I’ve decided to interrupt my regularly scheduled TJ Tuesdays for the next month-and-a-half or so to bring you a weekly dose of what holiday baking looks like in our house. I’ll give you a hint, you will not find Betty Crocker in any of these pictures. In the Misanthropic Household, holiday baking is not a frilly-apron and hot cocoa sipping type of a affair (though, there is listening to holiday music…but only after Thanksgiving). Nay, it is a full-throttle high-precision assault that leaves no stick of butter unused and no Kitchen God un-decorated. Planning begins in August with delivery and shipping complete no later than the second week of December.
In this spirit, I thought I’d show some pictures of what happens along the way. We’ll start with naked paper towel rolls.
Into which went 12 batches of 2 different kinds of sable cookie dough. Wrapped-up tightly, they’ll reside in the freezer until I’m ready to bake them off later this month.
For the first time this year, I’ve also decided to quantify the process. I know that not tracking sounds completely antithetical to my color-coded and task-listed process. However, until now, I’ve purposely stayed away from the accounting of every pound of nuts and every trip to the grocery because I feared knowing my consumption would interrupt the creative process. This year though, we’re keeping track because I think it would be fun to know just how many eggs are cracked in the name of holiday treats.
The tally to posting (can’t say to-date because even as I write this, I’ve already moved on in a way that includes nearly 75 ounces of heavy cream. Moo.):
- 3.5 lbs unsalted butter
- 12 eggs
- 1 lb chocolate
- 1 lb pecans
- 1 ish lb dried sour cherries
Want to play along at home?
Want to win a prize?
In the comments below, take a guess at the final butter poundage. Technically I could calculate this out now but that wouldn’t be any fun. Instead, I’ll update the number of pounds used on a weekly basis so that we’re all surprised in the end. Operationally, final butter poundage is defined as the total pounds of butter utilized in the making of the nine holiday treats I have planned. I will not reveal either the specifics of the treats or the total number of batches at this time. However, you already know the total of the first two. I’ll give you another hint: only one of the nine different goodies does not include butter as an ingredient. Informed risk takers can extrapolate as desired. Anything else I make along the way will not be included (so take out like 20 lbs for Thanksgiving). To make things fair, you can only cast your speculation between now and next Monday, November 19 at 11:59 PST. The person with the closest guess gets a box of said goodies. If you already happen to be on the goodie-recipient list, I’ll throw in a dozen or so extra of whatever you would like. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 4th. Vaya con sprinkles!
P.S. Not that it matters to anyone but me, but I’ve also thrown the gauntlet at myself. This year I’ve challenged myself to not eat any of what I make. Not in the baking, not in the leftovers. Let’s see if I can make it happen.