Friday, November 27, 2015

Planning for Christmas baking ...

From a vintage cookbooklet in my collection
Yes, I've begun making a few plans for my Christmas baking.  No baking list as yet, 
~ last year's baking list ~
but hopefully I can get to that soon.  However, I've made two important purchases that are going to make my Christmas baking go more smoothly.

1) I purchased two large bags of the wonderful 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour from Bob's Red Mill.

This works beautifully in Christmas cookies.  The xanthan gum is already added and it's formulated to work in your regular recipes.  It does not work in breads, but works very well in cookies.  Last year was the first year I'd heard of this flour, and I was so pleased with how it performs.  If you live in New England, I recommend purchasing this in a Market Basket supermarket.  The price is far more reasonable than other sources I've looked at.

2) I bought a new nut chopper!
Photo from King Arthur Flour
I can't even tell you how many years I have needed a new one.  One year, in the midst of Christmas baking, the jar to my old nut chopper broke.  I was in the middle of a recipe and my hubby was in the kitchen at the time.  He suggested using the clean, empty jar from some maraschino cherries I had just used in a recipe to temporarily fill in for the missing jar.  It worked, but it never worked well (one had to hold the chopping mechanism in place on top of the cherry jar).  Still, somehow, I have gone on for years with this makeshift arrangement.  The other day, it toppled out of a cabinet and, of course, came apart.  I decided then and there I had had enough, and I threw both pieces away.  By day's end, I had found a new one on Amazon.  It's the same one in the picture, but is out of stock at King Arthur.  It arrived Tuesday and has already been washed and dried, ready to use!

And I almost forgot this one:
3) Bought two rolls of parchment paper at the Dollar Tree.  I will often make multiple batches and varieties of cookies on a typical day of Christmas baking, so it's really helpful to use parchment paper and not have to wash the cookie sheets until I am all finished for the day.  It was a happy day for me when I discovered parchment paper at Dollar Tree!

Are you thinking about Christmas baking yet?  Have you made any plans?