I thought it would be fun to share what I’m planning to bake for Christmas this year. Maybe it will give you an idea or two if you haven’t had the chance to start your Christmas baking wishlist for this year. So here’s mine!
This was actually a super eye-opening experience. I wanted to be a little more strategic this year with my Christmas baking, so I added this one little planning task to our September list for our monthly Christmas preparedness countdown. I sort of pictured myself sitting down and coming up with a long list of all different types of baked goods, maybe multiple items for each category for cookies, bars, candies, etc. But when I really sat down to think about it, I realized that type of list really wouldn’t make sense in reality at all and I came up with something totally different. So here’s how my real Christmas baking wishlist for this year came together!
My Strategy for Deciding What to Make
It only seemed logical that I should start out by adding the non-negotiable items to my list. These are the things that have become kind of a tradition and that the kids would be sad about not making. I think every family probably has a few of these things.
As I added each item to the list, I tried to picture how these things would come together on a tray of treats that I would actually either serve to people who come to visit, or bring to a gathering at someone else’s house. If it wasn’t treat-tray appropriate, then when specifically would I use the item? It’s easy to get carried away thinking about all the different treats you’d like to make, but if you won’t actually have an opportunity to serve them, and if you won’t actually have anyone who will want to eat them, then it kind of defeats the purpose of having these things on hand, made, and ready to go throughout the season.
The other factor that I had to consider was how often I realistically wanted to bake during the weeks/months leading up to Christmas. How much do I actually have time for in my daily life right now? Since I’ll be starting my baking in a few weeks, life will probably be pretty much the same as it is right now. It’s easy to start to think that we’ll somehow magically have all this extra time “in the future” when we’re making fun plans like this, but you’ll probably be more successful with whatever you’re planning for if you’re really realistic and think in concrete terms.
So currently I like to bake about once or twice a week. I usually like to make my Sunday morning cinnamon rolls, and then I try one other thing at some point, just for fun. So, for my Christmas baking plan, it would make sense to bake one thing a week to save into the freezer, which is just enough to have fun with holiday baking, give me a pretty good amount stored up in my freezer, and not stress me out too much. If I want to start playing around with my Christmas baking in late October, and be done in early-mid December, that I’ll probably need about six to seven items on my list.
What’s on my Christmas Baking Wishlist for This Year
Once I added in my non-negotiable items, I had just a few spots for trying out new things, which was just enough to allow me the chance to pull out my favourite cookbooks and have some fun choosing what I might want to try, without causing me to get completely overwhelmed. Here’s what made the cut. 🙂
This is something we make every year and the kids actually start asking about when we’ll make it in September or October. It takes about 4 minutes to make so it’s basically the easiest Christmas treat you can make. Find the recipe here.
Peppermint Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread
Kind of similar to the peppermint bark, but with shortbread. I’m always looking for new shortbread variations and this one that I made last year was a big success. Find the recipe here. Another good one is Cranberry Orange Shortbread if you want something a little different or you can just do basic shortbread, which is always a winner.
Some Kind of Pinwheel Cookie
I just think they’re pretty and fun and a good excuse to use sprinkles. If I’ve ever made something like this, it’s been a long time since I have, and I thought this would be a fun one to make with the kids.
Slow Cooker Sugared Almonds
I lied. This is pretty much the easiest Christmas treat you can make. Not a cookie. Not really “baking”. Still a good treat to have ready to go. Find the recipe here.
Ginger Molasses Cookie
I don’t have a go-to recipe for this yet, but I’d love to learn to make a really good batch of these because they’re just something everyone seems to love and they have all those good gingerbread-y flavours. So I’m going to make it happen!
Some Kind of Bar
In all honesty, I haven’t attempted making any kind of “bar” in over ten years because my first attempt back in the day was such a disaster and an eye-opening experience as to how much skill it takes to create the perfect square that holds together nicely when you slice it. I think I’m ready to give it a try again though. Feeling ambitious. 🙂
So that’s my Christmas Baking Wishlist for this year! It’s a good mix of super easy favourites, and new, slightly more challenging recipes. Also, it will allow me to have some good basics to be able to pull together a respectable cookie tray, but also leaves time for me to get inspired and try one or two spur-of-the-moment recipes if inspiration strikes.
Christmas Baking Essentials
- A Stand Mixer (if you’re buying your first mixer, chances are you’ll have it forever, so choose wisely. Buy the big one because the smaller cute ones often struggle with stiffer doughs if you bake often)
- Slow-Cooker (for those non-baking “baking” recipes)
- Non-stick Silpat Baking Mats
- Cooling Racks
- A good, Non-Stick Rectangular Pan for Bars
- Rubber Spatulas (Buy the good ones and keep extras on hand)
- Baking Sheets
- I love this super basic container for creating transportable cookie trays. Under $10!
MORE IDEAS LIKE THIS
- The Christmas Eve Box Tradition for Spending Christmas at Home
- What to do in October to Prepare for Christmas
- Five Semi-Sneaky Secrets of People Who Are Really Good at Christmas
- My Top Ten Simple Christmas Decor Ideas Using Things You Already Have
- How to Make a Classic Bow Christmas Tree Topper
- The Creek Line House Christmas Archives
This post contains affiliate links.
Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.