Baking cookies at Christmas has been a holiday tradition in my house since I was tall enough to stand on a chair to reach the counter. I have many memories of a delicious-smelling kitchen filled with laughter as I baked with different members of my family – my mother, my sister, my grandmother, my cousins – over the years.
We always baked the favorites – chocolate chip, snickerdoodles (a type of sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar), oatmeal raisin, sugar cookies and peanut butter. But because I cherish making Christmas cookies, I’m always on the look out for new recipes to try and have been know to make up to 10 varieties a season.
Maybe baking Christmas cookies holds another special meaning for me. It’s no secret that I’m domestically challenged. I’ve never been very good at those things associated with maintaining a household – I’ve set fire in the kitchen when attempting to cook on more than one occasion, I’ve turn the laundry pink and shrunk sweaters, I’ve jammed the vacuum and bleached the carpet when trying to clean a stain. But baking is different. Baking I can do. So Christmas is my time to shine.
For these two reasons, it’s been very important for me to pass on the tradition of baking Christmas cookies to my twins. Their first Christmas, they weren’t even old enough to eat cookies (and honestly I was still struggling with the new duties of motherhood), but by the time their second Christmas rolled around I had a planned.
Last year, I bought them their own apron and hat and set them up on bar stools at the breakfast bar. I bought the already cut, pre-made cookies – the kind that are little round circles of dough. I put a cookie sheet in front of them and let them take the pieces of dough from the wrapper and put on the cookie sheet.
I personally would never think of making cookies that weren’t for scratch, but knew that we had to start somewhere small so the twins could participate. I figured we’d grow a little each year until one day they are making cookies from scratch.
Well now the twins are 2 ½ and we are closer. For Halloween, I bought the premade sheets of cookie dough and let them go to town with cookie cutters. My daughter kept using the same piece of dough. She’d cut it out, roll it back up, pat it out and cut it again. My son actually had more fun flying his cookie cutters around than using them on the dough, but hey it’s a start.
And for Christmas this year, we’ve moved up to mixes. They’ve made four batches of cookies already and we are going to try to knock three more out today. But in all honesty, I think their favorite part of the experience is licking the spoons when we are done.
Sure, I’m not making as many cookies as I normally do, but at least I’ve got someone new to share the cooking-making fun with. I’m looking forward to years of Christmas cookies baking with the twins and can’t wait until they are ready to try their own recipes.
This week I bake chocolate chip cookies for my husband and snickerdoodles for me. Soon the twins will be baking these as well as their own favorites.
Speaking of favorite Christmas cookies, what are your favorites?