"Christmas cookies are like the zucchini of December," said a good friend who helped me make all these cookies. I sent her home with a couple boxes, and kept most of them (because I had more things to do with them, hence the quote). In truth, I didn't have too much trouble getting rid of my share. I gave a bag to each friend I saw one night, as well as to a party. Hubby took a bunch to his friend's party and they were gone. In fact, we didn't have enough. Next year, I might have to make more.
My friend and I made five different kinds of cookies: gingerbread, sugar, jam sandwich, peanut, chocolate, and Mexican Wedding Cakes. They were all great. I think the sandwich cookies won my vote for the best. They had jam in the middle and looked amazing when finished. Somehow I didn't get a photo before they were all gone.
The gingerbread dough was brought by my friend. She made this recipe from her family coffers, it is actually for a ginger bread house, but we made cookies and made sure they were kept in air tight containers so they didn't get too hard. We had so much fun decorating these guys.
We also made the traditional peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses.
These cookies are SO MUCH fun to make. I loved pressing in the kisses right at the end. Next time I will have to be careful not to mix the dough too much (I got a little mix happy with the stand mixer. Can I just tell you how much I love my stand mixer? It is amazing, and it made making all these cookies so much easier.).
These Wedding Cookies melt in your mouth. They are so good. I tired to make them more round, but that did not work. To speed up the sugar coating step I put them in a big zip-lock bag and shook.
We took a break for some egg nog and rum. This is a very important step.
This is the only picture I have of the sandwich cookies. I sprinkled the top ones (with the holes) with powdered sugar and put a bit of jam in the middle. The jam shows through the window. They look great. They were also so yummy.
Organizing a Cookie Party
Lots of people host cookies swaps, but I like to host a cookie baking party. There is something fun about actually making the cookies together and decorating them with a friend. Just be prepared to spend a long time cooking. We took six hours.
I had my friend bake a couple double batches of her favorite cookie dough. I did the same. A third friend was supposed to come but could not make it at the last moment (this is the story of my life this year).
I provided the icing and sprinkles. My friend brought some decorating supplies too.
I did have a plan to make chicken soup and have it ready for when we needed to eat something besides cookie dough, but this fell through after the first cookie party date was canceled because hubby was sick. So instead we had re-fried Chinese food (it was still yummy). Point is (I'm getting there), having snacks are a good idea.
Drinks are also good. We had egg nog, water, and apple cider...and tea, I always have tea.
Finally, have boxes and bags ready for the end of the party. You want your guests to have a way to take all their hard work home. Next year I plan to head to the dollar store and buy a bunch of tins. I did bags this year and they just don't keep the cookies fresh.
So, instead of swapping cookies and making them home alone, bake some with a good friend and have some fun.
I gave a bunch of cookies to some friends who are bachelors and don't get a lot of home baked goods. They were so happy to have a nice little gesture from me. It felt really good to share some Christmas cheer.
So have cookie party and spread the cheer...next year.