When Shira was an infant, I realized that between Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the holidays feel more like an endless bake-off. Think about it. Thanksgiving is turkey and stuffing and so many sides and dessert. Christmas, at least in my former husband’s family, is ham and different types of Christmas cookies and more. Then New Year’s Eve we did roast beef with potatoes and a decadent dessert to ring in the new year. And then there are the gifts baked and made. Everything from scratch. It’s a lot of work.
After two years of this, I realized it simply wasn’t worth it. So I made a decision that, going forward, we would do a buffet. Now I won’t go into the details of the many ways that the buffet has evolved; I will, however, describe to you what we will have for our Holiday Buffet this year, give or take a few changes. If you haven’t eaten yet, I suggest you come back and read this when you no longer have an appetite.
For the days leading into Christmas, Rob and I will be baking cookies. Bonus: No sugar added! These cookies are so good we actually have people asking us for them as gifts. We always make sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, and chocolate chip cookies (using bittersweet chocolate chips). We also bake some “marzipan” biscotti. Why the quotation marks? Because we start with a sugar-free almond biscotti recipe. To this, I add a bit of rosewater giving it a subtle marzipan flavor. These we send to my step father, although we save a few for our own buffet. This year we will probably make a second batch of biscotti, although I don’t know what flavor, because we’ll have so many people here to celebrate.
And this year I want to add some gingerbread cookies because I recently learned that Queen Elizabeth I introduced the idea of gingerbreadshaped as people so I feel a stronger desire for these cookies than ever before. Whether we make these sugar free or not will depend on Rob’s preferences.
In addition to the cookies and biscotti we have petit fours which we order from Swiss Colony. This is quite the luxury, I admit, but we love them. Rob loves them too so we order some “sugar free” ones for him. I make sure to buy enough to make everyone happy so that nobody feels they could indulge in and enjoy their favorite flavors. (Hint: The ones covered in white chocolate seem to be everyone’s favorite.) This year we ordered some of the coffee flavored petit fours but not all of us are coffee drinkers. Only Shira, Marc, Erin, and I love coffee so we’ll happily monopolize them. Muahahahaha!
In addition to all of the sweetness we have some mixed nuts, fresh fruit (apples, oranges, pears, bananas, and grapes). Okay, yeah, that’s not much of a break from sweets. But this is where the buffet begins. There’s more to the buffet. Much more. Unfortunately, this is where this post ends. I'll share more of our buffet details with you tomorrow and maybe again tomorrow. And if your tummy is now rumbling after reading about all the yumminess, don't blame me. I warned you!