holiday baking, and a corner blog giveaway!

The "good-excuse-for-excessive-baking" 2011 season is now upon us. This used to be the cue for me to embark on a three day self-indulgent orgy/marathon. I would take so much pride in the fact I baked nine different kinds of cookies, and one year I actually counted the over 1,300 cookies I baked as I went along. I would freeze them all and package them up in customized assortments for everyone I knew, near and far.

Until one year when I started eating them faster than I could get them out of the house. Literally, I ate through pans of chocolate mint squares as fast as I could make them, especially out of the freezer. I love cold cookies.

I ended up baking replacement cookies for the batches I had already labored over. What a time cruncher, and so disheartening. If I had made all that effort, I really wanted something to show for it.

This book, "Christmas Cookies" holds the key to almost all of my recipes. It was my mother's. She made a few recipes from this book now and then, but she obsessively made one particular type of cookie every year, a jam-less, old-timey eastern European linzer cookie with a crumb topping, which isn't from this book. She would freeze them by the bucketful on the back porch of our house. So rustic. I suppose this is where the bulk Christmas cookie making compulsion comes from.

If you are into timeless, delicious cookie recipes from all over the world, this book is for you.

Published in 1986 by Oxmoor House

 Clockwise from top:
ribbon cookies
chocolate-mint layer squares
wreath cookies
chocolate twinkles
sand crescents
bourbon balls
spritz cookies
raspberry thumbprints (center)

*biscotti recipe found elsewhere

I am not kidding you.

My great grandmother Anna Keresturick Adamson's linzer cookie recipe, written inside the front cover of my cookie book by my mother. Maybe I'll try to make them this year.

Much to my friends' chagrin, I threw in the towel two Christmases ago. It was a hard call, but after the previous year's consumption, I knew my body couldn't handle the load anymore. It was really sad telling friends and the guy at the corner store and all the contractors and laborers I loved to give these to that there weren't any cookies that year. I had been doing it since 1997, give or take. It was sad for me. But it was definitely for the best.

Now I bake a few loaves of stollen, mostly for unwilling recipients, and a few batches of sugar or gingerbread cookies so Stella and I can bake together. Although after last year, that royal icing is my new addiction. It is so good.

 The largest piece of dough I've ever handled.

Who wouldn't want to eat these?

Giveaway! I have an extra copy of the Christmas Cookies book I'd love to give away to someone in my readership. If you'd like to have it, just let me know in the comments area below, and I'll pick at random on December 1st! Happy baking!


  1. I love Stollen! It is a tradition in my family on my Mom's side, and i grew up thinking that was what fruitcake was. I never understood all the jokes and grumbles about fruitcake until I tried the actual kind they were talking about. Yuck! Stollen all the way! Christmas breakfast would not be complete without it.

  2. We were surprised how much we liked it, how giant the loaves were, and how few of our friends were into it. My mom spent some time in Germany in her youth, and she LOVES it!

  3. darn, my comment didn't post! my kids love baking, i'd love your duplicate copy, the book looks really sweet.

  4. Are you kidding, that is amazing! My back hurts just looking at the picture!!!

  5. Hahaha, Ann! Backbreaking work, for sure!

    Lisa, you're the only one whose shown interest so far, so odds are the book is yours. We'll see if anyone else mentions it. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. I'd love that book to try some recipes with Mimi! But if you pick me people will think its rigged!

  7. Hi Nina! So far it's a toss up between you and Lisa. We can just flip a coin on the play yard. ;) Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


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