Tuesday, December 11, 2012

what cookies are you making this year?

on the winter solstice
Cookie Tray from 2011

I did a quick search of iPhoto to see what cookies I've been making the last few Decembers, and it looks like I had two years in a row where I practically didn't bake at all (in 2009 and 2010)!  Weird,  but I'm not totally surprised.  I used to stress myself out,  trying to assemble a huge variety of cookies.  And then I'd had enough and took some time off.  And then last year I made a tray again, but messy and not entirely Christmassy.

This year I have peanut butter surprise cookies and jam thumbprints made and in the freezer.  I also want to make cut-out and frosted Christmas shapes because my boys love that, and honestly, who can resist a pretty cookie in the shape of a tree or a dala horse?  I can't, so I do hope we get around to them.

These last couple years have been a process of accepting my real life.  I'm not a stay at home mom, I work full time and commute,  my job can be stressful, and my kids are young and they fight a lot.  So, I've been trying to embrace that reality and not get all crazy.  Last year's cookie tray worked out really well.  There are some very easy drop style cookies on there.  The gingerbread cookies are clearly kid-decorated and we only decorated them as long as held our interest, so about two-thirds of the batch stayed plain.  Those spritz cookies were done in a sense of fun and adventure, not guilt or obligation (and it was fun to get out and try that cookie press for the first time).

So what are you making this year?  Do you have any favorites that you make year and year? 


Jason said...

This winter break I want to make homemade chocolate chip cookies with my mom. We haven't made those in a while and Winter Break is a great excuse to bring out the mixer.

(lia) said...

Like you, I have stressed myself out in the past, attempting to make a wide variety of things. This year, I'm out of town until the 18th and didn't have time pre-trip due to a death in the family. Add in a full day road-trip to see my boyfriend's family and that isn't going to leave me much time. So I'm thinking I might just make a butter pound cake that's been popular in the past and this crock-pot apple butter recipe I saw. I'm thinking 8 hours in the crock pot is better than 20 minute baking times where I have to watch what's going on all the time!

Sarah said...

we do cookies, too...but when felt pinched for time we add peppermint sticks or candy canes along with hershey kisses. We deliver them to neighbors, friends, with hand made cards. One year we topped them with a hand made ornament, but that must have been at least two years ago before Isaac and Ethan started their lovely never ending play with me play with me topped by sibling rivalry moments. So...cookies, candy, voila! Don't stress, remember most people just like seeing you and knowing you thought of them :)

Carol Lang-Godin said...

How do the cookies hold up that you freeze? I was thinking about doing that.....make when you can and pull out when you need them! We'll make your sugar cookies (the dough is in the freezer!) for sure....they turn out great!

Our Adventures As A Family of 4.... said...

My mom passed away in May, so this Christmas I'm just not in the mood to do much of anything. I usually bake every year. This year I bought Betty Crocker mixes of gingerbread, snickerdoodles and mint chocolate chip. I also bought the complete fudge kit. I guess I just wanted to cheat a little this year. I did buy these cookie sheets that you fill the dough in and they come out in shapes. I just don't feel in the mood to do much else. So I think I will give myself a break this year. I also have some chocolate chip banana bread in the freezer that I will send in with my husband for his office. I always bake for them too. It's ok to have a break, like you posted, I think. Your cookies look great. We will decorate our gingerbread men and figures. So the kids will get to do satisfy their decorating cookies with that.


Chris said...

I also work, commute and deal with bickering and added on have home improvement things going on all the time. so i will try and squeeze some cookies in because there is something nice about cookies! i might make the spritz cookies again - so pretty and easy! (but no one ate them last time 2 years ago...) and definitely some peppermint meringues. and cutout cookies. (we cheated and did the trader joe's gingerbread house this year instead of making our own, but with the end of the semester craziness, it was too much to squeeze in.) we are hosting the neighborhood party, so i am hoping that we have leftovers from cookies people bring, too!

Mamie Girl said...

Hi Mary Beth, love how you said your just dealing with the reality of life- such a great tip. We all try to do too much at this time of year and have such high expectations of ourselves!

Rain said...

I find myself overwhelmed often and am usually only able to bake one type of cookie each season.
Luckily we've been participating in a cookie swap each year where we trade cookies with other friends so we come home with 8 dozen different cookies in exchange for the ones we bring.
This year we are making these ones-
which look simple and yummy!
I hope my letter found you. : )

Mary Beth said...

Rain--yes! Thank you so much! I'll e-mail you. :)

Mary Beth said...

Molly--I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I hope your holidays are peaceful and healing.

Karen said...

I bake lots of cookies, both to give away and to take to various Christmas activities. My favorites are any variation of butter cookie--I make lots of shortbread cookies, Mexican wedding cakes, Spitzbuben (a shortbread cookie with jam sandwiched between), shortbread blossoms, etc. What kind of cookie press do you have? I'm frustrated with mine and would like to get a new one.