On the 9th day of Christmas…

Today I want to talk about holiday baking.  My love of baking is a well established fact around here, but my love of holiday baking goes above and beyond.  One reason is that it’s a far bigger undertaking than making some cupcakes or a layer cake.  It’s cookies and cupcakes and bars and cake and pie.  Once there was even a pudding…made from scratch and not from a box.  In general, the holiday baking often involves completely new recipes that I’ve spent weeks looking for.  My holiday baking is no joke. 

This is the part of the post where I fully intended to show your pictures of myself, in my oh so adorable Vera Christmas apron, baking my little heart out.  However, that’s impossible to do…because I haven’t baked a single thing yet this season.  Yup…December 20th and not so much as one cookie has come out of my oven. 

There was a big plan for this weekend.  I was going to get up early on Saturday morning and bake.  But I was really tired…so I slept in…then I had to run errands, which took twice as long because everything was super crowded.  So I changed my baking plans to Sunday…and on Sunday I did get up on time.  However, on Sunday, there were more errands to run and then J and I went to the Giants’ game.  After spending three hours turning into a giant human popsicle…and watching the Giants’ lose in a most spectacular fashion…all I wanted to do when I got home was curl up on the couch under a blanket and go to sleep.  Which was exactly what I did.  So no baking last night either.  In fact, the baking is now scheduled to take place tomorrow and Wednesday nights. 

While I can’t show you any pictures…I can tell you what I plan to make.  There will be…

  • Fudge Brownie Surprise Cupcakes – the surprise being Peppermint Patties baked inside
  • Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Ganache
  • Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
  • Twixy Shortbread Bars
  • Chewy Cherry Almond Bars
  • Marshmallow Snappers – which are the gooiest, marshmallow/caramel cookies I’ve ever seen
  • Individual Gingerbread Cakes

Those will be mixed and packaged and given away.  Well…mostly given away…I plan to eat some.  For Christmas Eve dessert at home and Christmas Day dessert at J’s mom’s we will be having some mix of the following…

  • Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cakes with Chocolate Truffle Icing
  • Banana Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting
  • Cream Caramel Cake
  • Pistachio Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream
  • Chocolate Cream Pie

How I’m going to get all that done over the next two evenings, I have no idea.  I’m going to be pretty busy and I suspect I won’t be getting much sleep.  But I think it will be worth it. 

Oh…and as a bonus…my awesome sister-in-law, who happens to be a manager at Williams Sonoma bought me this little contraption…

It’s an individual pie maker which cooks those little suckers up in 8 minutes.  Apparently, I received the last one in the entire state of New Jersey…because I’m all connected like that…and we are going to have a little pie party next weekend to try it out.  I promise there will be photos taken then. 

Now…for the presents…

I promised that this week would be a great week.  I want to finish this off with a bang, so I’ve saved some of the best items for last.  At least, I think they are the best…I hope you agree. 

I found the first of today’s presents in a magazine and the second I saw them I simply had to have them…and  you had to have them too…

Those are measuring cups.  They split apart for measuring and nest inside each other for storage.  They are easily the most adorable thing I have in my kitchen. 

The second present for today is a tin of cookies and bars, made with love in my very own kitchen. 

The rules are the same as last week…each comment is one entry and each mention on your own blog earns an extra three.  You can win again, even if you already received something from the prior weeks. 

So tell me…do you bake for the holidays?  What is your favorite holiday treat?  Don’t I have the best SIL ever?


  1. I am doing some baking this week. So far I’ve done some easy no-bake items. Tonight I’m going to attempt for the first time ever my Aunt’s (from her mother in law) recipe for amazing oatmeal cookies with cream filling. I love them so much and this will be my first attempt at making them on my own. We’ll see how that turns out. 50% chance it ends up as a huge failure. I want to come to your house to eat baked goods. I saw that pie thing in the W&S catalog and I thought it looked awesome especially with that cherry pie filling. I accidentally broke the handle off one of my measuring cups this weekend so I pretty much need to win this one! OK this comment is getting long. Sorry.

  2. Girl I haven’t started baking either – I’m a huge slacker this year I didn’t even get to do Christmas cards!!! I don’t know what is making me drool more in this post all the great baked goods you listed, that single pie maker or the prize for today I want it all!!!

    Good luck with your cookies. I have to get baking this week too! I’m sort of excited it’s just finding the time!!!


  3. OK. Yes. You DO have the best SIL ever because that contraption is FABULOUS. And I won’t lie, when I popped over and scanned down before reading, I got all giddy thinking that’s what you were giving away. Now that measuring people aren’t cute, I just got all whoozy with the idea of a tiny pie making machine. But I can absolutely do measuring people too. Or any of your baked goods because that list is astounding. I’m impressed. I mean, genuinely impressed. My holiday baking is like a batch of brownies from the box, a key lime pie with the crust already made, some chocolate chip cookies cut from the cube in a bag. That sort of thing. This is not what you’re doing and I totally get that. I don’t have plans to do much holiday baking just because we actually bake all year long. And I don’t have anyone to hand it off to. But I did buy ribs yesterday at the commissary for our Christmas Day feast. And I made my macaroni and cheese with 4 types of cheeses and sour cream for Neal’s Christmas party. So, that’s all kinds of wonderful. I would very much like to be the recipient of anything that comes out of your kitchen so….just keep that in mind…

  4. Wilzie and I did all the baking this weekend* and its already all gone
    *When I say “all my baking”, that just means candy cane bark, shortbread cookies, Chex mix and Bailey’s. While its more than we have ever done in the past, it is nothing compared to your extravegant bonanza of sweet goodness.

  5. WOW, Shana! I give you SO MANY PROPS for attempting to bake all of those items. LOOOOOOOVE the measuring cups (SOOO CUTE!) and your SIL is awesome :) What a great gift!

  6. That is a lot of baking! Those measuring cups are pretty much the cutest thing ever!

  7. I was thinking that today’s present was going to be the pie contraption and I was very surprised, impressed, excited and thought you might be crazy. Then I saw the for reals gift and was equally excited, surprised, impressed and happy you hadn’t completely lost your mind at WS.
    So far I’ve only made Skor bars. They are actually the easiest thing to make in the world and they are absolutely delish! My work did a cookie exchange which is good because you only have to make one thing and get lots of other things… but bad because other people don’t make your favourites. I wish I could have a cookie exchange where I give everyone a recipe of the cookie they need to make.
    Alas, earwax.

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