I’m a baking fool! Somebody stop me!

The baking is done, we have one more present to buy, and there’s still time to spare! I will still have to figure out how I’m sorting the baked goods, but the baggies and ribbons have been purchased, too. I am feeling very efficient this year. I like this whole “baking for Christmas” thing.

Yesterday I made two kinds of cookies: Earl Grey Tea cookies (thank you, Martha Stewart) and Snickerdoodles (I just used the recipe in my handy dandy Betty Crocker cookbook). Mike once again brought up the tiny crunchy brownies and pointed out how far I’ve come as far as baking is concerned. (Again I say, the tiny crunchy brownies were not my fault.) I zested an orange for the first time! I used cream cheese instead of shortening (we haven’t purchased any after the disappointing cobbler incident in which I used old shortening) in the snickerdoodles and it was fine (Betty suggested it, and I liked it pretty well, so I take back all the mean things I’ve said about her in the past). I ignored some of Martha’s instructions (I had no desire to roll the cookies in parchment paper and stuff them in a paper towel tube, so I just rolled them on the counter and cut them out in small circles) and my cookies turned out just fine, thankyouverymuch! Although, I still can’t figure out how anyone could get eight dozen from that recipe. Luckily, I didn’t need eight dozen.

Anyway, I am pretty proud of myself about all this baking. It’s been a stretch for me, but I am proud to say that I did not freak out when I realized our lack of Crisco, that I felt confident enough to add more sugar to Martha’s recipe, and that I tried two new recipes in one day! I have never tried cookie recipes on my own, without knowing what they’d taste like!

I had envisioned the Christmas baking thing as something Mike and I would do together, but now I’m glad I did so much of it myself. Sometimes I feel like I lean on him to do too much of the cooking, so this is about more than just the baking. This is about me conceiving the idea, planning and making sure we had the ingredients (except for the Crisco, which I consider acceptable since I made the snickerdoodles on a whim, at Mike’s request), and actually baking five different kinds of cookies, two different kinds of bread, and some muffins since Thanksgiving. Hooray for stretching.

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