You have the best intentions. You clip recipes from the paper and even make a shopping list so you can create delicious gifts for the special people on your holiday list. And then your son comes down with the flu, your husband reminds you of his company party and your best-laid plans melt away faster than Frosty in Cancun.
Have I got a backup plan for you. Here are some local companies that are making those tasty items you would if you had the time.
Goldie's Scones: A basket of warm gingerbread walnut or raspberry white chocolate scones fresh from your oven will warm the hearts of teachers and neighbors. Goldie's Scones, produced in Lakemoor, are available in 15 sweet and four savory flavors. They come frozen in boxes of 12 (smaller, 2-ounce scones) or six (more traditional size) for about $15. You bake them at home at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Consider pairing the scones with a tin of tea or giftcard to a coffee shop as a nice treat for your stylist or car-pool partner. Look for Goldie's Scones at area Sunset Foods and specialty and gourmet markets. Or order online at goldiesscones.com.
Mrs. Prindable's Handmade Confections: If only you could lay your hands on a big cooper kettle you'd swirl jumbo apples in homemade caramel and dunk them into bowls of freshly melted dark chocolate. Well, you can lay your hands on gourmet taffy apples created by this Niles company.
The elves at Mrs. Prindable's have created two new flavors for the holidays: Dark Chocolate Raspberry (a Granny Smith dipped in dark chocolate, rolled in fresh raspberries and drizzled with fancy dark chocolate) and Double Chocolate Mocha (rolled in cappuccino chips and dark chocolate coffee beans and smothered in milk chocolate), great for your college-bound baby sitter or cousins in Vermont. The apples cost $22.95 each (or get a gift assortment) and can be ordered online at mrsprindables.com. If you order by Dec. 20, they'll deliver by Christmas. Save shipping and stop into the workshop at 6300 Gross Point Road, Niles.
Wishing on gingerbread: You can hardly walk into a bakery, coffee shop, restaurant or grocery store this time of year without being overwhelmed by the sweet aroma of gingerbread.
Gingerbread has been transformed into lattes, pancakes, doughnuts, muffins, martinis and more. If you're a traditionalist, head to Panera Bread for a gingerbread man cookie.
A well-seasoned, not-too-crisp and simply decorated cookie costs $1.99. Through Dec. 19, 20 cents of the price goes to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Pick up a dozen gingerbread bagels for your co-workers while you're there.
• Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at email@example.com or (847) 427-4524. Listen to her discuss food and restaurant trends on Restaurant Radio Chicago, 5 to 6 p.m. Saturdays on WIND 560 AM.