Friday, December 24, 2004

Baking

Several weeks ago, I went to a holiday party that the president of UVa threw at his "residence." (It's way too big to refer to it as a "house") Anyhoo, they had extremely tasty gingerbreadpersons there (I refuse to call them "men". They have no penises, and they're certainly not women since they're completely flatchested. Thus, persons. Gender neutral. Really, they're more like gingerbread-pre-pubescent-girls. Okay, this has gone too far. Back to my story...). The gingerbreadpersons were really good, and I decided that since I'm not doing any serious traveling for the holidays this year (the first time since the winter of 1996), I'd do a lot of baking, and make tons of gingerbread persons. Brilliant!

Andrew latched onto this idea, and we decided that my baking would become our present to his grandparents and aunt and uncle. I also decided to give cookies to my co-workers. It's so much easier than trying to find price-and-personality-appropriate gifts for people I've only known for 3 months. So a-baking I will go.

I planned on two kinds of cookies: gingerbreadpersons and sugar cookies, with varying kinds of frosting. I went shopping, and bought 5 pounds of confectioners sugar, and oodles of butter. And I hunted for a gingerbreadperson cutout. I waited too long. Andrew and I searched in at least 5 stores, and no gingerbreadpersons. So I settled for gingerbreadcircles. That's okay. I'm an alternative kind of person.

I start baking. I made about 8 dozen cookies last weekend (Saturday and Sunday). I mix, chill, cut out, bake, cool, frost, dry, and wrap. Then I gift. The cookies are a huge hit. I used up all my baked stash, and planned two more batches of gingerbread and three batches of sugar cookies (not to mention the two batches of peanutbutter balls) for Wednesday and Thursday. Fortunately, I took those two days off from work.

Three trips to the supermarket and god only knows how many hours of baking later, I had 20 dozen beautifully frosted cookies wrapped or drying in the kitchen last night. Here's a brief look at what I was up to:


The kitchen looked like this for 2 1/2 days. Bless Andrew's heart for being really nice about it (then again... what choice did he have? They were for his family. Either way, he's a sweetie.).




The fruits of my labors.

Today, there is no baking. I had one last project planned, but I've spent entirely too much time in the kitchen over the last few days. Don't get me wrong - I love to bake, and I love to give away stuff I bake (all the better for my ass), but this was way beyond excessive. Much like gift knitting, gift baking is better done in moderation. And, just for the record, Andrew did try to encourage me to bake a bit less, but it just didn't work with my grand plan. At the very least, I would've had to give up trying my hand at caramel frosting (which, also for the record, was a bit of a bust. I think it was a combination of me, the recipe, and the cookies.). Anyway, it's all done now, everything tastes great, and I will be the baking diva of Christmas, which, of course, is really what matters the most. :) Happy eating!

P.S. The final count was:
Used:
8 1/4 pounds of confectioners sugar, 3 bottles of molasses, 4 pounds of butter, 7 pounds of flour, 1 1/2 pounds of brown sugar, and a full bottle of vanilla, among other things.

Yield:
8 dozen peanutbutter balls, and 28 dozen cookies with various flavors of frosting.

1 Comments:

At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So... I read your baking extravaganza and I think it is just wonderful that you were the baking diva of Christmas, because I too was something to that effect... I happened to be the baking duchess of christmas. I'm very happy that i wasn't the only one. I made this delicious spice cake with molasses buttercream and it was just decadent. the molasses didn't over power the nice and smooth taste of the icing and I was so excited about the whole thing...there were other things too, like biscuits rolld bread and such but the cake was a rather large hit!
I work at a bakery and i'm the owners left and right hands so all during christmas i was rolling and cutting out gingerbread people and somehow did something to my shoulder but anyhoo, i just thought i'd share because it is my passion to bake and itsalways exciting to hear, see or eat someone else experience. Happy baking!...:)
My name is Suzanne by the way...

 

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