Over the next few weeks we will be devoting some time to our favorite holiday crafts, recipes and entertainment tips. Today’s topic is baking!
Miss E may prefer the rush of ransacking houses and fighting zombies (and other ladies) on Black Friday for the hottest gifts, but I prefer the more personal touch of baked goods. I find that a dozen cookies make the perfect Christmas gift for everyone in your life. However, good quality baking supplies are hard to come by these days. Below I have shared my favorite tricks for making great holiday cookies with what you have to work with.
1. Hoard. That’s right, Christmas is a magical time of year that deserves magical desserts. During the year I scrimp and cut corners so that come Christmas time, I have all the ingredients I need for classic holiday treats. How can you do this? Make sure to be the first into the kitchen whenever you move somewhere new (this is of course much easier for me being First Lady and all). Ransack the pantry for suitable ingredients and stash them away somewhere safe. I have found that people are most ungrateful when they learn you’ve been withholding butter from them for two months but they still insist on perfect peppermint cookies on Christmas Eve! Some folks are just impossible to please.
2. Substitute. If you have not been able to hoard, shame on you. However things do happen, for instance, I remember the year Mr. Silver found my sugar supply. By the time I figured it out, the crazy old Brit had thrown six tea parties for himself with two lumps in each cup (curiously only Miss Peterson seemed to have been invited and the parties took place in an old broom closet).
That year, luckily, we found ourselves hunkered down near an old apiary. The zombies had already started their winter slow down so collecting the honey from the apiary’s bee population was more of a fun trip rather than a terrifying ordeal. I felt like such a kid knocking the shuffling icy Zeds over with snowballs and watching them struggle to get to their feet!
3. Forage. It is amazing what you can find if you just look. Always remember, you are not the only one that is hoarding and what’s a little thievery in the name of Christmas cheer? Normally I do not condone such actions, but snickerdoodles really do contribute to the common good!
4. Stretch. Sometimes I find that I have everything I need, just not quite enough. In case you find yourself in a similar situation, I have a little trick. Make the same amount of cookies for each person but make them smaller. If you put them on a smaller platter or in a smaller bag, no one ever suspects a thing (that’s a little trick I picked up back in the pre-panic days from a Frontline special on drug dealers). It’s Christmas magic at work!
I hope these tips help make your season merry. And remember this final tip, Christmas should harken back to a simpler time, so while gingerbread men are adorable, gingerbread zombies are gauche.