Let’s talk about Christmas baking.  Man am I rusty at this whole talking-about-something-besides-books thing!  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I get up on my librarian high horse and it’s all books, all the time!  That’s great and all, but not my only mission in life.  There’s also food, you know.

As usual, my commission is to bake something for Christmas.  I thought about going all elaborate, but I kept finding myself drawn to homier recipes.  Things that make you want to curl up with a blanket, drink some eggnog, nibble on a cookie or a scone, and hang out with family and friends.  Plus, there’s enough frantic preparations in the world without me joining in.

Also, I’m a firm believer in using Advent (the time before Christmas) as a time of preparation – the stuff like buying gifts and readying the house, but also the feast itself – and starting your celebration on the 25th.  Christmas isn’t over the next day – it’s just begun.  Also, I’m not supposed to be eating meat or dairy during Advent (although I’ve definitely been cheating on the dairy), which makes a great excuse for leaving a lot of the celebration until later.

So I’m keeping my Christmas baking fairly calm this week.  A certain young man put in a request for Dream Bars, an old favorite and easy to make, and I could hardly turn him down, especially after he got me this for Christmas.  I know!   Can you believe it?  I will never turn down any baking requests from him ever again.  My kitchen now has a nice touch of glossy cinnamon (and a good deal less counter space – but it’s a worthwhile trade).

So I’m making a batch of Dream Bars for the oh-dark-thirty potluck after the Christmas service (the main service begins at 11 pm and goes well into the morning) and another for Christmas dinner at my parents’.  I’m also making a batch of Figgy Buckwheat Scones for Christmas morning, and perhaps some Strawberry Barley Scones, too, if I’m feeling energetic (both recipes are from Good to the Grain).  I’d also like to make a batch of Poppy Seed Wafers, since they were a big hit at Thanksgiving, and maybe try the Sand Cookies (recipes from guess where – Good to the Grain).  Or some of Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace cookies for something chocolaty.  Both the fig scones and the poppy seed cookies are Long Distance Kitchen recipes that I’ve yet to post about, hopefully soon.

So there you have it!  Less decadent than usual, although that doesn’t mean less work.  Oh well, I lucked out and got Christmas Eve off work, so I’ve got plenty of time.  What are you making for Christmas?

Edited to add: get your Dream Bar recipe here – sorry to leave you hanging!

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