‘Tis the Season!

The annual excessive cookie baking has started! Well… Making the doughs and fillings has started – we actually won’t be baking until next weekend. We have a system.

I really do love this time of year. The lights are up, the house is decorated, Christmas music playing in the background, and an Excel spreadsheet of what cookies we’re making this year. Yes, I do a spreadsheet, although nowadays it’s really just to keep track of the cookies we want to make this year. In my slightly-more-neurotic past, I’d have ingredient lists with cups of flour, sugar, spices, et al, tallied and compiled, knowing down to a gnat’s ass how much butter and vanilla was needed. We did a lot more baking back then.

Today, I just buy the stuff when I see it. Flour we have – tons of it. I use Italian “00” flour for pretty much everything and ordered 20 kilos for the holidays. I need more powdered and brown sugars, so only 5 doughs and two fillings done, today. I’ll pick all of that up – along with more granulated sugar – tomorrow. Nuts and chocolate in the cupboard, candied peels all made, nonpareils, sprinkles, and all those fun things downstairs. I think we’re fairly well set.

One thing I want to make again, this year, is Torrone – Italian nougat.  I haven’t made it in several years but it’s calling my name. I’ve never been a really good candy-maker because it really requires paying attention and being exact – neither of which are in the top 10 of my better attributes. But I’ve succeeded, before. I can do it, again.


And then there is biscotti – quite a few variations, there, from Uncle Rudy’s traditional to a new one I want to try this year with cocoa glazed almonds. Pizzelles, of course, Aunt Emma’s Apricot Cookie, Cuccidati – those fillings are already made. The doughs for Pfeffernusse, Mom’s Spice Cookies, Coconut Balls, and Almond Cookies are also made.

I have a recipe for a slice-and-bake fruitcake cookie that looks pretty good, and Auntie’s Rum Balls will be made tomorrow once I have the powdered sugar. It ages well, so I like to make it in advance and let it sit in the ‘fridge to mellow.

I’m heading in to make the Ricotta Cookie dough once I finish this. We’ll see what else I’m in the mood to do.

Too much fun!