In the Cookie Jar


I planned on making two more batches of cookies today.  Shortbread and probably biscotti.  I figured that would do it as far as having enough cookies to give out to everyone. 

I was nearing the finish line – already had cookies packed up for a few of the neighbors.  Just had two more for Bill’s side (meaning an emphasis on the German cookies) and three tins for my side (meaning all the broken cookies – JUST KIDDING EVERYONE!) and that would be it.

So I figured I’d do the two tins for Bill’s side first, since I knew I had all of those cookies available.  Packed them up.  Done.

And I looked around…and…hmmm…this…this is really weird…um…Bill?  Um…I think…I think I have enough.

It was a painful admission.

I don’t even know why.  Maybe because it was so unexpected.  Maybe because my entire existence this past month has been all about COOKIES AND COOKIES AND OH YEAH, MORE COOKIES and now, if I don’t have cookies to bake…then…who am I???

But fear not, for I still have plenty of other kitchen stuff to do.  We’ll have people over on Christmas Eve AND Christmas day, all of whom will be ravenous, I’m sure.  So on Christmas Eve, which will be with Bill’s side of the family, we will have sauerbraten, spaetzle, red cabbage, broccoli casserole, some sauerkraut (not homemade – I have some in the freezer), and a loaf of pumpernickel bread, which I will bake tomorrow.  And for dessert, a huge springerle cookie (by big, I mean bigger than a dinner plate) made from the mold you see below.  I bought it several years ago from House on the Hill and I make one every year. 

Complete 1654 Nativity - Click Image to Close
I just checked their website – the mold is 13  1/2 inches in diameter.  It’s big.  And it’s beautiful.  It’s very detailed, and sometimes hard to get all the dough pressed in deep enough (without it getting stuck) to get all that detail to show in the finished product.  But it’s fun to try, and even if it isn’t perfect, it’s still fun to trot it out.
I’ll also (fingers crossed) be making pain au chocolate to have on Christmas morning.  I buy these Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate sticks and this year I’m using the recipe that King Arthur Flour sent along with them.  It’s basically a chocolate croissant.  So…yum.  If I make them tomorrow, then I can just reheat them Tuesday morning.
And I’ll be up early Tuesday.  We’re having roast beef and yorkshire pudding, and the last couple of times I’ve had Christmas at my house, instead of roasting the beef, I’ve browned it on all sides (it’s a 5 rib roast – rather unwieldy, but I like a challenge) and then put it in a 200 degree F (yes that’s correct – two hundred degree) oven and cook it "low and slow" – about half an hour per pound.  So, it’s a 12.5 pound hunk of cow, so it’s going to cook around 6 hours, give or take.  And before that, it should sit out at room temperature for a few hours.  So if we eat around 2, I need to get it in before 8, and so it needs to come out of the fridge between 5 and 6.
After the beef is done, I’ll take that out of the pan, jack up the oven temp to around 400 or something (I have to look it up) and bake the yorkshire pudding in the drippings from the meat.  Probably two pans’ worth, since I’ll eat an entire pan myself if given the opportunity.
Anyway – the meat comes out gorgeous this slow-cooked way.  I’ll try to remember to take pictures just to show you HOW gorgeous. 
Bill’s going to grill a couple of chickens for the non-red-meat-eating members of the family, and we’ll have a variety of side dishes as well. 
And that’s the scoop.
Don’t know how much posting I’ll do over the next couple of days, so in case you’re wondering where the heck I am, now you know.  I’m in the kitchen.

Leave a Reply