A Prologue to Holiday Baking

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Holy crap, it’s December!  It totally snuck up on me.  And now I’m freaking out about getting everything done:  decorating the house, baking cookies, shopping for gifts, holiday parties, plus of course working full time and keeping up with the laundry and dishes.  It’s all fun stuff (except laundry), but it makes for a crazy month.  I wish I was one of those people that had all my holiday shopping done ahead of time, but I’m more the type that’s in the mall on Christmas Eve finishing up.  We usually travel five hours to Utica, NY on Christmas Eve to spend the holiday with my family, and last year was the first year (ever) I didn’t have to wrap gifts when I got there (my family was quite impressed).  For multiple reasons, my family decided to reschedule our Christmas celebration this year, so we’re traveling to Utica the weekend before Christmas.  This gives me even less time to get my act together!  I started baking cookies and shopping, but I’m not nearly finished with either.  Nothing is wrapped, although I own wrapping paper so that’s a plus.  I keep forgetting to buy tape though, so if your gift is held together by bacon Duct tape, just go with it.

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Every year I plan my holiday baking in advance, based on when I’ll need which cookies for what event.  Sticking to the schedule is even more important this year with Christmas coming early!  Some holiday cookies freeze well. Some do not.  Some I can whip up on a weeknight.  Some take an entire Saturday.  When I started thinking about all the time I now spend taking pictures and writing (and rewriting and rewriting) blog posts every time I bake, I got nervous you might not actually see a holiday cookie post until January 2, 2015 and that’s not cool, right?  So I made the executive decision (I like being my own boss!) to start posting my holiday cookie recipes now, before actually making the cookies this year, along with any pictures I have from years past.  As I bake the cookies in the coming weeks, I will update the posts with new tips and pictures, and probably some stories (ever had your cutout cookie dough refuse to be cutout?  Been there.).  I apologize in advance for any unblogworthy photos, but it’s all for a good cause—sharing my favorite holiday recipes with you far enough in advance for you to actually use them!

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Below is a list of cookies I’m planning to make this holiday season, broken down by whether or not they can be made in advance and frozen.  Right now we’re in “eat everything in the freezer mode” to make room for the cookies.  I made two batches of cookies so far, and already the freezer is full.  It’s going to be a long week of chicken and pork loin dinners, and ice cream desserts.  Oh well…sometimes you gotta take one for the team…

Freeze ‘em!:

Better off fresh:

Not sure–and not going to risk it:

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