I returned today from the annual sister cookie baking weekend at my mom's up in Wisconsin. My sister Anna and I actually started this tradition about eight years ago when she was living in Chicago. We made a list of cookies we each wanted to bake and even organized a schedule that included which cookies needed to be refrigerated before baking and which could be baked right away. All together, we made a whopping 30 types of cookies between the two of us and a friend of Anna's who stopped by briefly to help us but accidentally broke the oven instead. By Sunday evening, we were both sitting at the kitchen table sharing a much needed bottle of wine and looking at about an inch of flour, sugar and sprinkles on the kitchen floor. Thus was born a tradition.
Since then, we try to get as many sisters on board as possible. This year there were three of us, a three year old and my mom. We made a lowly 15 types of cookies, but it was just enough to put together plates and tins for good friends, neighbors, co-workers, family and still put some away for Christmas day. We are pretty serious about the cookie baking at Christmas time in our house. There are some recipes that just HAVE to be made--they are non-negotiable. These include mini chip snowballs, island cookies (we use macadamia nuts in these instead of walnuts), mandel bread and anise biscotti. The last two recipes are from Cookies Unlimited by Nick Malgieri. I have to admit to having a flour and sugar crush on this man. Everything I have ever made from any of his books about baking has been amazing. If you like to bake, you should definitely add a book of his to your library.
It is just as important to add a few new recipes to the mix as it is to keep making the old ones. This year, these included Greek butter cookies, crock pot peanut clusters (not really a cookie but there are no steadfast rules here...), cardamom butter squares, and peanut butter thumbprints.
|crock pot peanut clusters|
|cardamom butter squares|