The Great Christmas Bakeoff
A long time ago (or so it seems), before the pandemic, the whole family used to get together at Grandma and Grandpa's on Christmas Eve for a giant family feed. For up to a week before that (depending on time and help) Mom would make an obscene amount of cookies, fudge, peanut butter balls, haystacks, coconut macaroons, and who knows what else. A large proportion of them would be taken to the family get together and about 50 people would have them for dessert. There would actually be arguments between people over certain sweets because they were in such demand. Yes, she did give them the recipe but they never made batches for themselves.
The get togethers pretty much ceased during the pandemic and Grandma just passed, so I don't see one of them happening nearly as often anymore. The surge of baking goes on, just on a smaller scale. The plan (we'll see how well this turns out) is to have a much smaller get together with Grandma's side of the family at Mom's on Christmas Day and give away most of the sweets there.
Mom and I have spent the last two afternoons trying to bake what we can, so we've made the following already:
- Cranberry and white chocolate chip cookies
- Rum balls
- Oatmeal raisin cookies
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Peanut butter blossoms
And still yet to do are:
- Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
- Peanut butter balls (I think some people call them buckeyes but screw them, go blue)
- Butterscotch haystacks
- Maybe coconut macaroons
Everything's gone well for the most part except for being given a slightly wrong recipe for the cranberry white chocolate chip cookies and the first two batches of them being a bit underdone. It seems the oven is not quite as powerful as we had hoped for baking so we had to adjust times for all further recipes accordingly to use the longer bake times. Mom also opted a bit late to add the optional orange zest to the rum balls after they had already been made. After realizing this, she left the zest in the container with the balls in the hope that the balls would get some of the taste via osmosis. According to my brother who had one, it worked!
Hopefully we'll manage to knock out baking everything before Christmas but it won't break my heart if we don't. We've done plenty already and how jolly can we be if we're working ourselves to the bone in the kitchen all day? It's not like we're going to be able to eat all of them anyway so it might be better to scale back as well. I'm getting my fill of baking for the year right now.