Dough Now, Bake Later

Writing Christmas cards, buying presents, planning Christmas dinner, wrapping presents, buying a tree, decorating the house, baking cookies, taking the kids to see Santa, Christmas Eve festivities…

Yes folks, it’s that time of year and it has arrived quicker than a lion pouncing on its prey.  Now I’m sure there are some of you out there who are very well-organized and who don’t get stressed about the holidays; and I’m sure that can’t be too many of you!

I’m usually ahead of the game (at least slightly) by now, but because I was so busy with the fair and the market, I really couldn’t start to concentrate on Christmas until this week.

I normally try to get as much done ahead of time when it comes to the cooking and baking as I can.  One of the things I get ahead on is the cookies.  I make the dough and freeze it, then take it out the day before I want to bake.  It just seems so much easier doing it that way instead of making dough and baking all at the same time.

From about the age of 12 or 13, I became the Christmas cookie maker, so would take a Saturday one to two weeks before Christmas to do all my baking.  I’d start in the morning and wouldn’t get done until late afternoon as I would make five or six different types of cookies: chocolate chip, butter cookies, Mexican Tea Cakes and Rum Balls were my usual and then I’d add one or two others for something different.  I would make so much because I used to bring a big plate in to work and would give a few away to the neighbors and friends.

Nowadays, I don’t make as many because there’s not as many of us eating them and I see no reason to do all that work for nothing.  I now just stick with the chocolate chip and the butter cookies, and even though I’m only doing two types, I still make the dough and freeze it for baking later as it still makes life so much easier.

Today I made the chocolate chip cookie dough and that is now in the freezer.  You can pretty much freeze just about any cookie dough, so get ahead and do the same.  Just remember to label them so you know what each dough is if you make quite a few.

For Christmas Eve, we usually put out a spread of pick-up nibbles and have an open house.  Unfortunately, last year I was quite disappointed as very few people showed up and I had masses of food left over.  I’ll try again this year and we’ll see how it goes.

I had made mincemeat pies, sausage rolls, filo dough triangles, cheese & ham palmiers and a Pizza Rustica, all which could be frozen.  I will be making the Pizza Rustica, (a Nigella recipe) again which came out really nice and probably one or two of the others.

Among these few items, we also have cooked prawns with a cocktail sauce, various cheeses, crackers and other canapes.  Christmas Eve has been a buffet with my family and ex for many years and over the past 5 years, I’ve introduced it to Chef P and his family.  I don’t know what we’ll be having for Christmas Day dinner yet as Chef P cooks on that day.  I can tell you one thing; it won’t be a turkey!

So what do you do for your Christmas Eve festivities?  Please share as perhaps I may want to incorporate some of your ideas into my festivities!

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2 thoughts on “Dough Now, Bake Later

  1. I hear you and understand completely about the lack of family around. It’s only three of us with his mum so it gets a little depressing sometimes but I try to keep a chin up. Hey, we have hotels nearby. You could come down and stay overnight!

  2. Wish I lived near you Terri! I’d be over to your open house for sure as I know it would be a really nice evening. I hadn’t thought of doing something like that, but it’s a great idea. I don’t do a lot of baking for Christmas these days, not like when my kids were growing up at any rate. With just the two of us and NO family around at all, it’s a waste of time. I usually just bake some mince tarts, a fruit cake and a Christmas pudding. Everything else is bought in. I sure miss having family around. I used to bake tons and tons at Christmas. 😦

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