December 15, 2010

Sugar + Butter = Christmas

I spent the entire day Saturday baking up a storm - nothing like a baking marathon and sugar coma to help me recover from finals - holiday cookies were bursting from every seam of my counters and table tops... and now they occupy 1/3 of my refrigerator. I took two plates to GNI last night, and most of the cookies then found their way over to Sheila's bf's house as a "thank you" for him saving my domestic relations grade! Two more plates were delivered to our friends on Saturday night. And two more are waiting patiently on my washer/dryer to be enjoyed by the little cuties I babysit. 

And yet... 5 days post-baking frenzy... I am still left with the temptation to get up every 30 min from the couch for another "piece" or "bite" of cookie. This will quickly turn into an extra 4 lbs. I'm sure of it. So I plan to get rid of them - and fast! Where better to dump excess baked goods than the office?? :) I'm sure the girls at work will love them (or will share with their hubbys)... and I'm happy to pawn off the extra 20,000 (give or take) calories on someone - anyone - else.

Here is a glimpse at my creations - and the recipes! All turned out fabulously - I would make them all again... just not until next Christmas because at this point I think I've eaten my weight in butter and sugar, and my wardrobe - read: love handles - just can't afford to do this for another 10ish days until Christmas! First things first though:
Disaster zone

What I wouldn't give for twice as much counter space!
Ok, so I didn't do such a good job of documenting this process. Or the before/after. But in my defense, I was elbow deep in flour so grabbing the camera to snap a quick pick between sending batter flying across the room/all over the walls and grabbing cookie sheets out of the oven every 10-12 minutes. I don't know how Pioneer Woman and Bakerella do it!
Oatmeal White Choc Chip Cranberry Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

Homemade sugar cut-out cookies... sans homemade icing/sprinkles
I found the Oatmeal White Choc Chip Cranberry cookie recipe on this little cooking blog I love to read: Two Peas and their Pod - they are a fun twist on traditional oatmeal cookies, and they look SO festive. 
The other two recipes I found flipping through the pages of my Taste of Home Winning Recipes Cookbook (thanks, Mama-in-law!) but they can be found online too, click the links for the full recipe: Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
These are cute, but I swear mine turned out even prettier :)

Looks just like mine, right?! Yay!
In a few days we'll be heading home to Ohio, where my mother's house awaits - filled with pizzelles, M&M cookies, and whatever goodies she brings home from the neighborhood cookie exchange this evening! So I'll gladly pass the byproducts of my therapeutic post-finals-week-baking on to my friends in Atlanta to enjoy. I've had more than my share!

What are your favorite holiday baking recipes?? Would love to try out some new ones. After all, Christmas comes but once a year! And I think my skinny jeans are 2% spandex... :)

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