I'm a big fan of carbs in just about any form, and I ended up focusing my holiday cooking on two items: one, homemade white bread, which is a Christmas staple in my family, and two, Cinnamon Buns From Heaven, which I've made a couple times before and are amazing.
Christmas Eve marked the first time I ever tried to make bread ... usually my mom or one of my sisters would do the honors. I was excited to try it myself though, since I secretly have this delusion that someday I will magically turn into a super domestic person that bakes their own bread, raises vegetables in a garden and cooks a from-scratch delicious dinner every night. (I'm a long ways from that -- last night I enjoyed chili given to me by my dear friend Amy warmed up in the microwave. Located next to a loaf of store-bought bread. In a kitchen with only canned or frozen vegetables, minus some baby carrots and a bag of lettuce in the fridge.)
I used a recipe from one of my mom's oldest cookbooks ... a Betty Crocker back from the 1950s or so. I love looking at this book, it's got a ton of retro illustrations and tips on hostessing. I was worried about the bread, since the texture of the dough seemed a little off when I was kneading it. My mom told me she doesn't normally use as much flour as the recipe states. Whoops.
After it rose a bit though, it looked fine. I followed the directions and let it rise twice, then we slipped the two loaves into the oven. It was long before we smelled something burning ... one of the loaves had ridden so much it was burning on the roof of the oven. My mom pulled them out, moved the racks and stuffed them back in. Not much harm done.
I smeared the loaf tops with butter after they got out of the oven and then had to wait until Christmas to find out how they were. And they turned out great! I was really happy, since we're all carb-lovers and not having bread would have been a travesty in the house.
Here they are, resting after being baked:
My other baking was the cinnamon rolls. These are, hands down, the best cinnamon rolls I've ever eaten. The recipe is from "The Best American Recipes 2000." This listing on Amazon even includes the recipe.
And here are four of them (the recipe made 18).