HOLIDAY BAKING: This is a job for Starbucks

 3 days.

648+ dozen cookies.

2 jams.

Kitchen gifting is grueling work. I take two days off and bake a slew of Italian cookies with my mom and sister. Then a third day I bake off 11 batches more. This is dough and batter I've had stored in the freezer for a few months. I start at the end of October and make 2 batches a weekend. I shape, pre-form and wrap tightly these cookies as I go, labeling each one. Then they get all baked off and finished in a flurry of exhausting activity this week. Honestly, slice and bake cookies are best a tad frozen, so this is great tip.

But this amount of work is not easy to keep up. I started at 8 a.m. Tuesday and did not finish until 1:30 am. Half way through day 3 I stop, rub my lower back, look up at the sky and ask the good Lord why I do this every year? Then somehow I get amnesia because I do it all over again every holiday. Every year I falter near the end of the marathon, almost give up and go lay down with a glass of wine.

What do you need to not only keep your holiday spirits up, but your energy too when you are baking away for friends and family?

Enter Starbucks, the one coffee purveyor that really knows how to assist the Christmas crazy. You get the aromatic holiday flavors, and you get the caffeine you need to keep going. I brew up Starbucks holiday blend in the morning to get my engine roaring while my oven preheats and some of my batter defrosts. Their holiday blend has the right balance of smooth and spicy, and smells great with butter and sugar baking in the oven.

Then late afternoon, once I get through 2/3rds of the cookies, my lower back is screaming, I've got at least two major burns on my hands or arms and my fingers are raw from washing baking sheets all day, I heat up some hot water, put my feet up and mix myself a hot peppermint mocha Via. The aromatic peppermint lifts my spirits, the warmth of the cup soothes me. It gets me back into the giving, holiday spirit and kicks me out of my chair and refocused to finish out the last 2/3rds.

Make sure you have plenty of Starbucks holiday beverages to sip on while you are doing your baking! It will keep things moving in your kitchen and keep the holiday smile on your face!

The plate above is what my plates consist of this year. Below are links to the recipes should you wish to make any! Plates and tins go to neighbors, family and friends, clients, coworkers, teachers and special service industry people. 

It's my way to share the love. Happy holiday baking peeps!

Urban Domestic Diva Cookie Plate 2015

Double chocolate hazelnut biscotti

Cornmeal lemon blackberry sage

Eggnog bites

Peppermint candy twirl

Nutella two bites

Lemon lavender shortbread

Chocolate coffe ribbons

Pistachio chocolate chips

Spiced bizochitos

Lime cremes

Coffee sugar

Please note: Starbucks Holiday blend and the fabulous Peppermint Mocha Via and hot cocoas were provided by Starbucks. All thoughts, opinions and obsessions about Starbucks coffee are completely my own. Thanks! #starbucks #starbucksholidayblend @starbucks #peppermintmocha #via



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