Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Time Management

So, I realized I have a lot to do in very little time. We're going to my parents' house on Thursday morning so I can start cooking turkey. I had planned on bringing apple pie, lintzer tart cookies, coconut macaroons and apple sausage stuffing. Tonight, we're going to my in-laws so I really only have tomorrow night to make all these things. It's not possible. I'm going to have to cut back. Maybe just the apple pie and the lintzer tarts.

I actually did a test run of the coconut macaroons last night. Not very successful. I followed the recipe I had, and even though it looked like too much condensed milk to me, I ignored by own judgement and went by the measurements in the recipe. The coconut mixture turned out to be too soggy and therefore spread out flat on the cookie sheet. Have you ever seen a totally flat macaroon? Yeah, I didn't think so.

I'm determined to make the apple pie if for no other reason than it will blow my mother's mind that someone related to her baked a pie from scratch. I'm looking to improve mine so any of you pie-bakers out there, do you have any secrets? Do you bake your apples ahead of time? I've seen some recipes call for baking the apples in advance, some just bake them in the pie. Any tips on what kind of apples to use? I think I'm going to use Granny Smith and maybe a little more brown sugar than I did last time.

Today I'm off to Fante's to get the cookie cutters I want for the Lintzer tarts. I already have the dough for that made, so I'm hoping it won't take too long tomorrow. And I'll have to bake the pie. I don't think that will leave much time for stuffing and macaroons.

I've also created a list of cookies I want to make for Christmas. Like a stockpile of cookies, so I can bring them to parties, work, etc. Here's what I have so far:
vanilla spritz
sugar cookies
raspberry thumbprints
pinwheels (with Nutella in the middle-yum!)
chocolate chip
(more) linzer tarts
lemon meltaways
Mexican chocolate spice
peppermint thins
pizzelles (this will take some extra work)

I feel like I'm forgetting some. Anyway I'm not sure how to strategically go about making these. Some I could freeze the dough to bake as needed. Some I could bake and freeze. Some, like the lemon meltaways pretty much have to be made from scratch as needed, because they include cream cheese. Freezer space is at a minimum in my place, so I might need to get some airtight containers, and hope the cookies I make ahead will stay fresh. Can I just use gladware for that? Are they even airtight? I also still need to go to Michael's or A.C. Moore and get some cookie trays and red-tinted cellophane. I had planned on buying all this stuff early and being super prepared this year, but somehow it's not working.

My plan is to start making some cookies this Saturday, my only free day between now and Monday. We have the nieces' combined birthday party Friday night and the nephew's birthday party/Christmas party on Sunday. Another Christmas party next weekend.

The season starts early this year.


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