The topic for the December 8th installment of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories hosted by Thomas MacEntee is: "Christmas Cookies. Did your family make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?"
My Mother and I have been making cookies together for at least the last 20 or so years. Snickerdoodles, Oatmeal Raisin, Gingerbread Men (and Women), frosted Sugar Cookies of various shapes sprinkled with colored sugar, and others too.
Mom made cookies for Christmas and at other times of the year when I was growing up but not for gift giving and not to the extent that we have been doing these past 20 years. After Thanksgiving we buy all of the ingredients we'll need and then the first full weekend of December we start mixing and baking. I've never counted up how many dozens we make, but depending upon the type of cookie, each batch makes between 3 and 4 dozen cookies. We usually made four batches of Snickerdoodles, Oatmeal, and Sugar Cookies but only two batches of Gingerbread cookies and a batch or two of several other varieties. The past two years we've reduced the number of batches by about half, but it is still a lot of work. And it is still fun. I wonder what would happen if we didn't make them?
After the cookies are baked and cooled, they get stored in sealed containers in the garage (where it is cool) until we are ready to package them, usually the following weekend. Our big family Christmas dinner is normally a week or so before Christmas so they don't need to be frozen for long-term storage. Mom mixed up a batch of Snickerdoodles today. Since her oven isn't working right, I'll be baking them tomorrow as well as mixing and baking a couple batches of oatmeal raisin cookies and a batch of Gingerbread cookies. Probably won't make the Sugar Cookies this year though - I really never did like having to roll out the dough, mess with cookie cutters, and then decorating them. Ours sure never looked like the ones shown above! My favorite cookies are the Oatmeal Raisin and the Gingerbread.
A couple of recipes I found online are quite similar to the recipes that we use. The recipe for Oatmeal Raisin cookies comes straight from the Quaker Oats box! When searching for these recipes, I found it amusing that the Sunmaid website called them Raisin-Oatmeal cookies. The pictures used above came from the sites below.