Baking Cookies

As kids, we used to help Mom bake cookies every Christmas. We baked a few different kinds, but the cut out sugar cookies were always a favorite. Mom would mix up a huge batch of the dough, and it would sit in a big pot out on the cold back porch. We’d scoop out a ball of it, roll it out, cut it into Christmas shapes, decorate with colored sprinkles, and bake them. Of course, when we were younger, we were limited to tossing colored sugar all over the cookies (and kitchen, and ourselves!), and Mom did the rest. As we got older, we were able to help with rolling, cutting, and baking. It’s a holiday tradition I remember very well.

My sisters have kept up the tradition. Cathi makes the big batch of dough, and they all get together at Ellen’s to make the cookies. As the families have grown, so have the bakers- little kids, not so little kids, adults. While we lived in New England, I didn’t get to be there for the annual bake-a-thon. Now that we are closer, I did drive down to PA on Saturday. It’s only a bit over an hour, and highway traffic here is nothing like New England!

Ellen had wooden cutting boards made with the cookie dough recipe on them in Mom’s handwriting. We lost Mom in May, so that was a nice thing to have. She also make angel ornaments from Mom’s wedding dress. The actual baking is a production line process, if a little less efficient than a factory line would be! One person at the head of the table, rolling and cutting the cookies. The rest of the table has the decorators seated around it with a selection of colored sugars and other things to make the cookies pretty. And Cathi is the head baker, in charge of the oven. I don’t know exactly how many cookies we ended up baking but there was a good pile of bags with a couple dozen in each. Everyone gets to take one home. And, of course, there was a lot of laughing, a bit of teasing and good-natured ribbing- family stuff, right? It made for a good afternoon of holiday fun.

A few pictures:

The head baker, my youngest sister, Cathi. She makes the dough and mans the oven.
Even the little ones get to help. And they are good at it, too!
There was a craft corner for those who wanted a break from rolling dough

The entire crew

A few of the baked and decorated cookies, YUM!
The board with Mom’s recipe
The angel ornament made from Mom’s wedding dress

And, now, the holidays have officially begun!


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