I’m not sure when it started – I think in high school, but I’m not sure. My mom used to make the holiday cookies. I have memories of almond crescents, chocolate snowballs and chocolate chip cookies. My mom was not a baker. She wasn’t a cook either for that matter. She did what she had to but it wasn’t one of her big joys. So no wonder, somehow, the cookie making chores fell to me.
It was a sneak attack actually. Luring someone young and impressionable with the temptation of chocolate chip cookie dough. Now doesn’t that taste good, honey? Isn’t that divine, honey? Don’t you just love it, honey? Would you like to know how to make these – I’ll show you. I think that was the trap, but I can’t really say for sure. Then first it was just can you make the chocolate chip cookies for me, honey. Then it was standing by the oven with mom and learning how to determine when the chocolate snowballs were actually done. Then it was mom showing me the art of rolling out and forming the almond crescents. And lo and behold, slowly but surely torch was passed.
Now it is a tradition I cannot escape. Each year the expectation is there – when are you going to make the cookies? And then it’s – which ones and how many and who is getting them and planning the timetable for getting them all done. Only the chocolate chip cookies have survived the test of time. They have been made every year since the beginning. The snowballs went by the wayside years ago – too dry. And this year the almond crescents left the pack – too sandy for my husband’s mouth after his radiation. But fear not – there are the others: the triple chocolate brownie cookies, two varieties of cranberry cookies (one with icing), peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies, spritz cookies (trees and wreaths), sugar cookies dipped in chocolate, two varieties of kolachkys (apricot and raspberry), and the newbie this year – the raspberry walnut bars. Somehow in a weak moment I decided that I would try at least one new cookie recipe each year – I never made a rule as to how many or when one variety would be transitioned out. Maybe I should because the list seems to get longer every year.
How did I ever get roped into this? I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world – precious holiday memories and traditions.