Baking in December is different from any other month of the year. It just is. I can't explain it, but there is just something in the air that just sparkles with inspiration and causes a yearning to be in the kitchen rolling out cinnamon rolls and dropping cookie dough and getting out grandma's recipes and dusting the flour off from last year and trying to read the measurements that have faded on the card. The smells of peppermint, cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg just make you smile. The aroma of yeast and the sound of the mixer all evoke memories of when I was little. There truly isn't any other time of the year, other than November for Thanksgiving, that can kick start those feelings. The food was always the biggest and best part of my memories for the holidays. I love baking. I bake all year long, primarily because I have 5 grandchildren. But the real inspiration strikes me to be my very best during the Holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas. The mood is just right. The stars are lined up. My prep work is done ahead of time. My sink is filled with hot sudsy water. My apron is on and my hair pulled back. Christmas music is pouring out of my Amazon speaker and I'm ready. It just feels good. I hum as I pull the next sheet out of the oven. I sing out loud when the mixer is blending the butter, vanilla and sugars into a creamy deliciousness. When the last cookie is taken from the cookie sheet and placed on the wax paper, and the last mixing bowl is washed, I look over the work I did and smile. Then I take a picture! I can barely wait until they have cooled down enough to pack them into colorful tupperware containers and stack them neatly in layers. I grab my keys and head to the car. I am so excited to take them over to my kids and drop them off. I love seeing their faces when they open the lid carefully and pull the paper back to take that first look. They smile and say Wow! That's enough for me. I'm happy and content. I'll give myself a few days to recover, and I'll choose a few more choice recipes and start again. Yes, December is about many things. Shopping, gifts, wrapping, planning trips, going to grandmas, etc...but one of my favorite things is the baking. Each ingredient I put in the mixing bowl, I hope it brings a smile and a sigh to someone.
Here are a couple pictures of the two recipes I did today. I know 5 grandchildren and 4 adults that are going to have some yummy goodness tonight.