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Did y’all know that I love to bake? (that is not a real question.)
Every single year, one of my oldest longtime friends and I spend an entire day baking the house into the ground. ‘Baking the house into the ground’ is a technical term for when you bake for so long that the entire floor is coated in flour and your feet are hurting and there are no more clean dishes anywhere in the vicinity of your baked good.
The rules of engagement are that WE DON'T MAKE COOKIES THAT YOU ROLL OUT. Specifically, we don't make sugar cookies that need to be rolled out and then baked and then iced and blah blah blah and literally one or two of them looks good. That is a waste. They're not even that good and they take SO LONG.
If you follow anyone on Instagram who make a profession out of pretending to have perfect life, you've probably seen a lot of people suggesting that you should have a classic and idyllic cookie decorating party where you and all your closest impossible looking people make Christmas cookies so beautiful they rival the abilities of Michelin starred pastry chef. SOCIAL MEDIA ALERT don't do that.
It will be chaos, the cookies will taste bad and look worse, and you will all probably lose interest in decorating and get drunk on the egg nog anyway. Instead, be like me and pick out some actually delicious-looking cookies and then invite over a bunch of friends. Feed them eggnog and put them to work on things like rolling truffles, crushing candy canes, and EATING COOKIES because that's all anyone wants to do at Christmas anyway.
That’s what me and my old school homie (Natalie) do. AND IT IS SO FUN. Each year I make a pinterest board because I am BASIC and a visual learner so it really helps me organize my thoughts. Here is my general Christmas-related baking board. Here is the one I made for this year. We have a few basics that we always make:
This year we're add a few new faces to our cookie mix:
- chocolate truffles from the pioneer woman with toppings like sea salt, white chocolate + peppermint dust, hazelnut, coconut and whatever else we can dream up
- salted cocoa-hazelnut cookies from the New York Times (and my favorite NYC food writer Alison Roman)
- cultured butter cookies from the New York Times (to fill that sugar cookie hole and dip in our coffee)
- chewy ginger cookies from Bon Appetit to make the house smell DANG GOOD
If you're wondering how we'll manage, I'll tell you. First we'll make the dough for the linzer cookies, the butter cookies and then cocoa-hazelnut cookies, since all of those need to chill. Then I'll probably make the truffle filling and set it to chill while Natalie (my partner in crime) makes the peppermint patty cookies.
We'll do the candy - the salty cracker toffee and crunchy peppermint bark while all that chills, then return to cookies, making the dough for the ginger cookies. We'll prep them with the help of my mom and brother and maybe my father depending on how much he is pretending to hate Christmas on that day. It will be chaos and exhausting but so fun.
In my opinion, there is nothing more in line with the holiday spirit than eating with the people you love. I hope you'll do some of that.
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