Sunday, December 3, 2006

T minus 14 days and counting

It is exactly 2 weeks until Cookie Day, our annual holiday party where our family, friends, and neighbors gather to sample tasty morsels, to catch up with one another, and [hopefully] to take some tins of cookies home with them.

Last week I inventoried our pantry, so we know what we have and what seems to have been used up and never replaced. A few days ago, Ken and I sat down and reviewed our stash of recipes to determine which ones we wanted to try again, like the make-your-teeth-itch-they're-so-sweet Lemon Bars ... and which ones we wanted to give a pass, like the low-fat Snickerdoodles that were somehow rubbery tasting. Ick.

This tradition comes from Ken's family, and I partook in it when we were first dating. Armed with two ovens and a larger kitchen, Ken's mom handled Cookie Day with efficiency, and baking took place from early morning until late at night, each cook taking turns at the counter, dipping from giant bins of flour & sugar.

When Ken and I unofficially "took over" Cookie Day, we were forced to reduce it in scope, having only a tiny kitchen in a 900 square foot apartment. The first year, we made 8 different kinds of cookies that day, and our guests brought maybe another 8 kinds, and we managed to host about 15 people in our apartment. I still don't know how we pulled that off.

We now have more space for entertaining [last year we hosted 37 people] and a larger kitchen, but we've also learned a valuable lesson: we'd rather be socializing with our loved ones than whipping up things in the kitchen! So, we have to start a couple of weeks in advance, making cookies, and then hustling them into the freezer as soon as they are completely cooled. There are some varieties where this just doesn't work, so those are made the day before, or are singled out as one of the 2 cookies we will make ON Cookie Day itself.

We have kind of a new trend that looks like it'll be carried on this year: People bringing supplies & making their own treats upon arrival! One friend made candied nuts two years ago -- they smelled divine cooking & were extra-tasty warm. This year, one of my friends says she wants to make pizelle (I don't think I'm spelling that right, but I've seen them before), so will bring her special iron, and make them here. My parents have a chocolate moulding machine they said they will bring along, if they can remember, which should be a huge source of entertaining for the tweenies in attendance.

All in all, can you go wrong with people you care about and unbelievable amounts of carbohydrates? I didn't think so. *smile* So, I've got one batch of cookies done [M&M cookies], and we'll try to crank out another 10 kinds in the next 12 days. Wish us luck!


nat said...

those look soooo yummie!

Julie Ann said...

Oh yum - you have me drooling here.

lindstrom6 said...

I sooooo wish I lived close by. I have seen (and drooled) over past cookie parties, and I want to be a guest (WAH!!)

I am tring a new cookie this year. Peppermint meringue! Have fun and take lots of pictures.

Linda said...

I'm holiday cookie maker too -- can't wait to pick out the recipes and start making them :)

Kathy said...

This sounds like so much fun!!!