Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Goodie Plates

I love to bake!  I love to share my creations with others! What better time to share baked goods with friends and neighbors than at the holiday season. I am going to share with you how to make up holiday sample plates for gift giving to your friends and neighbors for the holidays.

After the Thanksgiving bustle is finished, I take the time to write down a list of goodies (around a dozen) and some are family favorites while a few others are new things to try.  I always look through my pantry stockpile to see what baked goods on the list I can do without having to purchase items to complete the goodies.  Once I have completed my list I look over it to see what goodies (like fudge, & bread) will freeze without problems and I mark those as the first to complete.  When I make my list I try to make things that share the same ingredients but are different, like my peanut butter & chocolate day, so that I do not have to get LOTS of different ingredients that I might not use again.

Now that we have the list of goodies figured out, it is time to get baking!  I try to make something every day during the first three weeks of December so that I do not feel overwhelmed, however, that doesn’t always happen!  Some years I have done one or two big baking days and called it good!  

Photobucket One tip about baking cookies for the sample plates: if you have a small scoop or small cookie cutters or a cookie press use those instead of your larger scoops or cutters!  Using the smaller items means that you will get more cookies out of your dough and it will take less baking time, hence making things move a little faster and truly making the plates where you are able to get a sampling of everything that you have baked rather than just a few items.

The baking is done and it is a couple days before Christmas, now is the time to put your plates together! I purchased a couple of packages of Christmas styrofoam plates to use.  I got two different sizes, so that my neighbors who are widowed or just a couple get the smaller ones while the families with kids get the bigger plates.   I set out the plates and the goodies on my dining room table and the kids and I work at putting goodies on the plate.  There is a catch to putting the goodies on the plate…we put enough of each goodie for each person in the family. So if the plate is going to go to the family of five next door then we put only five snickerdoodles or five pieces of fudge and continue to fill the plate with five of the different goodies until the plate is full.  If the plate is going to the widow across the street then I will only fill the plate with one or two pieces of each of the goodies.  I also give a mini loaf of bread (yeast or quick) with the sample plate, I have those wrapped in foil and have labeled them as to what they are and give them right out of the freezer so that if the recipient wants they can place the bread back in the freezer to use at a different time.

Once the plate is full, I put a piece of saran wrap over each plate and fill out a gift tag and get a bow to stick on the top of the plate.  The plates are now ready to deliver. I put the plates together so it is hubby turn to do his part of the giving!  He and a couple of the older kids deliver the goodies to the neighbors either on December 23rd or Christmas Eve before the different families leave for Christmas celebrations.

So even though the sample goodie plates take time and effort they are something that the whole family can help in preparing and the neighbors will appreciate the thoughtfulness.  

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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