Holiday Baking the Easy Way
Contributed by: Arleen M. Kaptur
Baking to many of us is fun and a form of therapy.
Many frustrations have been worked out kneading
and pushing that dough around. But, to others, it
may be difficult, or they are not sure of themselves
around cookies, cakes, breads, rolls etc,
One quick-word of advice - just dive right in- its
fun, and the more you bake, the better you
become at it. With Christmas and get-togethers
coming in bloom, sharing baking can be a fun
event. Early in the Season, family, friends,
neighbors, and offices and factories everywhere
should have a Cookie Exchange - its not a lot
of work - in fact, you only have to bake one
kind of cookie - if there are ten guests, you will
have an assortment of ten delicious
treats to use for the Holidays. The more guests,
the more of an assortment.
There will be a lot of laugher, and no one will be
Ask each guest to bake one type of Christmas
cookie - a family favorite, or one that they found
while surfing the net, or reading their favorite
They can be drop cookies, filled cookies, and
special ethnic treasures.
Your invitations should be small index-size booklets,
with several blank cards inside, tied together with a
festive ribbon. This way if your guests write out their
recipes on - say six to eight cards - depending on
how many guests you are inviting, everyone can
get a recipe and keep it in their booklet not only
to check back when they want to bake, but as a
wonderful memento of a fun time.
If a lot of people are included in your cookie
exchange, then printing the recipes for everyone
to cut and paste in their booklets might just be
a lot easier.
The decor for your party should be Holiday-oriented,
of course, but with a slant toward baking.
Garlands of scented gingerpeople could hang
from arches and doorways and a centerpiece could
include miniature baking utensils found in toy stores.
Tiny cake boxes, spoons, measuring cups, etc.
add a whimsical touch.
To serve your cookies, divide a large table into
sections with ribbons that have wooden spoons
attached to the ends so that the ribbons are
weighted down and don't move as people
encircle the table.
You could ask your guests to pre-package their
cookies in individual wrap so that everyone can
take just one - or in small packages as they see
fit - just make sure that there are enough of each
type of cookie so everyone gets to take some
Keep your menu simple and informal. You could
provide decorative canisters or paper bags that you
have enhanced with Holiday cheer for taking home
all those goodies.
A cookie exchange is a wonderful way to get your
Holiday baking started - and you get a wonderful
array of cookies to serve to your family and friends
or just to munch on as you sit by a fire or watch
the snow fall and the cold winds blow.
©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 November
Wishing you and all your loved ones
a truly Memorable, Enchanting, and
totally wonderful Holiday Season
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