For the past too many years to count, my girlfriends and I have gathered for one day in December to exchange Christmas cookies. We started out doing the traditional sort of cookie exchange by doing our baking at our own homes and distributing when we gathered for a time of fellowship. Those were the days of much smaller children in our homes and probably more free time for baking multiple dozens of one type of cookie. Somewhere along the way we switched things up a bit. Instead of the traditional approach, we decided to do our baking together over the course of several hours one day and then divide them all for our families to enjoy.
I missed out last year, because I was still fairly fresh from surgery and needed to rest and recover. This year we aren’t having a bake day at all. Our children are not so small anymore and life is crazy busy for everyone. I am not sure if we simply lost track of the rapidly approaching season, or if we were all just too busy to even begin to contemplate fitting a bake day into our schedules. The reason doesn’t matter. It is a little disappointing to not have a bake day this year, but I am kind of relieved at the same time. I feel just as crunched for time as everyone else, so having one less time-consuming thing to do is a relief.
But what is Christmas without baking? I picked up a few varieties of treats at a school bake sale last week and promptly put them in the freezer. Then today was my own version of a bake day. I made cranberry-orange biscotti, Mexican wedding cookies, ginger cookies, started the dough for a rolled cookie, and Earl Grey truffles. With the exception of the truffles, everything is wheat/grain-free. The truffles are pure decadence!
I hadn’t made these cookies before, and the ginger cookies didn’t turn out as expected. The carefully measured balls of dough spread into one massive, thin cookie. I did my best to cut them into some semblance of a cookie. They don’t look very pretty, but they still taste good.
The truffles are nearly finished, but it has literally been an all day process. The only thing left to do is to add a swirl of melted white chocolate as the finishing touch, although I am seriously tempted to forego what feels like an unnecessary step at the end of a long day. Maybe I will feel differently tomorrow, but I am planning on doing a lot of Christmas shopping and
may be will be frazzled and wiped out. Thankfully the swirl is fairly quick and easy to do. I love these truffles, but there is a reason why I only make them once a year!
So I have a good selection of baking for Christmas now…if I can keep the family from sampling until Christmas!