Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Cookie caboodle

Hello! Thank you for your comments on my post about My Christmas Treasury! I'm so happy to know that you enjoyed seeing some of it, and that some of you even have your own memories of this book!

Well, I've spent the past four days in a veritable baking frenzy! I started on Friday afternoon when we came home from school and I finished mid-afternoon Monday. I used 12 cups of flour, 9 sticks of butter and so much sugar I stopped keeping track. I enjoyed every bit of my bakeapalooza, though. I always bake a massive amount of cookies on the last weekend before school ends for the holiday break; we have our annual art show at school on the last Wednesday every year (that's tomorrow), which also includes a bake sale. We're asked to donate cookies to the cause. I always give them a lot of cookies, usually most of what I bake. I also send a fair amount to work with the Bear, to share with his coworkers. He took some in today and I'll give him more on Thursday. This will leave us with plenty to eat at home, rest assured, but not so many that we're pigging out on cookies day and night.

This year's cookies are a mixture of some old favorite recipes and a few new twists, but nothing really exotic. I've tried that in the past, and while I love to experiment with baking, I find that when you need to make tons of cookies fairly quickly, it really pays to stick with simple, prolific recipes. With that in mind, I chose recipes that I've made before, mostly sticking to plan, but I made a couple of tweaks just for variety. Looking at my cookie plate above, going clockwise from the top, these are my recipes:

Nestle Tollhouse Mint Chocolate Delights
Land O' Lakes Mexican Wedding Cakes
Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookies (I substituted white chocolate chips and added dried cranberries for a more festive look)
Land O' Lakes Spritz Cookies (I divided my dough in half and dyed it red and green; 8 drops of liquid food color for each half, and decorated the trees with nonpareil sprinkles and the hearts with red sparkle sugar)
Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Blossoms

I'm happy with all of my cookies. I think the spritz cookies came out really cute and I'm just as in love with that cookie press as I was last year (I have this cookie press, by Kuhn Rikon). I used the heart disc for the first time and was a bit surprised to find that it took a bit more skill to get nice shapes than it does for some of the other shapes, but I got the hang of it. I think next time, I'll try smoothing down the extrusion ridges with a wet fingertip. I just love using my press, though. I should have gotten one a long time ago.

Guess what else we made this weekend? TAMALES! Yay. I guess 250-plus cookies just wasn't enough kitchen labor for us. Ha. We love to make corn tamales just before Christmas every year. We enjoyed our tamales for dinner on Sunday night with some homemade red chile sauce, a real New Mexican meal.


  1. Well it would be a hard decision to choose just one of those, they all look delicious and I'd like to try one of each.

  2. A busy weekend in the kitchen, well done you, those cookies look delicious. I love the sound of tamales as well, I shall go and investigate them further. CJ xx

  3. Awesome and love all those cookies and would enjoy Tamales too xo

  4. Yum! You have been so busy! Those mint cookies look so yummy!

  5. Yummy! I wish you would have invited me over for tamales! LOL!
    Your cookies are gorgeous!

  6. Such a festive looking plate of cookies you have there! They look delicious! I made eighteen dozen cookies and four dozen bars the first week of December for friends and family. It was non stop baking for several days. I enjoyed it, though! I loved the white chocolate cranberry bars I made so much that I made another batch yesterday. Oops!

  7. Wow, that's a lot of baking! I've hardly done any this year as we try not to eat sugar plus we're both trying to keep our weight in check. I did make some molasses cookies and they're in the freezer. And I'm going to make my grandma's butter balls today. Both those cookies will be put out on Christmas Eve for the company that's coming to my house.

    I *love* homemade tamales. There's a place not too far from us where they specialize in papusas and tamales and I always get one of each. I've never made my own at home.

    If I don't talk to you before Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful one with your precious family. xoxo

  8. Lots of lovely cookies. Your place is indeed in a festive mood. Thank you for all you share. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  9. Oooh, yum! Your cookies look delicious. Good thing I'm not your neighbor LOL.

  10. Pretty cookies. I never make Christmas cookies. I've just never enjoyed baking and we certainly don't need to calories. When we gather Christmas Eve I'll have a couple that my SIL will bring and that will be enough for me. I make egg casseroles for everyone to take home Christmas Eve for their breakfast the following morning. Sounds like you've been busy! Enjoy your time off.
    Sandy's Space

  11. I've just stared at your cookie photo for ages and then followed the links and read all the recipes - it all seems to very foreign and exciting to me. They all look so accomplished. No-one really bakes Christmas cookies here, it's all mince pies and Christmas cake, all of which are based on dried fruits and alcohol (which luckily I like). I am seriously craving a cookie now though.


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