It's the most wonderful time of the year!
I love the holiday season. I'm sure this is influenced by the proximity of my own birthday - but an entire season of fairy lights and good cheer, music, evergreen, parties and goodies, and (if we're lucky) snowball fights followed by warming our toes in front of the fire, and our bellies with cocoa or spicy spiked cider.
My biggest challenge of this season is the internal conflict. Threads of tradition stronger than determination, which effortlessly rewire the smart eating we've worked long and hard to establish. Nostalgia crashing upon the shore of knowledge and good intentions. We know sugar should not be consumed in excess, yet it is the prevalent white substance that we throw at each other with all the love and care we can. I mean look at the hours we spend creaming butter & sugar, baking and frosting, candying and brewing. While I firmly believe that the homemade is far superior to the boxes and bags of sugarlumps that are mass marketed in abundance, it does not bode well to consume in the volumes that are so readily produced.
That said, I have yet to figure out how to reconcile my desire for the treats that have become tradition with the desire to eat healthy. I do not buy in to making fake versions of treats; and I have been playing with reducing the pure sugar content - but honestly you aren't going to get a Healthy sugarcookie. Am I the only one that giggles inside anytime I read a recipe for Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies? I keep imagining a caveman beating a bush with his club, and watching cookie dough fall to be gathered. But don't get me wrong - I vastly appreciate the improvements and options that the gluten free (ala paleo) movements have provided to those who need it. But carob will never be chocolate, and I truly enjoy the flavor of homemade cookies and treats.
I do not want to abandon the tradition, the joy I experience when baking and sharing treats. But I do need to sit down and spend a little more time building up my Goldilocks Bakery concept - balancing indulgences with healthier and still delicious treats. Because for now, I'm finding I am avoiding baking, instead of whipping up the ganache covered salted caramel shortbread that inundates my dreams. Until then, I do plan to finish the Gingerbread House S'mores, as they've been on my to do list for the past 2 years.
So please forgive if I deliver a tin full of treats, as I work to distribute and reduce the amount sitting in my kitchen, or in my own belly.