There you have it. The results of the annual Christmas Cookie Baking Marathon! Upon first glance it doesn't actual appear very Christmassy though does it? Hmmm. I expect that I didn't chose well for this sample photo. Sorry. I distinctly recall making red and green icing, as well as orange and white and why I made orange I do not recall. Made sense at the time :)
And the colours don't matter anyway. It's about the flavours and the fragrance and the taste and I can only assure you that those are absolutely present. Chocolate and ginger and cinnamon and lemon and peanut butter and molasses and peppermint and...well yes. Very Christmassy tastes indeed.
I made fewer cookies than usual, only these 11 types which means it was only two days of baking instead of three and that was kind of nice, I will admit. Oh I'm not complaining. Please understand. I have never minded for one second the effort involved in making 15, 16, 17 or more different types of cookies as I normally would do. But it is a lot of work. It meant making at least 7 (usually more) types of cookies in a day which means that is pretty much all that I do that day. For two full days and sometimes part of a third day. The last day is about mostly bagging and labelling and ever so carefully packing, addressing and ultimately schlepping to the UPS store. Followed by another day of cleaning. Everyone's favourite.
This year, this very wierd year of Pandemic 2020, it occurred to me to ask the kids ahead of time, do you actually want cookies again this year? And if so, which cookies? How many? And very importantly, are you able to share the goodies with others?
Y'see, my kiddos (that includes their spouses) are such lovely, generous, kind souls that instead of just keeping all of the cookies for themselves (and they could - cookies freeze wonderfully), they share. They share with friends, with other family and with their co-workers. But is it allowed this year? Do other people feel comfortable eating food that came from an unknown source (well of course my kids know me, but their co-workers.......nope)? Is it ok to just put a platter of cookies in the break room and allowing folks to "have at it" this year?
As it turns out, the answer mostly was no. Not allowed. Ok. And then there are the ones who normally worked outside the home but now work remotely from home. There are no co-workers with whom to share in that particular situation. Well other than the cats and it's probably not good for kitties to eat cookies.
So operating on the requests given by all six kids, the result was only 11 types of cookies. Some of the cookies were requested by more than one individual. Which meant only a day and a half of baking, half a day of bagging, labelling, packing, addressing and shipping. And one day of cleaning and yes, it honestly does take me the bulk of one day to sufficiently clean when I'm finished with a baking marathon. I am an appallingly messy baker. But a fairly good one so it's worthwhile.
In case you are wondering, the 11 types of cookies I ended up making this year were (from left to right, top to bottom in the photo above) were: (top row) Funfetti, Dirty Snowball, Lily Cookies (sometimes called russian teacakes of mexican wedding cookies), (second row) Snickerdoodles, Gingerbread Men, Chocolate Crinkle, (third row) Gingersnap, Peanut Blossom and Chocolate Chip (made with mini M&M's) and (bottom row) Lemon Bar and Frosted Sugar Cookies.
Did I miss making all of the ones I usually do? Kind of. But I also, in a way, was a little relieved. It was kind of nice to be done earlier than usual. Then too, because I started baking on Thanksgiving Day, I was able to get the boxes to UPS for shipping on Saturday and still get the kitchen (and environs - like I said I am a very messy baker) clean and still have Sunday off. When it was over I was well and truly pooped out. I slept late the day after it was over and took a nice nap on Sunday.
The cookies should arrive at their destinations sometime today and hopefully the kids will be pleased. There is no reason to believe that they won't be. The cookies turned out pretty good. And they have never complained before. Rarely do any of the cookies break in shipment. I do a fairly good job of packing and quite frankly, a broken cookie tastes just like a whole one. Just all of the calories leak out of the broken ones. My mother told me that so it must be true!
Will I go back to making the larger batches of cookies next year? Perhaps. Honestly I have no idea. It depends on what the kids want or need. I present to them whatever it is that they wish. Their needs and desires change. Heck the entire world is changing and, and therefore, I must change with it. But no matter how much society changes, no matter how sophisticated or technologically advanced we become, regardless of pandemics or lifestyle readjustments, cookies are still yummy. Which means that I, as a baker of cookies, will always be pertinent.
I wish you a very yummy holiday!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.