberry Almond Thumbprints
- Apricot Almond Thumbprints
- Chocolate Candy Cane Crunch Cookies
I think that’s it–some standards carried over from previous years and a few new things. Gotta admit, I’m relieved I’m done. Cookie baking is not my favorite thing–too putzy–but the children love helping, and I love sharing our treats with others (primarily Ryan’s co-workers).
Now, the goal for next year is to actually get them done before our church’s cookie walk so I can donate some. That was the plan this year, but time slipped away, and I just didn’t get them made. Haven’t looked at the 2009 calendar, but hopefully next year there will be more time between Thanksgiving and Christmas for me to get this stuff done!