Monday, November 9, 2009

Its baking time again!


My parents have a yearly Christmas open house with somewhere around 100 people in and out during the evening. Several years ago I took over the baking for the party.

These pictures are from last year. I baked 16 different kinds of cookies/bars. On top of that my mom makes fudge and a few other things only mom can make.

Why is it that I can follow the exact same recipe mom does and it still doesn't turn out as good?


That is B's mom in the background! Don't we look like we have matching hair in this picture. From the front its totally different but this picture makes me laugh. They came down that weekend to meet my parents for the first time. They all get along wonderfully.

Back to the cookies. I realize that 16 different kinds are a bit excessive. But it started out with me making everyones favorites. I like doing that but then I want to try some new things too. Then the new things become someones favorites and then I just go a bit overboard. In addition to the party I send trays of cookies to both my workplaces and to B's work and to the neighbors and perhaps to people who just happen to be passing by.

As you can see... we do a whole sweets display. There is also a cheese display. Oh and all the food. Hot stuff, cold stuff, dips and deliciousness everywhere. We like food. My mom used to be a caterer.

This year there won't be a Christmas open house because the wedding is the weekend before. Instead we are doing a whole Jingle Bells, Wedding Bells combination by having a Sunday brunch the day after the wedding.


Last year I started baking and freezing in October. You just defrost the week of and they taste just as fresh. You can't freeze all of them and certain ones can only be frozen for a week or so. So, I'll be posting recipes for the next couple of weeks! I have a plan of attack and a checklist going.

Tell me, what baked goods are your family favorites?


  1. You wonderwoman. Would you send a tray of cookies over to me too?

  2. That spread is amazing--and obviously, only part of it! Wow!

    Family favorites-- galaxy cookies and sugar cookies. (One year the reindeer and Santas were iced anatomically correct. Never let the hub's friends help your sweet little girls with cookie decorating! Yeah, those didn't make it to the family gatherings!)

  3. Oh my, how festive --and what a spread!

    What are those little colorful bottles on the table?

  4. A wedding and baking cookies???? You are amazing!

    Keeping small traditions like making favorite Christmas cookies are the big things that show how much you care.

    I'm off Wednesday. That's when I usually start my holiday baking and Christmas cards.

    Favorite holiday cookie ... Pecan snowball. Melt in your mouth yumminess! It always surprises me that my favorite is not chocolate... But that's how good it is! It also brings back tons of memories .. that probably adds more flavor than anything else!

  5. Oh my, I want to come to your open house! A few years back my friend taught me to make biscotti and I couldn't believe how easy it was. Now I make that up in a huge double batch and give some away and keep some. Love the freezing idea, I had never thought to do that. You are inspiring me.... I wanna do a cookie swap or something! By the way I think this spread would make PW proud!!!

  6. The little bottles are chocolate with liquor inside :) We monitor those!

  7. Now that is quite a spread! We like trying new stuff for Christmas baking. We had some family friends with 5 kids, and we'd all get together one day and make tons of sweets, then split them up amongst the families. I personally like making PW's cinnamon roll recipe (tweaked a little, to my liking of course...), and giving them to anybody and everybody I can find. ;)

  8. Christmas cookies are a big thing at my house. I make everyone's favorite, plus try a couple of new ones. And fudge. That's for my nephew, because he loves my fudge. This year he gets a big batch of it because he's leaving for Afghanistan after the first of the year.

    I love families that love food. You and I would get along quite well:)

  9. My favorite are sugar cookies...the big soft ones with red hots in them. We also love Buckeyes and peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's kiss. are making me sooo hungry.

  10. Lemon Bars, Buckeyes (not really a baked good, I know), chocolate chip with walnuts, snickerdoodles, thumbprints, and of course sugar cookies with sprinkles on top.

    I've got to get baking!!

  11. you are a baking machine!!!! i'll have to lookout for your recipes because my bff and i are planning a bake day to make baked goods as presents for Christmas! :)

  12. I LOVE monster cookies. And fudge. And tiger butter. Mmmmm.

  13. Wow! A Christmas open house - that is a good idea! Do you just open your home to people and bake for them? It is very "community" and what a great time of year to do it!

  14. You know my eyes went right for the little chocolate liquor bottles.

    I can't help it.

    Also, mmmmmmm lemon bars.

  15. OK, you've inspired me! Wasn't going to bake this year, and now I'm going to! My family has about 10 "traditional" recipes....I just love the connection that I feel when I make recipes from my grandmother's hand-written recipe imagination sees her going through the same motions that I do while cooking...such a good feeling! Thanks for sharing, and happy baking! ox

  16. That's amazing! Please send me some cookies :)

  17. Amazing tables!! Waiting for the recipes for sure!

  18. How in the world? Baking cookies?... did you happen to look at that countdown thingamajig up there? LOL! I want some of your energy, please. You are truly amazing! One of my favorite family recipes has to be pecan tarts, the little teensy miniature pecan pies. Yum! I'll be on the lookout for your recipes.. ready to try something new this year! -Tammy

  19. Oh my gosh, and I thought I liked to bake!!

    I totally look forward to your recipes!!!

  20. That's awesome! I'm looking forward to the recipes and freezing instructions.

  21. My mom goes a little bonkers around Christmas. It's not right without: peanut blossoms, almond-butter stamp cookies, fudge, cornflake wreaths, sugar cookies, gingersnaps, and mint chocolate chip cookies. I think I got the usual ones.

    My mother-in-law does an annual cookie exchange so she ends up with a good variety, too. My husband ignores them all except the Russian tea cakes.

  22. Holy smokes, lady! That's some serious cookie baking. Have a mentioned I don't like to bake cookies? Love to eat just not bake 'em.

    Love your dessert table...very festive!


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