Christmas baking wishlist

There’s more Christmas goodies on my wishlist than I could possibly ever make, but just to keep track, these are the things that are particularly interesting–(some of which must be made because ingredients have been purchased!)  Given that we’re set to have a big snowstorm, this seems to be a good way to be housebound.  (Although there are plenty of rather more urgent Christmas preparations that have to be done (no. 1–buy a tree! no. 2–assemble the guest bed! probably in the reverse order!) so again, this list is more aspirational than anything else). 

Breads–while I am not into baking (despite what this post may indicate) I do love breadmaking!  I haven’t done it in a while (knead for 10 minutes while pregnant?  I don’t think so) but now that I’m trying to get myself back in the kitchen:

  • Brioche (again…why do I love making brioche so?  Must be the butter content).
  • Some Italian christmas bread from Carol Field’s Celebrating Italy.  (I have not made much from this book but I love the premise–various festivals in Italy throughout the year and the foods that accompany the events.  What I really love is how each festival begins with a historical description of the origins of the festival and a discussion of how the food ties in.  There is a bibliography that looks something like you’d expect in an academic work!)  There’s quite a few bread recipes in here, some of which are quite complicated.  Still, the following look good:  the Pandolce Genovese, Natalizia, and Pinza della Befana (these are all of course from the Christmas chapter!).  I have a Kitchenaid mixer, and I intend to use it…


  • Speculaas (we bought a rolling pin mold in Munich–where else for Christmas knicknacks but Germany?–which still has to be used. 
  • Navettes a la fleur d’oranger–from the Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook.  I have a bottle of orange water (why?  I don’t know–it was for something out of Claudia) so this is a great way to use some of it.  It may be one of the main reasons I am making it…
  • Madeleines–planning on using this recipe.  I have a fair number of madeleine pans purchased in Paris (mainly because, they were cheap and it seemed like a good take home). I can’t say why these cookies (if they are cookies) attract me.  I don’t know if it’s the name that reminds me of the children’s books, if it’s the fact that they have been immortalized in classic literature (In Search of Lost Time–which I’ve never read, and given how long it is, never will–I lose enough of my own Time on a daily basis to go off searching for Proust’s), but I am intrigued!

And finally, as I mentioned in an earlier post, sassy radish’s cranberry orange cake with ricotta!

My shopping list is made (as part of the emergency run to the grocery store tomorrow AM before the snow hits)–so hopefully I’ll have something to show for it.

Speaking of snow, I hope that Karen is able to get off the west coast and over here to the east coast.  We have learned not to be optimistic when it comes to our family’s plane travel…but that would be a whole other post…

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