Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Celebration of Delicious Cookies

Tins of My Holiday Cookies Ready for the Teachers
This blog has one purpose only--to celebrate the magic of cookies! While I love ice cream and enjoy a delicious almond cake or piece of homemade pie, there's something about cookies that I connect with more than any other sweet. They are magic to make and magic to eat.

My love of cookies reaches its highest expression during the winter holidays, which is why this is the perfect time of year to begin my cookie blog. When I was a child, my German-American mother would bake her fanciest cookies only at Christmas (I'll share some of those recipes later--stay tuned) and I well remember that anytime we visited someone's house in December, the hostess would bring out a lavish plate of her own signature cookies--which I loved to look at as much as sample.

When I first started baking, I tried my hand at many different treats: brownies, cakes, yeast and quick bread, crumbles and cobblers. But somehow cookies were the most fun to make.

My oldest friend--whom I met in junior high--also loved to bake. Even though she was a busy doctor, she would spend most of her December evenings baking cookies. I was honored to be on the list of lucky people who received a box as Christmas drew near. Receiving that tin packed with two each of over a dozen different types of European-style cookies was the high point of the holiday season. (My friend's parents came from Holland and I came to realize the winter cookie buffet was a widespread European custom).

One day, about 10 years ago, I decided I wanted to try making my own holiday cookie boxes. That first year I made a box with six different types of cookies for each of my children's teachers and a few friends. To my delight, my cookie boxes got rave reviews, and now I could make others as happy as my friend made me! The best part of the holiday season for me became giving boxes of my cookies and, I'll admit, getting those gushing thank-you's. Many people have asked for my recipes, which I've always been happy to give. This blog is my illustrated recipe box--I hope you enjoy!