In my head, there’s a giant countdown clock in my kitchen. It’s slowly ticking away, ready to end suddenly and dramatically as it strikes midnight, January 1, 2015.
At that moment, all of the happy, telltale ingredients of this season will be dead. Mindlessly tucked away to the back of the pantry, just like the box of hurriedly packed Christmas decor that is unlovingly shoved into the attic.
Cranberries, cinnamon, molasses, peppermint, gingerbread, you name it… Just like our Martha-decorated tree (Martha brand ornaments, not Martha figurines. That would be terrifying, and insipring) and the hand-sewn stockings my wonderful mom made for us, I’m not ready to let Christmas go yet.
But that dreadful hour is upon us. I was hit with the overwhelming realization that this is my last week of work before I’m off for a full week of Christmas. That means within the next 5 days, we’re conquering 2 Christmas parties, all the baking/packaging of cookies for coworkers, and the last minute buying and wrapping of Christmas gifts.
So let’s ignore that to do list for a while and focus on baked goods that deserve our undivided attention before this season ends.
The Christmas-y flavor du jour is maple syrup. Does this truly qualify as a Christmas flavor? Yes. Why? Because I only seem to eat it this time of year. Perhaps that’s because calories are inconsequential during the holidays, so I indulge in the likes of pancakes, waffles, and french toast, smothered in this goodness.
Scones are an excellent blank slate for intriguing ingredients. Once you find a basic recipe, you knead in whatever has you salivating the most. Currently in the queue for me: coconut lime, chocolate pecan, raspberry white chocolate, cinnamon sugar, bacon and cheddar… You get it. The opportunities are endless, and I plan to scone myself into pudgy comfort in these coming weeks.
I chose to incorporate oats and pecans into this recipe because when they team up with maple syrup, the bursts of happy rustic flavor are delightfully overwhelming for your tastebuds. And with the Pecan Tree being the state tree of Texas, it just feels right to toss that happy nut into anything and everything. Within reason, of course.
For a creamy glaze, I chose a basic milk and powdered sugar concoction, flavored with strong coffee. Don’t love coffee? Replace it with a teaspoon of vanilla. Or a drizzle of maple syrup. And then seriously reconsider why you don’t like coffee.
If you are able to serve these warm, with a cold glass of milk or a stout mug of coffee, call it quits for the day, because it can’t get any better. However, they are still delish at room temperature, happily scarfed in the car on your way to work.
Have other last minute Christmas sweets that are worth scrambling to make? I’d love to hear what they are and further ignore my ever-growing to do list!