Christmas Season Treats

Last year I got into some Christmas baking and came out with a few good treats to bring out anytime we had visitors. This year, I have already been approached by a neighbour to do some neighbourhood baking. The idea, is that if there are 8 people participating, then we all bake 8 batches of our favourite recipe and meet up to give out our baked goods to each other. After the exchange, we will all have 8 different baked treats to store in our freezers and to use over the holidays or for any occasion that comes up. I would love to read how other people handle treats for the upcoming holiday.

  1. How early do you start stocking up on your Christmas treats?
  2. Do you bake or buy?
  3. How many different goodies do you bake/buy?
  4. What are the names of the the treats???
  5. Other comments such as: special dietary considerations, your most requested treat at parties, the occasion for the treats (office parties, gift baskets, visitors at your home, kids), historical or ethnic story about the treat, etc.

HMM I love holiday baking and it has only recently gotten cool enough that I am in the mood to run the oven all day. I once hosted a Cookie Exchange at my house, but since moving none of my friends bake…they would all buy something, not come, or come empty handed to eat what I had baked and drink wine.
Your questions
1-don’t really stock up - bake what I need when I need it
3-variety depends on my mood and what I need the treats for
4- Pie (pecan, mince, apple, peanut butter), molasses sugar cookie cutter cookies, VA apple cake, muffins
5- I bake for myself and hubby then take it to work, parties, visiting relatives, dinner parties…

I typically start around the first of December. I do bake nearly every year. Yes, I take dietary needs into consideration, by baking the needful person a small portion of their very own. I don’t usually stock up because that would leave me an excess from which I would be sneaking/snacking all the time. I buy what I need when I need it. I try to do something different every year, and try to mix traditional with non-traditional and ethnic items. I work from home, so I don’t have office mates, but I do bake items for my husband’s co-workers. My kids are all grown, but each has their special request, so I try to meet those every year.
I also have a son who is a Christmas Eve baby (he turns 18 this year and is my youngest.) He has a birthday request in addition to a holiday request every year.

So basically, what I’m saying is, my holiday baking involves a lot of LISTENING to my family, and then recipe searching/experimentation.