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Holiday Baking Guide

December 18, 2009

It’s no secret that I do a lot of baking, especially during the holidays!  This year I even wrote myself a schedule so that I can get it all done in time!  Whew!  Baking Day 1:  Make Sugar Cookie Dough begins tomorrow.  I have something every single day from now until the 25th.  I don’t fool around when it comes to holiday baking!  ;)  I did leave one day, the 22nd, open for redos or catch up.  I thought it might be nice to share with you, sweet readers, some holiday sweet treat favorites to help get you started, should you need inspiration.

Let’s start with cheesecakes:

I made this Dorie Greenspan cheesecake last year.  It was so incredibly good, I’ll probably be making it from now on.  Last year, I used a mixture of mostly heavy cream (left over from truffles) and a little (maybe 1/3 C?) sour cream.  This year, I’m going to go all sour cream.  It took me much longer than the recipe indicates to bake this cheesecake.  Of course, my apartment oven could certainly be to blame.  I was so excited about the cheesecake itself, I completely forgot to make anything to go with it.  We found, thankfully, that it didn’t need anything at all.  I won’t be making anything to accompany it this year either.

I’ve made this Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Sour Cream Topping a couple years in a row for Thanksgiving (but I’ve skipped the last two Thanksgivings due to baby).  It’s very very yummy and doesn’t require a water bath.  So if you fear the water bath, and you absolutely should not, then this might be a good choice.  Plus, my husband always enjoys having a little extra bourbon hanging around to sip.

I’ve also read very good things about the Baking Illustrated Cheesecake.  I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s on the list for sure!  America’s Test Kitchen rarely gets it wrong!

If cheesecake isn’t really your thing, here are a couple of non-fruitcake items I think make nice host/ess gifts:

Glazed Pumpkin Bread–  A family recipe.

Banana Cranberry Bread– A family recipe.

Brioche and/or Pecan Honey Sticky Buns– This is a Dorie Greenspan recipe.  My mother in law loves these!

Lastly, but certainly not least, cookies!

World Peace Cookies–  These are my favorite cookies!

Chocolate Chip–  Everyone loves these!

Frosted Sugar Cookies–  A family recipe.

I also usually make truffles with a chocolate shell, but I just don’t have that kind of time this year.  So, what are you baking?

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