As you may or may not remember, Halloween and Thanksgiving mark the beginning of Cookie Season. We usually give away a lot of cookies to help celebrate the winter holidays and New Year. This year, I have to admit that the baking bug has been slow to bite. I just haven’t been feeling the cookie urge. We’re all pretty wiped here.
The truth is, however, that the stressed-out/we’ve-all-been-through-a-tough-time feeling is exactly the feeling that Cookie Season is meant to address. Baked-goods gifts perform a very special function. They say “thank you” or “I appreciate what you’ve done” in a way that is personal without violating the recipient’s space or making a big deal out of it. Hopefully, they provide a very needed moment of respite from the stressed-out/we’ve-all-been-through-tough-time blues.
So … with that thought, I’m back in the kitchen baking. Of course there are cookies coming out of the oven that will make their way into cookie plates and baskets, but in order to jump start my baking enthusiasm I’ve come up with a slightly different idea for some of the gifts – I’m giving breakfast baskets.
Why a breakfast basket? Lots of reasons. First, it’s a change from all the holiday cookies that are being passed around. Also, if the recipients aren’t indulging in baked goods themselves (I do recognize that some of us are watching our weight), they have a nice breakfast for family, friends or house guests. There’s also the extra benefit that the breakfast goodies can be easily divvied up among a group of people.
More importantly, what exactly is a breakfast basket? Mine are going to include:
- Maple apple butter (look for the recipe in upcoming posts)
- Orange marmalade (so far I’ve been making Alton Brown’s Orange Marmalade recipe, but I’m considering branching out)
- Monkey Muffins
- A mini chocolate-walnut snack cake
- Fancy tea and/or coffee