I don't know if there will ever come a day that we bake up cookies of different varieties to eat and give away. I've always wanted to have a Christmas cookie baking day with my girls, and even planned it this year, but it is always the first thing to drop off the calendar. Mostly because we most thankfully receive my childhood favorites in tins from my mother and friends always pull through and deliver such delicacies. By this time of the home stretch to Christmas day, I couldn't fathom baking up any treats since I do my fair share of eating most of the cookies that once lined our counter.
Baking bread on the other hand is different. I know neighbor and friends won't be inundated with people knocking down their door to deliver loaves of bread, so it has kind of become a tradition for us. We like bread, we like to make it, and I just bought 1,000 brown paper sacks to fill with bread. So it looks like it will be bread for many years. (Do you have a Restaurant Store in your area? You can find great containers, bags, etc., for restaurant prices... just be prepared--you have to buy a lot!)
Since I rarely veer from the familiar, we used the same reliable dry rub for most of the loaves. It is a surprising and unique blend of brown sugar, rosemary, and basil. For the loaves that were being rushed into the oven, I simple added poppy seeds to the egg washed top of those loaves.
The girls loved sliding the perfectly proportioned mini loaves (I divided my dough for a 2 lbs. loaf to make three mini loaves) into the brown paper sacks. We've been making these loaves some days on, some days off, based on our schedule. Thank you dough cycle! We always end up eating one of the loaves ourselves when it is a "on" day.
And baker's twine. Lots of baker's twine. That is my job and my job alone.
The best part? After bundling the whole family with coats, matching gloves, and shoes? Heading out into the cold black night to deliver. Singing half of a carol before we're greeted at a door, watching the giddiness of my children in handing over a sack, and then running on to the next house. Did I mention they're still asking for hot cocoa after every round of deliveries??
the sleepy time gal