Cookie Baking and Candy Making Plan for Christmas 2010

by Laura on November 7, 2010

Every year around this time of year, I pull out my thick, green ring binder.  It’s full of lists from Christmases past: menus and recipes, card lists, ideas, letters my children have written.  I lug it along with a stack of cookbooks and magazines to a greasy spoon and have a long breakfast all by myself.  After I’ve dispensed with my eggs and coffee, I pour through my ring binder, the books, the clippings, and scribble ideas which become menus and lists for the Christmas coming.  My Honey Girl, my Sweet Boy, and my Dear Husband all think I’m a bit off balance, of course, but I love planning Christmas: what I’ll bake to share after we go sledding for the first time, when we put up our tree and sit that first night taking in its lights in the dark, when we return from the Holidazzle Parade, or from a sleigh ride, cold and hungry.  I plan cookie boxes for our neighbors and friends.  And I plan our meals for Christmas and for the weeks surrounding, so that, hopefully, everything will be easy and relaxed and happy.   This is my favorite time of year.  Soon everything will be blanketed in snow, Christmas carols will be playing, and I’ll be baking for Christmas.  If you’d like to bake along with me, this is my schedule for cookies and candy this year, which I’ll box up for presents and deliver.  I always make a shopping list for all of the recipes I’ve chosen so that, once the pantry is stocked, I never have to run to the store in the middle of baking.  My shopping and supply lists follow.  And there are links to resources for hard-to-find items at the bottom of the post.  I’ll post recipes and pictures as I go.  The lists below supply enough ingredients to make the 16 kinds of cookies and candy for about 30 boxes.  Happy baking!

Cookie Baking and Candy Making Plan for Christmas 2010
November 7       Teeny Tiny Spritz Flower Cookies (recipe here)
November 10     Chocolate-dipped Lebkuchen  (recipe here)
November 12     Sugar Cookies with Almond Cream Icing and Luster Dust  (recipe here)
November 13     Almond Biscotti  (recipe here)
November 14     Pffeffernusse with Rum and Orange Liqueur Glaze  (recipe here)
November 15     Sables  (recipe here)
November 17     Grandma Fladeboe’s Ginger Cookies (recipe here)
November 19     Cream Caramels (recipe here)
November 20     Fudge with Walnuts (recipe here)
November 21     Dark Chocolate Caramels with Smoked Sea Salt (recipe here)
December 7       Tangerine-scented Cranberry Pistachio Tiles (recipe here)
December 8       Rosewater-scented Turkish Delight (recipe here)
December 9       Blueberry Pear Pate de Fruits (recipe here)
December 10     Salted Peanut White Chocolate Lollipops (recipe here)
December 11     Coconut Macaroons (recipe here)
December 17     Krumkake
December 18     Assemble Boxes and Make Deliveries

King Arthur Flour Catalog for flours
Bavarian Sausage Inc. for Oblaten
The Custom Chocolate Shop for lollipop supplies and inexpensive chocolate molds
Williams Sonoma for decorative supplies
Kalustyan’s for hard-to-find ingredients

Storage Tips
Freeze cookies, store fudge in the refrigerator, and store candy in a cool, dry place.

I use tins to store all of the cookies and candy.  A 10″ diameter tin will store the entire batch for nearly every recipe, so I have about 25 tins.  You will need about 3/4 of a stand-alone or chest freezer to store all of the cookies and candy.

I keep scissors, a pen, waxed paper, a permanent marker, and painters tape together in a drawer for quick storing and labeling.

To line a tin with waxed paper, tear about eight to ten sheets of waxed paper just larger than the diameter of your tin.  Place the tin on top of the stack of sheets and press it down firmly.  With a pen, trace the tin; you don’t need to transfer ink, just mark it with pressure.  Then, holding the stack with one hand, cut the entire stack into circles the size of your tin.  Place one in the bottom, add a layer of cookies or candy, another sheet of waxed paper, and another layer of cookies or candy, until the tin is full.  Do not overlap cookies or candy within a tin or they may break or be marred.

Postscript: I received a disheartened email from someone who was a bit shocked at the cost of this baking project. So, for budgeting purposes, the total cost is around $400. It is rather expensive, but divided by the 30 cookie and candy boxes it makes, the cost is about $13 per gift. And you’ll have cookies and candy for trays for your home and to bring to gatherings, too.

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