'Tis the Season! Holiday Baking Time is Here!
My favorite season is here - Christmas! People are happy, smiling secret smiles about the perfect gifts they are planning for their loved ones. Houses twinkle with lights on trees and shrubs. Electric candles in the windows hint at homey warmthwithin. It is a time of reflection, of giving, of cherishing those near and dear to you. As a baker, I happily pull out the family recipe box for those recipes that we only make for the holidays. Those recipes usually have a connection with family history, our childhood or cultural traditions.
For me, childhood memories of Christmas treats smell like ... nutmeg. Decorating nutmeg sugar cookies, sneaking a nutmeg rum log and feeling grown up because it has rum in the frosting, or enjoying a piece of nutmeg feather cake. A couple of weeks ago I made a batch of those nutmeg rum logs. They are now suspended in time in my freezer, waiting for holiday cookie trays.
I have established new traditions to complement those from my past. Every year I make loaf upon loaf of chocolate bread. These delightful loaves get tucked into every gift box I mail to family. Chocolate bread is the centerpiece of every cookie tray I deliver.
I also have made my own sea salt caramels the past five or six years or so. Last year, I coated those caramels with bittersweet chocolate. That was my husband's idea. Turns out this was a pretty darn good idea. Caramels that I didn't think could get any better are now Over. The. Top.
Do you have traditional recipes that you make every year? I would love to hear from you! What treats do you absolutely, positively have to have every holiday season? Get baking - tis the season!!