Is part of your holiday tradition making lots of sweet treats? It was for my mom, and she had a funny little trick that made her cookies, pastries and candies seem even more special (if that was possible)...
You need to know a bit about my mom before I share her clever ploy. She raised six children, pretty much on her own. My dad died at 42 years old. I was nine, and my siblings ranged from five to eighteen years old. She was an amazing woman and one of her mottos was "Always stay one step ahead of them! (us kids)". And she did. It seemed that somehow, she knew what we were up to - before we ever were up to it!
Every Christmas, she would bake a large assortment of delicious cookies and other sweet treats, starting in early December. She'd stack them up in large, tight-lidded, metal containers and, without a word, they would disappear to some clandestine destination.
Well to be honest, not so clandestine. With six sweet-toothed hooligans scampering around a not-very-big-house, it was pretty much impossible to have a truly covert hiding place. And once one of us disccovered one of these treasured tins, it wasn't long before all six were snitching a few of the wonderful treats. Of course we'd always try to rearrange the contents, to appear like none were missing...
Guess what? The hiding part was a just ruse my mom repeated year after year. It was not until I was all grown up that she confessed one day - she was totally aware we would find the wonderful cookies and wouldn't be able to resist them. She just figured, if they seemed a bit "forbidden", that they would taste even better and enjoying them would be more of a thrill. She was right!
I wish I had the time to make a large assortment of Christmas treats, but I just don't. We also try to keep a decently healthy diet these days. So, in a nod to my time and diet restraints, I generally pick just a few special sweet treats to enjoy over the holiday season each year, and to give as gifts.
I do have a few criteria for my Christmas treats. They have to be attractive, easily made ahead and universal crowd-pleasers. Oh, and one selection each year has to have a Red Velvet theme, as I'm head-over-heels-crazy about this flavor/color combination. To me, red velvet is about as fun and festive as it gets.
Do you think red velvet is just for cake? Nope! I thought I'd share a few fun and unique options I've created in years gone by, as well as a more traditional Red Velvet Cupcake recipe from a famous cupcake shop in London. All of them would be perfect for your holiday enjoyment.
Any of these sweet treats would be delightful to serve on a holiday buffet or to give to friends, neighbors, teachers, hairdressers, etc. to say "Thanks", "I care" or "You're special". I'm having a hard time deciding which to include in my Christmas repertoire this year. How about you?
P.S. Oh, and if you find yourself singing, "I'm dreaming of a Red Velvet Christmas", I'm probably the culprit to blame!
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