Every year one of the ways I celebrate the holidays is by spending quality time with my friends baking cookies. This has become a tradition that I look forward to. Trust me when I say that I’m no Betty Crocker, but this is serious baking business. We usually begin around 9am and finish around 6pm- if we pick one cookie recipe per person (tripling the batch). If picking two cookie recipes each, which we have tried in the past, then plan on baking a back breaking 10-12 hours! We often joke that these hours of baking and bonding will try any friendship; you will either come out stronger on the other end (with a ton of cookies), or, someone might be exiled from the group. Just kidding. Although, honestly, baking for 10 hours does bring out a sort of crankiness that requires a solid foundation.
I love opening my home and my kitchen for this day, especially right after I’ve put up my Christmas tree, but I am a baker bee, not a baker boss! There is definitely a difference and for the day to be successful, you need both baker bosses and baker bees. Luckily I’m quite content being bossed around (in this situation at least)! The baker bosses usually organize and oversee all the recipes. They know what’s happening at all times and can see the big picture. The bees carry out tasks, one at a time, under the direction of the bosses, without the burdern of understanding the complexities of timing and recipes. Pictured below are two of my personal baking bosses!
Here are some tips for a successful cookie baking day:
- be super organized about ingredients ahead of time
- divy up cookie ingredients to keep it fair
- take a survey of all needed equipment (you might need to bring mixers or extra cookie sheets)
- lay out all the material/ingredients before your begin baking
- wear an apron (have cute friends with extra aprons)
- stay coordinated with the recipes (have them printed ahead of time)
- have someone dictate the recipe aloud (this is suprisingly helpful)
- keep up with dishes as you bake
- have Christmas music playing at all times
- bring take-home containers for cookies (you will divide them all at the end of the day)
- avoid getting overwhelmed and exhausted (stick to one cookie per person)
- keep lunch simple (we like having sandwiches, so we get bread, lunch meat, and chips ahead of time)
- don’t pick overcomplicated recipes
- rotate jobs and tasks so no one gets too tired
- most importantly: talk, laugh, eat, and enjoy each other!
- rolo cookies
- oreo truffles
- russian tea cakes
- peanut butter blossoms
- chocolate pretzels
- white chocolate oatmeal cranberry bars
- peppermint oreo bark
Remember, things will go wrong and accidents will happen. You will spill coffee all over the floor. You will bust bags of oreos and candy canes when crushing them in baggies. Your friend will put a metal bowl in the microwave. Someone will shout, “I need new friends!” But, in the end, it’s all worth it. This day is definitely a treat, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy the season. Plus, you get to share all these sweets with family, friends, neighbhors, and coworkers (unless you eat them all yourself- no judgement here!).
GO THERE (someone’s kitchen)! TRY THAT (cookie baking day)!