Baking Date: December 22, 2012
For many years, I have been hosting an annual Christmas cookie bake/exchange. I invite my mom, sisters, aunts and cousins to come on a Saturday in December to bake and exchange cookies. I have only missed two years — once when I had back surgery and another year when my mother-in-law passed away suddenly one week in December after a cancer diagnosis.
Over the years, we’ve refined the day. Everyone now pre-bakes cookies, instead of trying to bake everything at my house that day. I make cut out cookies (sugar, gingerbread and/or shortbread) for people to decorate. We break for lunch, and I make a special dessert, so my guests can save the cookies to take home to families.
Here is the dessert I made this year, inspired by a tri-colored Halloween cake recipe. I just changed the colors to white, red and green for this cake.
The Christmas cake
The inside of the cake – the design is different each time you bake it based on the way the batter settles
Here are some photos of the artists, working on the cookies. They ranged in age from 4 to 70. Everyone did a great job. There was even a cyclops snowman, a zombie gingerbread man (a leg had broken off, so the artist improvised), and a yin/yang symbol, which we are all sure was created by Yogi master cousin Heather.
Sami waits for more cookies to come out of the oven to decorate
My cousin Juli with her daughter Morgan
My nephew Will jumped right in — you have to wonder why his mom put him in a white shirt!
My cousin Juli takes decoated cookies to the setting table
My mom and cousin Heather catch up — Heather’s been travelling through Asia
Sami contemplates her next color choice while my second cousin Madison looks on
Will digs into the frosting
My second cousin Morgan works on a cyclops snowman
My cousin Juli and her daughter Madison look on as my sister decorates sugar cookies
My cousin Heather and her mom decorate sugar cookies
Will has moved on to the green frosting, while my mom oversees his work
And here are the decorated cookies:
Shapes included candy canes, stockings, snowmen, circles, gingerbread men and Christmas trees
Toppings including frosting in green, white and red, sparkle gel frosting, M&Ms, mint chocolate chips, and sprinkles in a variety of shapes and colors
Can you spot the yin/yang cookie?
The Santa cookie had coconut added to it to make it look like a beard. And the zombie gingerbread man is in this batch (he only has one leg)
The cyclops snowman is in this batch – he has rainbow buttons
The full table of decorated sugar and gingerbread cookies
Here’s hoping your holidays are spent enjoying meaningful moments with the people you love. Merry Christmas!