I thought long and hard about this, but I will not be making Christmas cupcakes this year. Generally I bring something to my family’s Christmas Eve dinner and really wanted to bring cupcakes, but it’s just going to be too difficult. My dessert making will take place in my mom’s kitchen and while my mom’s a good cook/baker, she’s not a cupcake maker. Meaning I would have to schlep my piping tools, cupcake scoop, liners to her place, along with the rest of our clothes for the next 4 days and presents. And while my mom’s kitchen is FAR MORE exquisite than my shabby Brooklyn rental (that I’m not willing to invest any money I can’t take with me in) kitchen, it lacks one essential appliance.
Christmas and cookies are pretty much synonymous. I mean really, can you actually get through the holiday season without Christmas cookies? At least just one… My husband’s family is from Pittsburgh and even though most of the family has since scattered, Pittsburgh is where we go for Christmas to celebrate. It’s kind of like a mini family vacation, but much less stressful. See, we don’t really do anything besides eat, play games and cards and watch TV. So it doesn’t involve that normal family vacation stress where one person wants to do this, the other person wants to do that, and we debate for a day and a half as to which idea is best. Plus there aren’t really any children. His youngest cousin is 10 years old and the others are teenagers, so that probably helps as well.
I’ve built a number of Gingerbread Houses in my day (and last year a train!). But usually these houses came in one of two forms. Either they came out of a cute little Gingerbread House Kit or build with graham crackers (Gram-bread house?) glued together with icing. Yeah, I know, it’s the lazy way out. And the worst part is, when you use the kits especially, the finished house isn’t exactly edible. I’ve always wanted to make a gingerbread house from scratch, but the time commitment scares me away.