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A recent study found that people start dreaming about Christmas baking 3 weeks before Christmas. Dreaming as in eating, not necessarily baking. In 2015, studies showed that 73% of Americans get excited about baking at Christmas time. Are you excited? Have you started yet?

Ever since I gave up the will to fight Holly Homemaker, I feel a lot better. In fact, with fewer disasters and fewer crime scene photos, I’m actually starting to really enjoy baking. Not so much the eating, for vanity reasons, but definitely the tactile sensations of gooey dough, the smells of sweet spices, and the sense of accomplishment when it doesn’t turn into a burnt offering.

In the last couple of years I  started planning my baking list and perusing recipes online months in advance. I have to maximize the excuse to bake! Last year, the focus was rich fudge, dunk-able donuts, and crispy Italian crostoli!

This year, I’ve baked a few dozen cookies, including lemon thyme shortbread cookies, none of which made it to the freezer. This week I tackled lemon squares with a shortbread crust, pistachio & cherry polvorones, and Italian florentines. Most were successful, the exception being the florentines. The recipe said it made 66 cookies; I barely got 30 and they are tiny!

More about baking…

According to a 2015 survey:

We are inspired by recipes and tasty results

  • Bakers are inspired by recipes and tasty results
  • Our motivation comes from the enjoyment we receive in the baking, and in the sharing.

Baking is therapy. – Paul Hollywood

  • Half of bakers use traditional recipes (tried & true), which a small portion seek out trendy recipes.

  • Cinnamon is the number one spice added to holiday baking, with pumpkin, apple, nutmeg and cranberry following.
  • Bakers are more selective when our baking is part of a gift, and more than half of us gift goodies.
  • Pie is pretty popular, and often there’s more than one on the table. And while most of us wait until the meal is over and indulge (or over indulge) at the table, there’s a significant number who sneak it after everyone is in bed, or save a slice for breakfast.
  •  We like to share recipes and photos of our baking.

I think sharing recipes is such an important part of baking and the baking world. – Christina Tosi

I still have a long list of “desires” and requests: shortbread (traditional, lime or chai?), tarts (traditional butter raisin or mini chocolate peanut butter), fudge, sugar cookies, peanut butter marshmallow squares, bread and scones, and of course, green tomato pie (it’s a long-standing family tradition)! What’s on your list this year?

I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. – Jason Love

Happy Weekend!