after much (and many years) of consideration, i decided to give baked goods for de holidays. since i started baking, i always wanted to give cookies, cakes and chocolates as holiday gifts (think martha stewart style). however i never really get to it.
one big fear is no one will like de bakes (which is of course nonsense. every baker must be confident!! *rolls eyes*). and of course de usual, what should i bake, de packaging and so on. and de ultimate problem – logistics. as you know singapore is bloody hot and humid, thus baked will have a shorter life span than what is stated in de cookbook. in addition, fresh baked (preservatives free!) only last 3 days max (actually it can last longer but i really dun encourage that).
so this year i took de GIANT step to make baked as gifts. first step – find what you wanna make! this sounds simple yet so fucking difficult. yes i am swearing. i bought magazines, flip through cookbooks. i sorta narrowed down what i wanna do. i chose praline. de reason? it looked pretty! BIG mistake. ha. i tested de recipe. FAILED. ha. reason? i dun like praline. i never like caramel like things. i dun know why i choose to do something that i dun like. i burnt de caramel. whole house stinked. and de praline tasted horrible!!!
as de deadline is coming close, i scrambled to find something to bake. when in trouble, go to something you are familiar, something that has never failed you (so far). for me, i run to king arthur flour cookie companion. it SAVES my life! i went through it and carefully selected de honey walnut cookie. by some weird transition, i changed my mind and i went w MONSTER COOKIES!!!
de change was BRILLANT! seriously you can never go wrong w peanut butter!!! and not forgetting it was chock full of goodies – butterscotch chips, chocolate chips and m&ms. every bite of this cookie is a surprise. you dun know what flavor you goin to get or what color m&m is in your cookie. its a brilliant cookie!!
de result is everyone loves de cookies (i think and i hope. abh finished everything within a day). lesson learnt – go w something you are comfortable making and preferably something you like to eat. and seriously when baked is given as a gift, no one will dare to criticise you (or at least in front of you). and it helps to put some thoughts in the packaging. i was lucky to find some great bento boxes from my fav store – daiso. it only took me 10 minutes to find it (in de bloody crowded store). i gave it a v zen yet festive (and environmentally friendly; i took the scrap from de gift exchange wrapper) look. and most importantly, i ziplocked de cookies. if you want to maintain de freshness of de cookies, you need to comprise on de aesthetics. which i offset w my drawings (ha.).
will i do it again for next year? i really dun know. as much as i love de idea of givin baked loots, waking up early and make 100 cookies with a tiny oven toaster, and rush to pack and tie everything up … is just exhausting. so we will see … in de meantime, happy holidays!