This is date number five in our 12 Dates of Christmas series. One of the best things about the holidays is all the great food that seems to be everywhere you look. The smell of delicious, freshly baked cookies makes a cold winter night a little more pleasant. So we decided to do some Christmas baking and decorating.
Every year I plan on cutting down on the Christmas baking, and every year it seems I add one more baked good to my list. This year I really wanted to enter John Mayer’s Interfaith Holiday Baking Competition, and I still might, but I have yet to find the time or inspiration that John deserves. Sorry, John.
Unless you have the energy level of the energizer bunny, I would not recommend attempting more than one baked good on your date. In fact, I might spread out the baking and the decorating over two days.
Baking can be pretty fun, but my favourite part in the process is the decorating. I think Brad would agree. This year during my baking supplies shopping at Michael’s I found these cute little sugar pearls that I think take your decorating from okay to semi-impressive. I also bought some new snowflake cookie cutters. It’s nice if you can have a variety of cookie cutters so that boredom doesn’t set in. That being said, sometimes it’s nice to stick to one shape and alternate designs.
If baking is not your thing but you’d still like to give decorating a try, buy some undecorated cookies from the grocery store, pre-made icing and sprinkles and you’ll be good to go.
One of our favorite TV shows is Cake Boss on TLC. We both love watching Buddy create the most elaborate, beautiful, and not to mention edible creations. Though I now know what fondant and modeling chocolate are thanks to Cake Boss, watching a show does not an expert make.
Susan mercifully spared me from the actual baking portion of the evening, probably for her own sanity more than kindness towards me. Whatever the reason, I’m glad she let me sit on the sidelines. She turns into a machine when she gets baking. There’s screaming and shouting coming from the kitchen, a cloud of flour dust in the air, and a few panic attacks, but in the end she always walks away with a Costco sized amount of baked goods.
When it was time to sit down and decorate, I felt pretty confident. How hard could it be to put icing on cookies and make them look nice?
I started easy with a star shaped gingerbread cookie. I just outlined it with icing and then put a sugar pearl in the center. As soon as I tried to get a little fancy by adding another outline of icing it all went bad. I then moved on to the stocking shaped ginger bread cookies. They were nice and easy. My favorite part of the night, my crowning achievement, is my little Himmery (our cat) gingerbread cookie. I’m not sure what the cookie was supposed to be shaped like, but it looked like a good candidate for a cat to me.
Let’s face it, I’ll never be on Cake Boss. My cookie decorating skills leave much to be desired. That said, it was actually more fun than I expected. There was one minor issue though. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m really not a fan of getting my hands dirty. So when I got icing all over my hands while decorating, I was not pleased. In fact, I may have panicked a little inside. Thankfully there was a glass of water near by, so I dowsed my hands and kept going.
If you’re with someone who is really easy going, and you’re pretty easy going yourself, go ahead and try the actual baking part of this date together. Otherwise, do what we did and let the more experienced (and particular) of the two of you do the baking and then decorate together. Remember to just have fun with it. When things go bad, just go with it and see what happens. We would love to hear your Christmas baking stories. What is your favorite holiday treat?