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BITE-SIZED AND PERSONAL*
I don't think I've made it a secret how much I love cookies. But I actually don't eat them all that often. And I almost NEVER make them. Because if I did, and when I do, I stuff my face with them until they're gone. Mmmm cookies!

I don't remember that my mom made cookies all the time or that there were cookies in the house all the time, but we were definitely not cookie-deprived. My mom's mom ALWAYS had cookies on hand, though. Always chocolate chips and ginger snaps. Soft ones. Chewy ones. NOBODY beats my grandma's molasses ginger snaps. When I moved away, there were a few times when she sent me a tin of them for Christmas, once or twice even to Europe...best present ever!

My sister and I used to prepare a lot of cookie dough...but it rarely made it to baking. We whipped up a batch of dough and then ate it. I am salivating just thinking about how good chocolate chips (hard) in a bowl of perfectly creamy, sugary, buttery raw cookie dough taste. It's been a very long time since I've done that...Sarah, why didn't we think about doing that when we were in Michigan together this year? MISSED OPPORTUNITY!

I always make rice krispie treats for the 4th of July picnic (or any picnic, actually), but the one time of year that I let my cookie flag fly is the Christmas holidays. Christmas just isn't Christmas without cookies. There are several cookies that we ALWAYS have to make: iced sugar cut-out cookies, creme-filled sandwich wafers, reindeer poop, chocolate chip cookies, rice krispie holly bars, jam thumbprints, cranberry pistachio bark. Other cookies come and go, but those are always the favorites.

Cookies I miss: my grandma's ginger snaps, Aunt Mary's Lacy Crisps, Peanut Butter Kisses, FUDGE PUDDLES, french macarons, Scottish shortbread (Girl Scout Lemonades!)

For at least the last 12 years**, I've organized a holiday cookie exchange for the AWC. It's a great way to get new cookie ideas and recipes and everyone has fun doing it. Some years, people get together to bake as well, but since the number of participants has risen, so has the number of cookies that have to be baked and last year, we had so many people that the thought of how many cookies we had to bake was overwhelming and we split into two groups: Nuts and No Nuts, or as I like to call them, girl cookies and boy cookies. Girl cookies have, you guessed it: NO NUTS. haaaa!

I'm firmly in the girl cookie camp, not being all the big a fan of nuts, though I like pistachios and peanut BUTTER in cookies. I don't mind minimal amounts of other nuts, but if there's a nutless alternative around, I'll go for that everytime. One friend, in a cookie discussion just recently, when we were talking about the cookie exchange and last year's split, told me I should have split it into Icing vs. No-Icing, because she doesn't like icing. My response was to ask her if she was nuts. (haaaa again!)

Anyway, about 2 weeks before the cookie exchange, I send out a reminder to everyone to get in or get out, and a week before I shut the signup, and let everyone know how many cookies they have to bake. Each person bakes SIX COOKIES EACH for everyone else. So, if there are 10 people participating, you bake 54 cookies (to give away). Each set of six should be individually packaged, and though most people just use plastic baggies or tinfoil, some get very creative with their packaging as well. The last requirement is that they must bring or email a copy of the recipe to share on the AWC site.

That means each person goes home with sets of six cookies from each of the people participating. A monster pile of cookies to try out! What could be better?? Right now there are 13 people signed up with one maybe. That will mean 72 cookies to make this year and 72 to come home to cookie monster mama!

These are the cookies I've made and shared over the years:

2001 — Rice Krispie Holly Bars
2002 — Almond-flavored Jam Thumbprints
2003 — Rice Krispie Holly Bars
2004 — Mini M&M Cookies
2005 — Snowy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2006 — Reindeer Poop
2007 — Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares
2008 — Rudolf Noses
2009 — Cranberry Pistachio Bark
2010 — Christmas Sugar Spirals
2011 — Cranberry Pistachio Bark
2012 — Iced Peppermint Sugar Cookies
2013 — ???

I think this year, I'm going to make my sister's Scandinavian Almond Bars. She had them in her giant pile of Christmas cookies that she brought to my mom's house when we were home for Christmas in the States last year, and they were SO GOOD. Unless someone comments with a cookie recipe that beat it. BRING IT ON, people! :D

*From a quote by Sandra Lee
**As far back as the AWC website records go.
 crazy
mood: crazy
music: The Green Children—Life Was Beautiful


Comments

Mmmm, COOKIES! Nom, nom, nom!

I am starting to think of all the baking I will need to do for Christmas this year, after I get past Pie Season (PIE!) for Thanksgiving. Last year was the Year of the Doily Madness, so I sort of set a high standard for myself in homemade gifts; I don't have time to do doilies again, because of school, but I can still make the pistachio toffee that my sister goes nuts (hee!) over...

Our Pie Season is always in March, when we have Pie Night. But I can't WAIT for pumpkin pies in a couple of weeks!!

(Anonymous)

Bryce is firmly in the girl cookie category...Although his favorite is the peanut butter kisses. YUM! Rachel of course prefers the hard to make ones like the sandwich cremes and sugar cookies with icing.Tom likes Moms Jan Hagel bars.(easy) Me I like your choice for this year but also like you bring on Any!!!!!!cookie.Send me one of each. :) love from Seester.

Yay Team Girl Cookies! :D

I never cared for Jan Hagel...I always though mom was wasting time she could have been making GOOD COOKIES when she made those. haaa!

So if the cookie exchange is coming up and I will be away from Nov 20 to Dec 11, is there any possibility that I have time to join the AWC and take part in cookieoalooza the cookie exchange this year? I kick myself every time I miss an event.

You ALWAYS have time to join the AWC! But if you're gone just then, you'll miss the cookie exchange, I'm afraid. It's on Nov 25 this year.

Alas, I leave the twentieth but I will join. I willI will I will!

(Anonymous)

WHAT?? You're having this BEFORE I arrive? Better hide a few for me, I hope!
Love, Lizardmom

There will MAYBE be some still in the freezer. I will save the boy cookies for you! :D

(Anonymous)

Hurray! I love nuts! Love, Lizardmom

From Megsie

My favorites are the iced sugar cookies. I make A LOT of them. For ME. (If I didn't make a lot, I would get one. cookie. because my kids are PIGS.) I am not the baker in this family. I only bake the sugar cookies and we all sit around the table and frost. I have baked gingerbread cookies in the past, but the recipe makes SO MANY, and even though we give most away, we have too many gingerbread men and women. So, I skipped them last year. They were not missed.

xo!

Re: From Megsie

We make a lot of them too, because we are ALL PIGS when it comes to iced sugar cookies. I'm drooling just thinking about them.

My grandma's ginger snaps aren't the hard kind. They're the chewy soft molasses kind. YUUUUUMMMMM!

Re: From Megsie

Do you share old family recipes with virtual friends?

Re: From Megsie

Absolutely! Which one(s) did you want?

Well, thank you! That explains the logistics. It doesn't, however, explain the logic behind the exercise... I would eat all 72 within about 3 days - is there a self-help group on how to ration them and avoid December-onset diabetes?

Logic schmogic. COOKIES!!! It's once a year :) and the AWC sort of IS a self-help group, now that I come to think about it. We're both the problem AND the cure! haha!

Cookies and Cookie Jars

When we were growing up everyone had a cookie jar on the kitchen counter or table. I remember my Mom actually had 2 or 3 favorite cookie jars that would get rotated or maybe there were seasonal ones too. We couldn't reach into the jar any old time we wanted, but there it was haunting our days.

Also, I remember that making peanut butter cookies was one of my very first forays into the kitchen with my Mom. She helped me make an extra big one for Dad, and I could hardly wait until he got home from work. I don't remember how old I was.

Re: Cookies and Cookie Jars

We had a cookie jar too, and I even have a cookie jar. Alas, it stands empty all year round...I think has some old cracker crumbs in it. How sad is that?

Love that memory about the giant PBcookie for your dad!

Sean and I made your iced peppermint sugar cookies last Christmas and they were SO GOOD!! :) They will be a regular in our house. Thanks! :) Mexican wedding cookies were always around when I was a kid. Yum! Yum!

I like those too, but someone always makes them for the exchange so I never have to. And snickerdoodles! NOM!

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