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?