Baking date: December 8; Decorating dates: December 22 & 23
For a number of years now, I have baked cookies and decorated them for my oldest son’s baseball teammates and their families. 2018 was no exception…but it was a bit different. After 10 years, it was the year my son played his final organized baseball game. I think he handled it better than his parents, and I blogged about the experience of his last baseball game at our home field after 10 years.
I had purchased new cookie cutters in ornament shapes from Crate & Barrel that I planned to use for the 2018 Christmas goody bags. Here’s a photo, as I was unable to find a link to them currently on the C&B site – perhaps because they are seasonal. Baker’s note: The top two shapes — especially that one on the top left — are more fragile than the others because of narrowing areas of the cut out. This is true for cutting them out, getting them out of the shape and onto the cookie sheet and after they bake. Those shapes are prone to breaking. Overall, these shapes are large, so keep that in mind for quantity of cookies.
I made gingerbread cookies — my mom sent me her favorite version of a gingerbread cut out recipe. It makes a ton of cookies, even with large cookie cutters. I actually called my mom after she emailed me the recipe because I thought vinegar was a mistake.
I also made sugar cookies. I had made them weeks earlier, and froze them until I was ready to start decorating, December 22 and 23. Here they are in the storage containers, ready to be decorated.
And here’s my personal “workshop”, ready for the cookie decorating. In addition to the ornament cut outs, I also had candy canes and stars. You can see some of the ornament cookies that I had started, in the bottom right corner. Each ornament cookie had a unique decoration. I made one cookie for every member of each family – close to 125 cookies:
So big bummer here – the pictures I took of all the decorated cookies got deleted from my phone. The only one that saved was this one:
And a few friends who received the cookies posted photos (presented in slide show format):
Here are links to some of the previous years’ cookies:
In addition to cookies, I also make mini-breads: banana, snickerdoodle, and pumpkin (a Pillsbury mix topped with chocolate chips). Here you see my big mini-bread pan filled with pumpkin, before being topped with chocolate chips. In the background are the very ripe bananas I got at the store, that would soon be turned into banana bread.
So, while I don’t have photos of all the cookies, I do have this photo of my delivery “elf” along with my new “sleigh” filled with the goody bags. My elf has gone out with me on Christmas Eve each year to drop off the bags of cookies, homemade breads and candies to all the baseball families we have spent our Summers with over the years.
I look forward to continuing this tradition as long as possible, even when high school is over.