Holiday Baking Plans

Baking large loads of goodies is one of my favorite aspects of the holiday season, and despite the fact that I’ll be renovating and moving into my new house, this year will be no different! It might just mean that the food preparation will have to happen somewhere other than my new place (although I’m itching extra hard to prepare food in my awesome new gas oven). Here are some things I want to make:

(photos are not mine, unfortunately)

I discovered chocolate cloud cookies last year right before the holidays and they looked so yummy that I went out and made them right away. Totally worth it. I ended up giving some away as presents, and then made up a whole other batch to serve at my New Year’s Eve party. They were definitely a hit. Make lots. Once you’ve made them once or twice, they’re easy as pie. Bonus points for being able to use my cookie scoop!

I’m not even really a big fan of divinity, but I’m going to make it this year. It’s just a little (or a lot) too sweet for me, and I want stuff that I can snarf truckloads of, rather than things that make me swear sugar off for a year. However, this was a holiday food that my grandmother used to make, so I’ll be carrying on the tradition. I’ll post her recipe once I find it in my mom’s stockpile.

I didn’t realize until pretty recently that I really love sugar cookies. I don’t know if it was that I had been eating bad ones all my life, or if there are so many different varieties that I just hadn’t tried the right one yet, but I can say definitively that I’ve found THE ONE. These are easy to make, very mild and not too sweet, and they’re the perfect consistency (slightly crunchy) to make them firm enough to do intricate decorative icing on, but not so hard that they’ll break your teeth. Thank goodness for Real Simple.

I’m hoping to get an icing/piping set soon, and with that I’ll be able to do some fancy work on cookies. I’m looking forward to edible sparkles, nonpareils, shiny silver and gold balls, and all the rest. I have the feeling I’ll be spending too much money at the new Michael’s craft store out at the mall.

Back before I became a vegetarian, I made some very respectable efforts at making homemade marshmallows. I have faith that these efforts can be replicated in a vegan way, so I’m going to try it. I’ve heard that agar agar can be used as a 1:1 substitution for the unflavored gelatin. Let’s find out!


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