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Holiday Baking Part 2: Cookies

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Holiday Baking Part 1: All Loaf Pans Are Not Created Equal - check out Dee’s comparison of the loaf pans - click here

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When I was asked to write these baking posts, I felt excited but also worried. Excited, because this topic is something I actually know a thing or two about. I love cookies, cakes and pastries (the Grain Growers of Canada will have me to thank for buoying them through the gluten-free trend). If I have to bake my way through the entire Bouchon Bakery cookbook to do my due diligence as a journalist, so be it!

So why the worry, you ask? I had a baby 3 months ago and had high hopes to shed the excess pounds in time to ring in the New Year. I could cut out alcohol over the holidays to save calories, but we all know how unrealistic that is. In the end, ‘due diligence’ won over and my diet plans have been shelved for the moment.

Which brings me back to cookies. At the risk of sounding obvious, cookies are one of the easiest and most practical goodies to have on hand for the holidays. Let me count the ways…

They freeze well.

Take an entire weekend day and make several dozen. Better yet, coordinate with friends who plan to do the same - but with different kinds of cookies. Then, split batches between the group. If you don’t want to bake them all off right away, form the dough into rolls, wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and freeze. Thaw, slice and bake whenever you need them! For even baking and super easy cleaning, try the USA Pans cookie sheet.

They’re fun to make with kids and friends.

Turn on Christmas With Deano (but skip “Baby It’s Cold Outside"… that song is terrible. Have you ever really listened to the lyrics?), grab your kiddos and get them in on the fun. Besides letting them lick the bowl, you can up the fun factor with cute cookie cutters and this great Danesco mini festive silicone spatula.

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Great ammo for office parties, lunches, dinner parties, school parties, gifts.

Who doesn’t love a good homemade cookie plate? Speaking of plates, I like to buy cute plates and platters at the neighbourhood church’s Friday Thrift Shop throughout the year. At twenty-five to fifty cents a pop, they make a great, zero-waste alternative to paper platters. And you don’t have to hang around until the end of the party to get your platter back!

They travel well.

All it takes is one patch of black ice to send your fruitcake face first into the dashboard (but at least it won’t matter if your thrift shop plate shatters). Cookies, on the other hand, can easily be portioned into secure plastic containers and then transferred and dressed up on a platter once you arrive at your destination.

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They’re nostalgic, comforting and all-around great.

Just like familiar songs and smells can bring us back to a happy time in our lives, the familiar taste of a much-loved family recipe can thaw the heart of any Grinch or Scrooge. Besides their obvious purpose, recipes are a beautiful way to honour family members who have passed on, or who live far away. What better way to remember a loved one at Christmas time? - Dee


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