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Old 12-01-2004, 07:51 AM   #1
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Christmas Baking Schedule

When do y'all start making your Christmas cookies? I don't mean the refrigerator types you can freeze, then 'slice and bake', I mean the cut-outs and drop cookies. And candies?

I always get so organized at the beginning, and then work like a madwoman the week before Christmas to get everything done!

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Old 12-01-2004, 09:13 AM   #2
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For me, about a week before Christmas. If I do it too soon, my son will eat them all up. :D
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:20 AM   #3
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I'ave actually started my cut outs already. I freeze them un-iced and then will pull them out to ice about 2 weeks before Christmas. I haven't decided when I'll start candy, etc. yet. I don't have a ton of people to bake for this year so I have to try and control myself!
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Old 12-01-2004, 11:10 AM   #4
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Marmalady wrote: ''I always get so organized at the beginning, and then work like a madwoman the week before Christmas to get everything done!''

How funny, I was just going to post the same question here on the boards. Like you, it's madman maxwoman here trying to get it all done. :?

I haven't started yet as it's a hassle until my kitchen is put back together. You know making those holiday cookies (how ever many dozens you do) takes tremendous organizational skills. I end up with zip lock bags everywhere. Freezer space is not all that available so I leave it up to the last week or so too. I go to the Dollar Stores here and buy up gallon plastic containers with lids. << Or else shoe boxes. I put them in zipper bags, label them, then in the container they go and off to Fed Ex for recipients.

First, I have to decide which ones I'm actually doing. I'll make a list of must haves. There are about 10 of those, the standards, then I'll pick and choose from others that sound like winners. In the past, the winners have been losers and I've ended up tossing. :roll:

I also have to start buying the ingredients for Chex Mix. The kids get mad if there isn't any. Last year, I got inventive and added much to the original recipe. Boy, did I ever get scolded. It'll be the standard this year.
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Old 12-01-2004, 11:17 AM   #5
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I'm getting ready to make my 'list' today or tomorrow, and then get started; I have most of what I need already for the 'slice and bakes', like pecan sandies, French Butter Cookies, pinwheels.

Question for PA Baker - When you freeze your cutouts, they're still crispy when they thaw?
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Old 12-01-2004, 11:59 AM   #6
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Yes, I don't have any problem with them getting soft. I keep them sealed in the container until they're completely thawed. I ice them in royal icing, so if I need to, once they're completely dry I can stack and freeze. Thaw in the same way as when they're uniced and they're good to go!

We have two cutters in shapes that relate to my DH's company so I already cut and iced cookies that we're going to package nicely for his clients for C-mas gifts. I told him I'd only do it if he gave me enough advance warning that I could do it early enough that they wouldn't get in the way of my family baking. Being able to freeze the already decorated cookies really helps!
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Old 12-01-2004, 01:06 PM   #7
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Tx! Those were always ones I left til the last minute, when burnout was setting in - and sometimes they didn't even get done, because of the thought of all that rolling and cutting! I may do that with my little gingerbread people, too!
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Old 12-01-2004, 01:11 PM   #8
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I made the gingerbread house on 11/26 (boxed kit).
I'll make gingerbread cookies this Saturday 12/4.
I'll make sugar cookies Saturday 12/11.
Thats it for my baking in December.
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Old 12-01-2004, 11:48 PM   #9
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I wish I had that kind of time. Since I'm basically a caterer, this month, my work schedule is pretty demanding. I'm working 6 days a week, pretty much mid-day shifts all week long. This leaves me with little spare time to do much of anything at home. I've been trying to make a little something nice, either cookies, or some other dessert, on my days off, which is only once a week right now.

That said, when I was attending college, I went through pastry during this same time of year. We usually baked cookies every couple days. I'm used to making cookie dough batches that yield off about 500 cookies each. We would store the dough in a 5 gallon plastic bucket, then freeze it when we weren't using it. To bake cookies, we would portion out about 100 of each of 6 or 7 different kinds, then bake. Of course, there were about 10 or us in the class, so it's easy to divvy the labor up.

Where I'm currently working, I do have a 20/30 qt mixer, as well as access to lots of ovens. I'm sure that if I bought my own ingredients, and cleared it with the boss, he'd let me cook hundreds of cookies there for my own use. But, I'd basically be living in the kitchen most of the week. I think I'll stick with baking some cookies on my day off right now.
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Old 12-02-2004, 04:06 AM   #10
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We're not big on Christmas cookies here in the UK - but I've made my Christmas cake already - and 'feeding' it brandy every week. I'll ice the Sunday before Christmas.

Mince pies (sweet, not beef!) are a must - but traditionally I make them on Christmas Eve. In Scotland, Christmas is still a smaller event than our BIG one of Hogmanay - and is essentially a Children's day.... so Santa gets a mince pie and a glass of sherry left at the fireside, along with a carrot for the reindeer (how my husband HATES that sherry!)

I've made some sausage rolls and they are in the freezer. But I do my big 'bake' between Christmas and Hogmanay. Now, that IS a manic time for every Scots housewife!
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