Monday, December 7, 2015

Sugar High

There is never a shortage of treats in our house around Christmas (see this post from 2013), but I had a plan to keep it simple this year.  I'm pregnant and trying to conserve my energy, plus I knew we'd have access to sugar from many sources during the month even if we refrained from the baking ourselves.

I asked Brian and the kids their must-haves during the season and the one thing that came up multiple times was the  holiday pretzel treats we make as a family every year.   I suspect that the tradition and the memories are a bigger factor than the treat itself, though we do love to eat them, too.  (You should click on the holiday pretzel treats link if only to see how much my kids have grown!) 

Other than these special treats, the plan was to bake only as we got the urge and to keep. it. simple. 

Yesterday we attended a cookie exchange at church.  Maddie and Owen made and decorated our standard shortbread cookies recipe with no help from me.  My contribution was a double batch of molasses cookies. After bagging up what we needed for the exchange, we had a few to squirrel away in cookie tins for our own Christmas guests.  Mission accomplished.  No more Christmas baking necessary.

But we got into trouble at the cookie exchange. 
The table was overflowing with cookies to sample and all of us tried different things which inspired us to want to make a few more things at home.  That's not a bad thing necessarily, but there are only so many cookies or pieces of candy one family can eat, even a family of seven. 

Brian, who is usually more level-headed and reasonable than I am and can talk me down from my overzealous plans, encouraged me to go for it anyway.  I'm not craving or indulging in much sugar this pregnancy, but I love the challenge and adventure of baking something new. We reasoned that there are many things we can do with excess treats:
  • give away as gifts
  • share with our Christmas guests
  • take to Christmas parties
  • freeze in gallon bags (and perhaps serve when people come to visit the new baby next month)
We made a dream list of things we'd like to try in December.  Note that the majority of our list includes nuts or peanut butter and chocolate!

Will it all get made?  Probably not!  But we'll enjoy what we can...and save the rest of the list for another year.

What are your family's must-have Christmas treats?

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