A Holiday Bakesale, Christmas Parties and Non-Stop Baking

December is always a busy month for everybody and this year has been no different for me. This year, for the first time ever in my life, we will spending Christmas away from home. We will be with close friends and family, but nevertheless, away. That means I have to be a lot more organized with my time and get every detail ready before the trip.

The month has been full of office parties, dinner parties and bakesales. Of course, I always volunteer for the dessert buffets. I can never get tired of doing it. So here is a little sampler of what I have been busy with the last week.

Curly-cue’s school had a fund raising bakesale for which I made some mini chocolate cupcakes. I was impressed with the amount of work that many parents put into these events and I wish I had my camera with me to show you the incredible treats that everyone brought that day.

We also had a combined Christmas and Hanukkah party at my dear friend Deena’s house. My friends seem to really like tarts and comfort desserts so I made a classic apple and hazelnut frangipane tart that we served with vanilla ice cream. Simple but delicious.

And finally, I made a large batch of chocolate chip cookies for all the kids that attended the different parties. I wrapped them individually in glassine paper with the custom holiday tags that Suann made from me. I love them.

I hope you are enjoying these days of planning, cooking and dining!

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66 Responses to “A Holiday Bakesale, Christmas Parties and Non-Stop Baking”

  1. Love your packaging and presentation!

  2. Congratulations! The packaging for the cookies is adorable. The mini chocolate cupcakes must have been a hit.

  3. Yes, what a great packaging! Your pictures are perfect too…



  4. Christy says:

    Aran, what are those snowflakes and strips made of? Rolled fondant? They look so cute!!

    I love your packaging for those cookies!! They must’ve taken you a lot of time to make–no wonder you are so busy!! And I haven’t even started looking for presents for everyone yet!!

  5. Vera says:

    All goodies look wonderful, Aran! Beautifully presented!

  6. Everything looks so soothing! I love those packets of cookies!!

  7. The little cookie treats are lovely – a beautiful collaboration for a special treat.

  8. Maya says:

    Those little glassine packets are too adorable! I checked out the simple song website – gives me ideas!

  9. I love the wrappings and that stand that says EAT! Lovely!

  10. VeggieGirl says:

    You’re busy, for sure!! Love all the goodies :-)

  11. everything looks beautiful aran and delicious! how lucky everyone is to be touched by your incredible talents (even us from afar)… the tart is especially gorgeous…

  12. nadia says:

    Everything is beautiful! love how all of it looks together and individually!!!


  13. Esti says:

    como siempre…. eres fabulosa!! Y no lodigo en plan darte coba, no. Todo lo que haces parece magia, y además haces que parezca TAN bonito… En esas fiestas o reuniones tienen que flipar contigo!

  14. They look fantastic as usual! What’s on top of the chocolate cup cakes?

  15. miri says:

    Wow, you’ve put quite a lot of work into this, but the outcome is just marvelous! Wonderful packets you’ve made there! Awesome photos, as always!

  16. ovenhaven says:

    I absolutely adore those cookie packaging! I’ve always seen some beautiful uses of wooden pegs (even in weddings), but the use of wooden pegs for these lil packets is such a great idea!

    All the parties sound like fun :)

  17. Amber says:

    Your photos always take my breath away. A few questions? Where do you get your inspiration or were you always gifted with presentation? Where is the ‘eat napkin holder’ from? The holidays are the most difficult time for me when it comes to cooking, I work in a supermarket and we just come home exhausted. I always pop back into it come January. Your page today was peaceful which is a blessing to me.

  18. jennifer says:

    love the wrapping on the cookies with the tiny clothespins!

  19. Rita says:

    The cupcakes look so delicious! And so do the pics, as usual…
    Happy Holidays!

  20. Camila says:

    Have you already done white chocolate blondie? I tried once but didn’t work :(

  21. paula says:

    that packaging is perfect. i am actually doing zucchini bread for all those extra gifts. i am very excited. you inspire me.

  22. hmmm crap! i have no idea what im making everyone yet, ahhh these darn tests! almost done almost done, then i can start!

    the cookie packages are too damn cute. people would pay 10$ a piece for those!

  23. The tart looks perfect- I love simple fruit based desserts. The glassine bags are adorable too-
    Such beautiful things!

  24. What lovely dessert treats. Oh, to only get a taste…

  25. Aran says:

    Christy- the cupcakes are topped with snowflake sprinkles. yes, i bought them! :)

    Amber- thank you. inspiration… from many places i suppose. from photos i see, magazines, my own aesthetics… i’ve always been obsessed with packaging. the “eat” plate stand comes from Anthropologie. of course!

    Thank you everyone from taking the time to comment. Happy holidays to all of you too!

  26. Your recipients are very lucky! Beautiful!

  27. LA says:

    How lovely! I love the packaging! Can you tell me where you got the glassine paper?

  28. Aran says:

    LA- The glassine bags come from Nashville Wraps (www.nashvillewraps.com)

  29. idu says:

    Zoragarriak benetan gabonetako gozoki hauek, imajinatzen dut, zure sukaldeko usaina, egun hauetan.. ummmmm
    Eta paketetxoak.. zer esanik ez! irekitzeak ere pena emango lidake!

  30. Zerogluten says:

    Eres increible Aran. Todo tiene un toque especial en tí. Me encanta la elegancia que tiene todo lo que presentas y como lo presentas. Eres mi heroína!!!!! Yo de mayor quiero ser como tú!!!
    Besitos sin gluten

  31. What a ‘sweet’ way to wrap cookies for a give away!

  32. veron says:

    everything looks adorable!

  33. Tartelette says:

    Adorable! Now, that’s some lucky kids!!

  34. Aran, tienes magia para sacar fotografias, estudiaste eso? Una pregunta, los cuchillos, so de plastico? So muy lindos, y nunca he visto cuchillos de plastico con tanto detalle, donde los conseguiste? Otra pregunta, tienes una tienda en Florida donde yo pueda ir a comprar tus obras de arte cuando yo visite a la familia por esos lados?

  35. corine says:

    It always feels so good to visit your blog.

  36. chefectomy says:

    Your blog is so beautiful (I am giving it as a present to others…).

  37. Aran says:

    Cynthia- No, no he estudiado fotografia y es un hobby que estoy aprendiendo poco a poco segun practico. Los cuchillos son de plastico y los encontre en Anthropologie en una cesta que tenia todo de rebejas. No los he vuelto a ver desde entonces. Y no, no tengo tienda ni nada parecido. Algun dia quizas!

    Thank you everyone for your kind comments!

  38. morgana says:

    Qué preciosidades, Aran. Como siempre, me quedo extasiada viendo las fotos de todo lo que preparas, lo hace con un amor y un estilo…

    Que tengas unas muy felices Navidades, estés donde estés.

    Y muchas gracias por regalarnos día a día tantas cosas hermosas.

  39. Cakebrain says:

    Gorgeous presentation and fantastic photos!

  40. Toujours autant de délicatesse et de poésie…

  41. amy says:

    i love baking this time of year too! that apple frangipani tart looks amazing!

  42. Julia says:

    I love your bake sale glassine packets of goodies! It’s amazing, they all look yummy!

  43. Camille says:

    These all look lovely. I presented bags of black and white cookies to my sons soccer team last week. The bagged cookie is always a favorite and yours look so festive!

  44. Y says:

    Love the presentation of those cookies. December is always when I WISH I had more time to bake, to make gifts for friends and family. Unfortunately, it’s also the busiest time of the year for work!

  45. Aimée says:

    Sounds like my past few weeks, but throw a cookie swap in there too! Beautiful packaging. Anyone would be lucky to receive such a pretty gift!

  46. Mrs.French says:

    glassine just makes me happy…anyway, I just knew that the holidays with sweet aran would be prettier and taste better and I do believe I am right…safe travels my dear…xo t

  47. ChichaJo says:

    I can just come here and lose myself in your photos and beautiful creations…and always emerge from my visit refreshed and inspired! Happy holidays to you!

  48. Eunice says:

    Gasp. Aran you amaze me every time. I’ve just found and am a new follower of your blog. I absolutely love the way you packaged them and your photography! It makes everything so beautiful! Great job there!

  49. mădălina says:

    I Love LOVE LOVEEE your blog :) These are phenomenal ideas. Happy Holidays,


  50. Liska says:

    I wish I could buy something. Lovely presentation.

  51. Even in your busiest moments and most hectic seasons, you still place your laser-like attention on every detail to create beautiful and enduring memories for everyone. Have a wonderful trip and savor every moment. Looking forward to the New Year full of gorgeous pastries and desserts! XOXO.

  52. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful Aran. I love the little details. The snowflake sprinkles, clothespins securing the lovely holiday tags…

  53. Bea says:

    The decoration on those cupcakes is SO adorable. Really lovely. Have a wonderful holiday, Aran.

  54. There’s love & celebration, with PEACE, entwined in every frame Aran. Your home must smell wonderful! Breathtakingly beautiful post…have a good holiday season. Warm wishes to you & your wonderful family.

  55. gaga says:

    Wow, the presentation for everything is so beautiful!

  56. Wow! They look fantastic! What’s on top of the chocolate cup cakes? Lovely presentation. Looking forward for another good one.


  57. Aran says:

    Sujan Patricia- those are snow flake sprinkles and shredded coconut. thanks!

  58. David Lee says:

    After a whirlwind of holidays, baking cookies, wrapping gifts, shopping, Christmas Parties, travelling, and college & Bears football, I am back! Did I leave out eating…?
    Because I did that A LOT!

  59. Aparna says:

    all picture are very beautiful. I like the way you capture these photos.

  60. All are the very eye-catching and captivating designs which are full of charm and excitement as well.

  61. Marie says:

    i keep going back to old posts for ideas and inspiration and i find myself reading for hours at end! you have such a great eye, aran! i love all the little details.. but for the recipes, did you post them somewhere? i would so much like to try the frangipane.

  62. Julia Isabelle says:

    all of this looks amazingly beautiful!
    Could you by any chance post the recipe for the classic apple and hazelnut frangipane tart? It just looks sooo delicious!

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