Thursday, January 15, 2015

The December 2014 Cookie Breakdown

After enjoying the holidays off social media as much as possible, I wanted to catch up on the cookies. Many of you who follow me on Facebook saw the many pictures of the delicious cookies I make with my cousin, Debbie. Every December we get together one to two days a week until Christmas time and bake our heads off!
So, without further ado, here are all the stats, which Debbie likes to keep track of, so thanks, cuz.

Let's start with how much time we put into this. It takes some effort, after all. We spent 6 days together, plus time ourselves, ranging from 2 1/2 to 7 hours each day, for a total of over 36 hours of baking.
Get ready, that's going to be a lot of cookies.

We start our bake off with sturdy cookies that we know freeze well. Having done this for over five years now, we've got our schedule pretty well figured out. So, first batches:

6 batches made 23 1/2 dozen.

Good ole' Chocolate Chip
4 batches made 21 dozen.

The most amazing Snickerdoodles you could ever want.
4 batches made 22 dozen.

One of everyone's favorite, Chocolate Crinkles.
5 batches made 22 1/2 dozen.

Next, we get into the peanut butter category. We make two different kinds, using peanut butter cookie dough.

I don't think any holiday cookie collection would be complete without the Peanut Butter Kiss.
5 1/2 batches made 22 dozen.
(These I had to make again on my own, as my family ate the first batch before I could get them all into the freezer!)

Then we take cute little balls of dough, put them into mini cupcake papers, and bake them. When they come out, we add the mini peanut butter cups, and they are amazing!
Peanut Butter Cup Cups
5 1/2 batches made 18 dozen.

We also dabble in candies. We keep it easy, because we find we're more bakers than candy makers. But there are some out there that we've discovered that we love.

Peanut Clusters
4 batches made 18 dozen.

Meringue Snow Peaks
4 batches made 39 dozen little kiss bites!

Peppermint Patties
4 batches made 30 1/2 dozen.

Of course, another traditional delight are the 7 Layer Bars.
2 batches made 17 dozen.
We cut them small, for a pop-in-your-mouth treat.

Another one of our personal favorites is the Cherry Tassie. We use bourbon soaked cherries (Debbie soaks them about a week ahead of time, so they are nice and saturated.) popped inside a ball of almond dough that is like a cloud of heaven.

Cherry Tassies
3 batches made 20 dozen.

A new one we added this year, the Thumbprint Cookie. We rolled them in chopped walnuts, and filled them with my cousin's homemade blackberry and another homemade grape jellies. So amazing!

Walnut Thumbprints
3 batches made 9 dozen.
These were so good, I think we'll probably be making 4 batches next year.

The classic Almond Snowball
5 batches made 15 dozen.

Orange-Cranberry Macaroons
3 batches made 8 dozen.

Debbie discovered this recipe. After a few personal tweaks of our own, they are a favorite of anyone who tries them.

Raspberry/Ginger Pinwheels
3 batches made 10 dozen.

Another classic, is of course, the Christmas Cutout.
2 batches made 10 dozen.

Last, but certainly not least, are these incredible chocolate balls of magic. Another discovery by Debbie, she insisted on making them last year, and boy, was I delighted!
She certainly is a great discoverer of recipes!

Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Balls
4 batches made 14 dozen.

If you were keeping track, congratulations! For the rest of us, that's 17 different recipes, for a grand total of 319 1/2 dozen cookies!

The most common question we get asked every year, after, "Can I have some?" is "What do you do with all those cookies?"

Well, since there are two of us baking, we split them down the middle to then do as we like with them! Which is mostly giving away for family and friends, teachers and others in our lives who do for us year round. Of course, we save some to celebrate the holidays with our own families too. Usually, by the time the New Year rings in, they are gone!

So, my friends, here's to some wonderful baking in 2015!