Let the decorating (and baking) begin!

World, it is now December, which means I grant that the following are acceptable for the next 30 days: snow (just the sparkly fluffy stuff please), Christmas music (even the Chipmunks or dogs barking are cute once), trees covered with twinkling lights, pine-scented anything, and general glittery festive-ness. You’re welcome.

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Most important of all, it is acceptable for this month only to buy sugar in 15 pound bags and load up my fridge with far more butter than has a right to be there. Oh yes, baking season is on.

So far I’ve got my usual cookie recipes together for my annual cookie day, and each year I try to find at least two or three new cookie recipes to try. The past few years, I’ve found that the new cookies fall into a pattern of at least one other biscotti, one cookie with lots of spices, and one that somehow involves citrus or coffee.

I have a few rules with my Christmas cookies though–no special tools required (this rules out anything requiring cookie cutters or cookie presses–unless I had my dad’s pizzelle iron) and once they come out of the oven, they need no additional attention (in other words, nothing that requires frosting).

These are my standbys, if you’re curious. Recipes for at least two of these will be coming, I promise.

Almond-anise biscotti
Pecan tassies
Chocolate snowballs
Jam thumbprints
Grasshopper bars
Peanut butter blossoms
Raspberry meringue bars
Chocolate-raspberry nonpariels
(Plus my usual marshmallows and hot chocolate mix, but they aren’t cookies, so they don’t count)

What are your baking plans this month? Any cookie favorites, or recipes you’d recommend? Is your house already filled to the brim with color and lights, are you like me and wait until December, or do you put it off til the very last minute?

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7 thoughts on “Let the decorating (and baking) begin!

  1. Christina, I like your cookie rules, they are the same as mine. I’ll be doing my baking marathon this weekend to fill 11 gift tins. I think I’ll add a few of yours to my selection, as Grasshopper bars and choc raspberry nonpariels sound interesting. Happy baking!


    1. The grasshopper bars are really good, this is the recipe I use from Bon Appetit . I will be making these for the next 20 years though because I could only find a giant bottle of green creme de menthe and have to use it up somehow! I think my mom has the recipe for the cookie with the nonpariels, they’re really pretty if you can find ones with red and green sprinkles.


  2. You’ve inspired me again, dear child! I’ve always been late to the table with Christmas decorating because of the work I did but now being retired, I’m going to try and see what dressing the house early brings to the holidays. Your Aunt Sandy is a good example of “tree up right after Thanksgiving”. I’ll be more moderate but I’ve got my morning coffee and am sitting with my list of cookie recipes too. As far as decorating, this year I’m on a kick to find a lot of birch trunks. I like the white bark theme for the house. Thanks for the kick.


    1. So you’ve officially embraced the “retired” label? πŸ˜‰ So far all I’ve done is my mantle, but I think I’ll get my tiny tree this weekend. Aunt Sandy sent me a picture of her tree in response to this post! Mine will look like a tiny shrub in comparison.

      Do you remember the birch “eyes” from the botanic gardens?


  3. I absolutely remember the birch eyes and this decorating season, I’ve been on a hunt for birch logs for decorating. I searched in Rochester at Arena’s and Preferred Plans to no avail. I then went on line and ordered birch logs from Maine. The company sent me a cancellation of my order saying they didn’t have any this season. I continued the hunt and found them in Michigan. How decadent, I’m buying birch logs shipped from Maine. I got my training from Ms. Martha Stewart!!


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