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27 December 2012

The Run Down

I survived the Christmas season!  How about you?  I hope you had a fabulous holiday, even if you were a bit stressed and stretched at the seams.  I was, but would we be happy any other way?

In case you're curious, my Christmas was great.  I spent time with family and friends and we even got some snow.  Which meant we had a white Christmas, but more importantly we maybe eked out a tenth of an inch of moisture...one of the best presents our area could receive right now.  We would have gladly taken more!

But, anywho, on to the Christmas cookies; the cookies that pretty much consumed my December.  Cookie Monster may always want a cookie, but at this point I definitely don't.  *sigh*

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A few statistics from the cookie carousel:
  • Cookies baked:  52 dozen (624 individual cookies)
  • Pounds of butter used:  17
  • Pounds of powdered sugar used:  48
  • Sheet pans borrowed:  6
  • Rolls of parchment paper used:  4
  • Burns sustained from hot pans and/or oven:  5
  • Average decorated cookie completion rate:  3 dozen/hour
  • Days spent baking:  2
  • Days spent decorating:  8
I was pretty pleased with my burn rate this year - I think it's down from previous years, even though the cookie count was up.  I must admit though that it's this time of year when I most seriously consider finding a temporary sous chef; but haven't cracked under the pressure yet.  Luckily, I've figured out a decent system to keep everything running smoothly for the most part.  I'm basically a cookie making machine once I get rolling.

Of course, there are things that happen that are out of my control.  Like a winter storm with 60 mph winds, snirt (snow + dirt, for those of you unfamiliar with the term), and loss of electricity.

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Yep...I boxed cookies by lantern light.  I can honestly say this is the first time I've had to do that, but orders must go out on time, so a resourceful baker does what she has to do.

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Oh, and since the cookies weren't keeping me busy enough, I also whipped up a few dozen mini cupcakes for a birthday.

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Yes, those are Christmas cookies in the background.  I'm telling you, there's a point where there's no escaping the cookie.

And, since I couldn't very well just feed the fam Christmas cookies as dessert on the 25th, I also made some pies and other sweets.

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Mini peanut butter pies, anyone?  Yep, I used store-bought graham crusts.  I'm not ashamed, they work like a charm and save me time.  In addition, there was also puppy chow, homemade reeses, grape salad, lumps of coal, and apple pie dip.  Oh, and rice krispies treats, which ironically enough, went the fastest of anything. My group is sometimes happiest with the simplest, most classic things.  C'est la vie.

Do you have big plans for ringing in the new year?



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