Did Someone Say Christmas Cookies?

My children have outgrown Santa Claus and I do as much shopping as I can on-line, but one enduring holiday tradition is baking cookies. Every year since 1998 a group of us have blocked off  a weekend day in December to get together and bake cookies. We each make double batches of two different recipes, and someone brings pre-baked cut-outs that we decorate while the other cookies cool.  It’s like a cookie exchange but we do the baking together.

It started off as a way to bake more complicated recipes than we might try on our own, but has become a way to really catch up and have the types of conversations that only come about while working side-by-side, elbow-deep in cookie dough over several hours. 

Yesterday we started baking at 8:00 am and were done adding the last sprinkles to the cut-outs by 3:00 pm. Here’s a sampling of what we made. 

Christmas Cookies

Ginger Spice Cookies

Forgive the un-edited pictures. I was busy baking and am exhausted!

Christmas Cookies

Butterscotch Shortbread

Christmas Cookies

Date Pinwheels

Christmas Cookies

Bee Sting Bars

Christmas Cookies

Peppermint Meltaways

Christmas Cookies

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Eggnog Spritz Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Decorated Cut-Outs

Last year was the first and only year I missed. Partly because I had a business trip in December, but also because I was having a rough time and not sure I could put on a happy face for a whole day of baking. This year I’ve come to realize that nobody’s life is what it seems on Facebook, and I needed to spend time with my friends more than I needed to pretend that my life is perfect. 

By the time we were done, this was my share of the cookies. Now they are all safely apportioned into tins or stashed in the freezer until my son gets home from college–or until I hear them calling my name. ๐Ÿ˜‰


What is your most enduring holiday tradition?

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16 Responses to Did Someone Say Christmas Cookies?

  1. Carla says:

    Oh I love this and just think and envision even hours of baking frolicking JOY at your house entirely ensured ๐Ÿ™‚
    Because that was it right?
    Carla recently posted…5 Ways to Combat Adult Peer Pressure.My Profile

  2. Jessie says:

    Did I read date pinwheels? If you don’t mind me asking, is there a certain recipe you use? They sound delicious!

  3. Marcia says:

    This is so fabulous! I absolutely love holiday baking like this. My mom, sisters and nieces all used to come over and do the same. Sadly the tradition has fallen away.
    Marcia recently posted…Weekly Wrap: Party EditionMy Profile

  4. Baking holiday cookies is one of my favorite traditions too! I usually get together with my sister and two cousins and we bake a whole bunch of stuff and decorate a whole bunch of cookies and watch Christmas movies. It’s the best although it’s changes a bit since having kids! This year we’re actually opting to just decorate gingerbread houses instead of dealing with the children and their mess but I’m sure we’ll be baking some cookies too!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…This Not That: Common Yoga MistakesMy Profile

  5. Chaitali says:

    Wow, look at all those cookies! This sounds like a delicious tradition. We generally pick one of the recipes from the Washington Post’s cookie special and bake those but I love the variety you get your way ๐Ÿ™‚
    Chaitali recently posted…Weekly reviewMy Profile

  6. oh my I would have a hard time not eating all of those if they were in the house. Love Holiday baking too!
    Deborah Brooks @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Ratatouille Soup-Meatless MondayMy Profile

  7. Yum! Making cookies is that one tradition that never grows old! I end up doing most of the baking, but since everyone is so appreciative, I don’t mind at all!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…A Whole Bunch of NothingMy Profile

  8. Elle says:

    That’s A LOT of baking! Everything looks so good though! I have a friend who is hosting a cookie exchange this year, so I’m going to be doing quite a bit of baking as well. I just haven’t chosen what to make yet! Your date pinwheels do look intriguing though.
    Elle recently posted…Iron Deficiency Anemia โ€“ symptoms and solutionsMy Profile

  9. Karen says:

    Your cookies cameo out so cute! especially the wreaths ๐Ÿ™‚
    FB always make me feel lonely…that is why I don’t look at it much.
    laughter and fun is good for the soul and it look like baking brought both.
    Karen recently posted…VA Runner Blue and Gray Half RecapMy Profile

  10. HoHo Runs says:

    What a mouth watering post. I love cookies! I make candy and other treats with my teens a weekend or so before Christmas. And then I hide it all over the house.
    HoHo Runs recently posted…Cycle Scenes (WW # 18)My Profile

  11. Yum Yucky says:

    I’ve been meaning to get on over here to this Christmas cookie post of yours, and now here I am! Those wreath cookies are the so cute but my stomachs will not discriminate. I’ll take 10 batches of everything.

  12. Pingback: Fending Off The Holiday Feeding Frenzy - Got2Run4Me

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