Recipe Post: Christmas Cookie Extravaganza

My friend Kat and I have a festive tradition of going bawls-out over December and trying to BAKE ALL THE THINGS!!! for gifts and our own celebrations. This multi-day effort usually happens at my house because I own all the cool kitchen gadgets EVAR and have a larger kitchen in which to have more than one person working at a time. This usually leads to a grumpy husband who can’t understand why the kitchen floor is sticky AGAIN, and why he can’t access the milk because the fridge is full to bursting with various things-that-are-not-food-but-only-ingredients, which he’s not allowed to eat anyway.

This year was no exception; especially as our respective families are doing a severely cut-down/no celebration this year, we both wanted to show our love to our nearest and dearest by making tons of yummy stuff, then packing it up and either reverse porch-pirating our friends, or having a quick, responsible, socially-distant visit instead of a longer stay.

It has taken us three weekends worth of work to get as far as we did, with lumps and bumps along the way (converting recipes on the fly to achieve a dairy-free cutout gingerbread that is the food of the gods, accepting that the oven timer is our master and we must embrace its annoying presence, else we lose another batch of cookies to distraction and working on too many things at once, understanding our physical limitations and giving ourselves sufficient time to rest, eat and drink water in between production breaks).

So far this year (as I write this it’s December 20th, and we are not done yet), we have made:

  • gingerbread cutout cookies (4x recipe)
  • multiple types of chocolate chip cookie base cookies (5x batch):
    • sea salt caramel and white chocolate chip (my personal fave),
    • semi sweet chocolate chip and toffee bits,
    • cranberry, lemon and white chocolate chip,
    • peanut butter bonanza, and
    • kitchen sink cookies (also known as Cowboy cookies)
  • Scottish shortbread (one tray plain, one with minced crystallized ginger)
  • vanilla and peppermint meringue kisses (2x recipe)
  • Christmas crack (3x recipe)
Base cookie batter for all the chipped cookies; at 14qt, this is my largest bowl in the house!

My plan for a day this final week before Christmas is to make a couple of batches of Nanaimo bars (original and mint), some chocolate and sprinkle-dipped pretzels, and a few batches each of sponge toffee and peanut/almond/cashew brittle. I may also be talked into making a few other treats here and there, including some more gluten- and dairy-free options for friends of ours who need such things.

The next few days leading up to Christmas will be more in-depth posts with photos and recipes for the above-mentioned treats; for now, I shall rest the rest of the accomplished (i.e. pooped), and start again new tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn…..oh who are we kidding? I’m on Christmas vacation! Let’s try for 10am. 😉

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