Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Too many holiday treats? Nonsense!

Sometimes I wonder if I was a Keebler elf in a past life. I enjoy baking. Somehow baking helps me relax. I'm not quite sure what it is about baking that relaxes me, but it does. I enjoy making yummy treats to give to my friends. It tends to make me happy. I'll be honest though. Another perk is making something and being able to keep a piece for me and not have the rest of the batch around to consume. I don't mean that as a perk in regards to weight control. I see it as a perk in regards to controlling my blood sugars. One homemade cookie isn't going to send my blood sugars skyrocketing. An entire batch might but the one or two I keep won't. And no one said a diabetic isn't allowed to have a treat here and there. You just have to be smart about these things. Moderation and all that mumble jumble. Obviously. 

It shouldn't surprise anyone that since I enjoy (okay, I love baking) that I get extremely excited about the holiday season. I'm similar to a kid on Christmas morning bouncing up and down with endless energy as I go through my thousands and thousands of recipes selecting possibilities to make. And now with Pinterest, oh my goodness, so many possibilities.

I usually find at least a dozen potential recipes and then work to narrow it down. I always give my coworkers a plate of goodies for the holidays so I make sure I have a nice variety of treats. Starting around the beginning of October I make sure to pay attention to the weekly sale ads and begin to stock up on supplies without knowing what I'll make. You can never have too much butter or chocolate when it comes to holiday baking. 

And once my kitchen is overflowing with supplies and I've selected my recipes, I start baking. Many treats can be frozen so I tend to start baking the week of Thanksgiving. This may be one reason I never travel for Thanksgiving. So I can spend the day getting a jump start on holiday baking. That and hello, Nebraska football on Black Friday. 

So you can get an idea of my craziness with holiday baking, here are treat boxes from the past two holiday seasons. 

 
My 2011 treat boxes for friends in Madison, Wis. Seven-layer bars, chocolate chip meringues, pepper mint meringues, cinnamon candy, cookies and cream fudge, peanut butter cracker sandwiches and holly bunches. 



 
My 2012 treats before I plated. Holly bunches, chocolate chip meringues, chocolate crisp clusters, seven-layer bars, peanut butter cracker sandwiches, orange drop cookies. I think I made something else but I can't remember.

 
And both of those two were just average. Some years I have gone overload (I think this year might be like that). Other years I've gone extremely simple and basic. 

This year I have a list of eight recipes I plan to make. I've completed five. I just found another recipe I want to make. Obviously this means I need one more so my treat plates have an even ten. I'm not crazy (or rich enough) to make a total of 12 treats. If you have treat suggestions, share them in the comments. 

Here is what I have on my list so far:
  • Seven layer bars (my FAVORITE) 
  • Rolo pretzel bites
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough fudge
  • Cinnamon sugar pretzels
  • Homemade almond joy bars
  • Holly bunches
  • Homemade caramel
  • Peppermint buttercream cake mix cookies
  • Peanut butter oreo cookie balls
 Ambitious? Probably. Put I'll be happy. I'll make sure to share a picture of my completed treat plates. All leftovers will go home to my parents for the holidays. Well, all except the leftover seven layer bars. I will consumer those and refuse to feel guilty.
 

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