Start a Christmas Cookie day tradition this year! For me, it started about 15 years ago when I baked cookies with my sweet mother in law, Theo. A few years we baked in her log home, a beautiful big kitchen and laid our treasures on her bar counter and dining room table. Then we started making them at my house, the house we used to live in. Even though our kitchen was a nook, we made it work by putting a big wooden cutting board over the sink. We would divvy up the cookies for home to give away to co- workers and friends and family. Last year I had two Cookie days, one with Theo when she visited from Florida and one at my sister Barb’s house with her, my niece and mom.
The Cookie tradition continues and today we celebrated baking, sistership, family and love all in one. We laughed and talked about life, my niece’s Kindergarten class and about future trips to Florida we are planning for next year. Bing Crosby and Judy Garland Christmas tunes played in the background as we rolled out gingerbread and mixed chocolate toffee cookies. The hot oven buzzed every few minutes and we hurriedly grabbed pot holders and checked the goods. “Not done, pretty close, done and ready to come out!” Sitting on cooling racks,they smelled delicious and the spicy ginger aroma coaxed the kitties in to investigate.
My niece rolled out dough, sometimes I helped and other times her mom, my sister Barb helped. Cutting gingerbread men, Santas and bells, she popped them on baking sheets to wait to bake.
What’s special about our cookie days is anything goes. I drank white wine while my sister had a shot of Baileys. We snapped photos of us by the tree and in the thick of cookie making. We enjoyed our labors and each other’s company.
Do you want to start this with your family or friends but not sure how it goes?
Let me give you some helpful tips:
*Decide who you wish to approach with the idea, sisters, brothers, mom’s, aunts, best friends, daughters, who ever likes baking cookies
*After deciding who will come, pick a mutual date, time and place that works for all. If you can’t decide where, choose one and the next year you can switch
*Decide who will bring what. I chose to make simple chocolate toffee cookies that could be mixed and spooned on the tray easily. I also made the gingerbread dough and refrigerated it for two hours for easy rolling. My mom brought peanut butter cookie dough for chocolate kiss cookies and my sister brought all the extras to decorate the gingerbread men.
*If you’re planning a few hours three or four types of cookies will do, because remember you have to share the oven and bakers cooling racks. We did three kinds and it worked very well.
*Write an ingredient list ahead and make sure you have what you need for your cookies. Each person coming will be responsible for their cookies. Sometimes it’s easier for them to mix it together at home and bring to bake and decorate.
*Prepare your kitchen by getting out cookie pans, cooling racks, scoops,cookie spatulas( to take off pan), bowls, spoons, measuring utensils and I got out my favorite big jar of cookie cutters. It usually sits on my high cupboard but today it had a place on the table so we could choose which cutters. The jar was a pickle jar and I found it on EBay for $20.
*Have cookie exchange guests bring plastic containers or tins to take their cookies home in
*Designate who has what space and make sure there is enough baking cookie sheets, scoops, spoons, etc
*Play a Spotify or a Pandora Christmas tune play list. Mine includes many old favorites of mine by Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Judy Garland,Andy Williams
*Plug in all the house twinkling lights and Christmas tree
*Wear your favorite apron and or Santa hat
*Take lots of photos and even videos to remember moments
*Lastly have lots of stress free fun and enjoy baking and your company!
Do you have family or friends over for cookie parties? What are your traditions?
All My Best,
Heart and Soul💗