Happy Holiday Greetings from Goldy!

Diane Mott Davidson, the queen of the culinary mystery novel, would like to help you out with your holiday baking endeavors with her tried-and-true tips on how to bake delicious cookies—and keep them fresh for Christmas. It’s always a pleasure to welcome her to the blog, especially when she shares with us her kitchen know-how.

This is what preparation for the holidays reminds me of: being pregnant. You’re exhausted, overwhelmed, and facing a to-do list several miles long. Yet in the Baking Department, with some advance preparation and a big freezer, you will get through this, and it will be fun. Trust me.

Before we get going, though, a couple of notes of warning:

1) Steer clear of cookie exchanges. (If this makes me sound like Scrooge meets the Grinch, so be it.) These exchanges generally require you to make 30 or more dozen cookies, then swap with 29 other bakers, none of whom will have used butter. So my advice, if you’re going to go to all that trouble anyway, is to make 30 dozen of your own cookies from the recipe list below. (Of course, depending on your fancy, pocketbook, time constraints, etc., you can make many, many fewer.)

2) Once you bake and cool these cookies, the very last thing you want to do is to put them where inquisitive eyes can see them before the holidays even begin. So eschew the plastic freezer bags and pack the cookies in opaque containers. These you need to wrap securely in white freezer paper, which you tape up and label, Frozen Trout, 2005. No one is going to unwrap those bad boys.

Cookie recipes that can be made in advance and frozen:

  • Goldy’s Nuthouse Cookies (recipe from Double Shot makes 6 dozen)
  • Crunch Time Cookies (recipe from Crunch Time makes 4 dozen)
  • Canterbury Jumbles (recipe from The Last Suppers makes 11 dozen!)
  • Bleak House Bars (recipe from Sweet Revenge makes 32 bars)
  • Strong Arm Cookies (recipe from Dark Tort makes 8 dozen)

If you are an Episcopalian like me, you may be asked to bring cookies to a church party or, if you are less lucky, a meeting, and you can gleefully put out a couple dozen Canterbury Jumbles, and keep your main stash safe.

To be left for Santa:

  • A dozen Bleak House Bars

To be made and frozen for holiday dinners for friends, family, or both:

  • Door-Prize Gingerbreads (recipe in Sweet Revenge makes 3) (Wrapping: plastic wrap, white freezer paper, tape. Label: Frozen Halibut from the Candlishes’ trip to Alaska, 2006.)

You can take one or more of the gingerbreads out to thaw while you make your holiday dinner, then when it’s time for dessert, ask the children or grandchildren to sprinkle the tops with confectioner’s sugar.

Note that children/grandchildren bit. Even if you don’t make a single cookie and buy them all from the grocery store, or online, or you don’t bake any at all, the most important aspect of the holidays is to show love to those around you. This does not have to be with cookies or gifts or with anything more than hugs and kisses and a story read to a child in your lap.

I wish you an affection-filled holiday,

Stay up to date with what Diane’s cooking and writing by liking her on Facebook! Her new book, Crunch Time, is on sale as a mass market paperback this January 2012.

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7 Responses to “Happy Holiday Greetings from Goldy!”
  1. Dilraj says:

    H DiMy hubby and I went up to Kalgoorlie for the race round and stayed at Langtrees and OMG it was faiatstnc not only was we made to feel at home and nothing was too hard for Di.Here are some of the points we enjoyed•The room was just beautiful had everything that I needed from shampoo to drinks and my hubby thought he was in luck as there where even condoms in the bathroom…•The bed omg was so comfortable… I slept like a baby….•Maryanne’s breakfast.•Sitting out in the patio area and enjoying the sun reading the paper•I other thing I loved was that I was able to walk everywhere so it didn’t matter if I had a drink or two…lol•Di even organized pizza in the wee hours of the morning after those few drinks.So thank you very much again Di would recommend anyone to stay there.Sue and Michael

  2. Lee M. says:

    Merry Christmas to you too Diane! I sure love your books and recipes and all you share!!

  3. Annette McCarty says:

    Merry Christmas, Diane. Your blog and your books make me feel like you are my friend. I am very thankful for you because I have been pretty much housebound for 4 years due to a lung disease ( no, I never did smoke). I read my first book of yours while I was in ICU when I first got sick and I enjoyed it so much that I was determined to keep waking up so I could read the next page or chapter. It worked ( along with God and the doctors and my great family). Anyway, all that I read of yours and about you makes me want to add you to all my friends lists. Have a joyous Christmas, a great new year and let me know when the next book is out.

  4. bonnie says:

    Merry Christmas! Love all your books and am reading them all starting with Catering to Nobody. Great advice – love those little ones!

    • Nilo says:

      Unbelievably unfair!!! How dioceilus is this. I recently convinced myself not to give in and then this post came along. Oh well, there is always tomorrow In the microwave you say!?! Will give it a try Ms. Have a great weekend!!!

  5. happy holidays, thanks for the warning. i used to do cookie swaps with 9 others. now i just bake 6 different types of cookies myself cuz i need them in the mail by the 10th of dec.


  6. bakinstuff says:

    Merry Christmas Goldy and Diane :0) Cannot wait to get my copy of your new book Diane!!

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