One of my favorite days of the year is Cookie Day. You might not have heard of Cookie Day unless you participate in a version of it yourself. For me, Cookie Day happens annually in December and involves myself, my sister, and two of our childhood friends who gather for a day-long cookie baking extravaganza. At the end of the day, we all go home with a variety of cookies that we give as gifts, share with our co-workers, and serve at our holiday gatherings.
Cookie Day started when our children were young and loved to help with the holiday baking by mixing, rolling, or pouring. We’d often make Seven Layer Cookies , as they’re simple and easily adaptable (change out the butterscotch chips for peanut butter or white chocolate chips; leave out the nuts or the coconut) and very forgiving (so what if the kids’ measurements are a little short or a little over?). However, be forewarned: Seven Layer Cookies are very sweet, so they should be cut into small pieces.
Our children are grown, but the tradition continues and the kids still love Cookie Day as much as we do, even going so far as to drive several hours from where they live to participate. In addition to helping with the actual cookie baking, they now handle grocery runs for forgotten ingredients. We meet at my friend Chris’s house as she has a double oven and we keep her ovens full all day. Typically, we show up with a batch of cookie dough ready to be scooped onto cookie sheets and popped into the already pre-heated ovens. While they are baking, we are already mixing the next batch of cookie dough.
All day long, we’re mixing dough, rolling dough, taking cookies in and out of the oven, frosting cookies, or packing cookies into tins. It is a busy day! In between, we talk, we laugh, we drink tea (ok, sometimes wine), and catch up on one another’s lives. By the time the last cookie comes out of the oven and the last spatula is washed, we all go home with at least a dozen varieties of cookies (our record is 19 in one day!)
So, what do we make now? It varies every year. There are some favorites (Chocolate Orange Supremes, Thumbprint Cookies, Cherry Macaroon Kisses, and Turtle Bars) that we make each season, but we usually experiment with a few new recipes. An experiment that turned into one of my daughter’s favorites is Hot Chocolate Cookies.
Where do we get our inspiration? Mine comes from the cookie cookbook I grew up with: Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book , which several years ago was republished in a facsimile edition. I immediately bought 4 copies: one for myself and one for each of my siblings. You can access it for free through the library !
Want to have your own Cookie Day? Call a few friends, buy some parchment paper which makes it easier to keep your cookie sheets in use, browse through your recipe collection, warm up your oven, and have fun!
Here is some inspiration from the library’s collection:
The All-American Cookie Cookbook
Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookies: 75 Irresistible Holiday Treats
Holiday Cookies: Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season