Tossing My Cookies

11:56 AM

I remember as a kid my mom spent countless hours in the kitchen in the weeks before the holidays baking cookies. If there was a party, I was at it with a beautiful tray of Mom's homemade cookies.  The kitchen would be covered in cookies. Sugar cookies, spritz cookies, meringue cookies, you name it - she made it! Kenny Rogers and Bing Crosby would go round and round on the record player, and Little Lisa would slowly go insane baking cookie after cookie.

In the years after I moved out, I slowly took over the cookie baking. First, my aunt in Texas handed her gingerbread recipe down to me. Then, I started making sugar cookies because Hershey loved them. Finally, when Stella D'oro stopped making pfefferneuse, I hunted down a recipe and started baking those, too, because they are my mom's favorite and I didn't want her to be disappointed.  I started to understand my mother's insanity in getting a cookie and a tray to look JUST RIGHT.

The year Hershey bought me my KitchenAid mixer was one for the books.  For years, I had either mixed the cookies by hand, or went to my mother's house to take over her kitchen for a night, where I would be there until 2 a.m. losing my marbles rolling gingerbread dough.  But that year, I got to make everything right in my apartment.  And it was AMAZING!  Until it was time to leave.  

I had meticulously baked and packaged about 7 trays of cookies.  Hershey stood by the door with 4 trays in his hands, waiting for me to gather up the rest.  I picked up the first tray and WHAM! - dropped it right on the floor.  And immediately started sobbing.  On Christmas.

Since then, I have slowly gotten OUT of cookie baking.  Space restrictions, electric ovens, and pregnancy have taken all of the gusto out of me.  This year, I swore it would be different.  I wanted Jane and Emma to have the same warm memories of Christmas as I had, of mom baking delicious smelling cookies while singing Christmas carols ad nauseum in the kitchen.

I have been collecting Christmas baking goods for WEEKS.  Red and green chocolate chips, Christmas themed cupcake decor, rolled oats and dried cranberries.  I was going to bake my little heart out.

Yes, this outfit really happened.

Saturday was the annual holiday party at our friends' house.  I promised cookies.  I was going to do it this year!  I dragged out the box of cookie trays, bought 2 dozen eggs, checked my sugar stock, and got to work.  At the suggestion of a fellow mommy blogger, I bought some packaged snickerdoodle dough, figuring it would be an easy way to beef up my baking with minimal prep. 

Boy, was I wrong.  

Saturday morning, I strapped Emma into the Baby K'tan and got to work.  I quickly realized that I had forgotten a.) butter and margarine, and b.) some of the cookies I was planning to bake had to be refrigerated for 2-4 hours.  I spent 10 minutes rolling snickerdoodle dough in cinnamon sugar.  When I put them in the oven to bake, I saw that I had rolled half of them into 1 1/2" balls, and the other half in 1 tspn balls.  I burned half of the cookies trying to get the other half to bake.  *F.M.L.*

A baby's eye view.

I then decided that I would just bake cupcakes, since those are usually my signature dessert, anyway.  I got them all ready and into the oven, and then Jane woke up from her nap.  In the process of changing Jane's diaper, getting her dressed, and letting her taste a cookie for the first time, I completely forgot about the cupcakes -- and overcooked them.  UGH.  This was not my day.

I said a little prayer of thanks that my friends are both understanding AND forgiving, finished the cupcakes anyway, and forged ahead.

This morning, I made a list of ingredients I needed in order to properly bake my Christmas cookies.  It looked like this. 

MAN was I unprepared.

So I'll be spending today trying to pretty-up.  I am going to go get my shaggy dog bangs trimmed, a mani/pedi, and take care of my eyebrows, which are starting to resemble this guy:

Not kidding.

Tomorrow I'll be in baking hell heaven.  Listening to Kenny Rogers.  On repeat.  I've posted my aunt's gingerbread cookie recipe here.  Be forewarned -- baking these is not for the weak of heart. 

I'm so excited to put Jane and Emma into their little Christmas outfits and see the looks on their faces when they see all of the presents for them.  They'll probably be more excited about the wrapping paper than the actual gifts, but I'm good with that.  We could probably just wrap up a BH&G magazine and let them go nuts.  Something about seeing their tiny, pudgy hands reaching for the colorful paper, slapping and ripping away at it, just warms my heart to the fullest.  And THAT'S what the holidays are all about, aren't they?

We are visiting 3 sets of grandparents and one set of best friends this year.  A LOT of traveling around, which I'm hoping will mean that the girls will be snug in their beds all night each night!  I'm going to need a vacation from this vacation this year.

What are you all doing for the holidays?  What are some of your favorite holiday recipes or holiday memories?

BTW, I was able to snap a few shots of Jane in the controversial onesie.  

Headband was made by Sweet Caroline Crafts, who, if I haven't already said it enough, I LOVE!!!!

It's a rainy, icky day here in Jersey, and the temperature is quickly dropping.  But I'm hoping for some snow!  I hope that you all have a wonderful, fun and family-filled holiday!

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