Christmas baking

Every year I get together with my dad and sister to do a day of marathon baking. As both my sister and I have kids under 1 (plus my sister's older two), we decided to split the baking up over two days - it was still a marathon!

Day 1

My sister had a birthday party to take her kids to in the morning, so Dad and I started the day by making butter tarts, then prepping the crusts for tourtiere we'd make once my sister arrived. I hate making pastry, but I'm told the butter tarts turned out great (unfortunately, I can't eat them this year because of our daughter's dairy intolerance). The crust for the tourtiere ended up a little dry for both the butter and the non-butter version; I suspect part of this due to using shortening instead of lard. We finished off the day with a few batches of nuts and bolts and poppycock. Overall, I'd say going dairy free using Earth Balance buttery spread worked out okay for everything but the pastry (and I'm just not that good at making pastry). Ryan actually said he liked the poppycock better than in previous years.

Day 2

This was a day of torture for me. I spent most of it dealing with a cranky baby or making turtles. Those stupid things are a labour of love and contain so much dairy I can't even look at them without my daughter getting ill (she did have a minor reaction that night, so I suspect I licked my fingers by accident). My sister and dad also did up some shortbread and date squares, and one more batch of nuts and bolts. The dairy free date squares were very tasty - more like what I remember from my childhood than what we've been making in recent years (it's amazing the difference butter makes!). We had some extra time so we also tried making up a batch of sugar cookies. Mine ended up with a strange almond flavour which we suspect was due to the Earth Balance, though it doesn't contain any nuts.

 

I've split the recipes up in their own posts so this one isn't a mile long!

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