It is December. The Holiday Season. It means that while everyone else is running round ragged at shopping malls, growling at people who took that last gift that they needed for just that special person...
We're baking cookies.
Last week, we baked Pizelles, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Pecan, and Gingerbread Cookies. We still have more of all to make between now and the New Year and will be making Pecan Brittle and roasting a lot of extra coffee.
Why all of this? I got started being the odd man out years back when I was getting ready for parties. I've always had something of an aptitude for baking as those who have tasted my goods will attest. It got to the point where in the summer I was hearing about last year's cookies and "will you please just give me a box of cookies for xmas?". I turned myself into "the little old lady with the recipes" a while back and told everyone that they were getting "Care Packages" of baked goods for one holiday and that I encouraged those who were getting one to try to be creative in kind. Not everyone can bake, but I did get some home made goods that I have to this day from friends and family.
That was back in the 1980s, and I'm still doing it to this day. A batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies is around 100 cookies, add pecans and it becomes around 144. A tray of Pecan Brittle can be as much as 3 pounds of sugary goodness.
Now when a home cooked meal means stopping in the first aisle by the door in Publix near the house at Five Points and getting a pre-roasted Chicken, some Red Velvet Cake, and a bottle of wine on the way home, a little something truly made by hand can be unexpected. While Publix is an excellent supermarket, I find that the reality of the profit motive means that they skimp a little and use ingredients that aren't quite as good as I would. Ironically I do buy my ingredients from Publix as well as GFS, so I do know what they can do if they applied themselves.
Somehow I don't think they are going to be churning butter to make a cake.
I on the other hand can say "Been there, done that." The home churned butter really does change the flavor of what ever you're baking. It is well worth the extra 10 minutes.
After all, if you're going to bake for someone for the holidays you had better make sure that it's going to be "Mindbendingly good"... even if I do say so myself! ;-)
Now all I have to do is decide if I want to send along Decaf or Regular home roasted coffee...