So every year I bake a bunch of cookies. This year I went a little nuts and baked over 250 cookies for family, friends and of course my neighbors. Yes, I’m that neighbor that drops off little bags and baskets every holiday. The neighbors appreciate it, but it also helps draw our community together – everyone knows and helps each other. When we have to move I’m going to be so bummed.
In honor of my grandmother who passed this year, I did a lot of the cookies she used to make us when we were kids. Luckily I got all baking done before K started with her stomach flu.
So, here’s how I do my holiday cookie fest.
Day #1 – Make the doughs. Cookie doughs can be chilled overnight – it will not hurt them. So, I spend one day making the dough and put them in the fridge. Sure, it doesn’t look like a lot, but trust me, that’s a ton of dough.
Here are all the doughs – mixed between bags, plastic wrap and tupperware.
If you have drop cookies, prescoop the cookies and store them overnight in the fridge. All you have to do on baking day is pull them out, place them on a cookie sheet and you’re done! This is even better for freezing – they freeze well and then you can go straight from freezer to oven. To get uniform balls like this, I used my Baker’s Secret Cookie Dough Scoop. Do not try to use a cookie scoop on chilled dough – you’ll break the springs.
On Day #2 – Baking Day, I just put my drop cookies on the silpat mats. These are the hot cocoa cookies I got from Swiss Miss. But, I made some changes. I only used three packets of hot cocoa mix, added a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, reduced granulated sugar to 2/3’s cup and used mini marshmallows instead of the ridiculously overpriced marshmallow bits.
If you do make hot chocolate cookies, chill the dough. It keeps the marshmallows from oozing and making a mess.
I also made chocolate crinkles, which are my favorite!
Here are the cookies from baking day (which is Day #2). There’s tons – and this picture didn’t capture it all. Day #3 is decorating and assembly day.
I give family the cookie tins (full to the brim) and the neighbors paper plates. I go to Dollar Tree and buy their Christmas plates. Since they are flimsy, I double up (it’s $1 for 18, so I can afford to double up). I wrap them in plastic wrap, seal with a ribbon and use a tag. I wish I could take credit for this tag, but instead I got it from Make It, Love It. I did add our name to the printable, but they get credit for making such an adorable tag.
So, here is what I made (click on the name to see the recipe I used):
Gingerbread Men (both large and mini)
Sugar Cookies – My own recipe and a family secret, sorry!
Candy Cane Crunch Cookies – These are butter cookies mixed with candy cane pieces. Did that myself.
Phew. It was a lot of work, but well worth it. I remember how my grandma used to spend days making TONS of cookies, fudge, etc. She was the master. I wish I could have made as many as she used to – seriously all this doesn’t even come close to the work she used to do.
Hope you all have some great holiday cookie moments yourself – it’s honestly one of those memories that will stay with your family and kids for a lifetime.