Years and years and years ago, I used to bake a lot around the holidays. I would bake batches of cookies and then bring them to work or give them to friends. Sometimes I’d take them to my parents’ house for Christmas, but my mom always makes cookies, too, so we’d end up with a ton. I made this pumpkin roll – the kind that you slather with cream cheese frosting, roll up, and slice so that you have perfect little orange and white spirals – that my friends adored, but that I never liked. I just made it for them.
I had no idea that Tommy was also probably doing the same thing a thousand miles away. I think maybe it started as a thing with him and his ex-wife, but it ended up being a project that he took on with such gusto, it made my baking endeavors pale in comparison. When we were dating long-distance, he mailed me a box of cookies, neatly separated in cupcake liners. Then he bought a fortune cookie maker and mailed me those, too.
When we moved in together, I got to witness the cookie making firsthand. I sat out baking because there was no way I could keep up. Plus, our townhouse had a tiny little kitchen. But still, he made dozens of batches of cookies for people, freezing them as he went. He bought storage containers and filled them up for his coworkers and colleagues. He mailed cookies to friends overseas. His cookies were a thing. He arranged a gigantic cookie platter for me to take to work for our staff holiday party. People thought I was dating a baker.
When we got married, we didn’t have a wedding cake… we baked cookies. (By that, I mean, he baked most of the cookies, and I helped.) We decorated a table with jars and jars of homemade cookies and got cardboard containers so guests could fill them with whatever treats they wanted and take them home.
Since moving into our house (with two ovens in the kitchen!) and having a kid a few years ago, we have a different cookie approach. We still make dozens of cookies, usually between 20-30 different kinds each year. We still make some of the ones we know everybody loves. We now try to make cookies or desserts from every country that we’ve visited together. I help out way more than I used to.
But we’ve both changed jobs and don’t see old coworkers and friends as much we used to, so we have a cookie party every year. We call it “Cookies and Cocktails.”
Newcomers to this annual get-together sometimes make the mistake of bringing US cookies.
No, the whole reason we have this party is because once we’re all done baking them, we want to get rid of them. We love making them. We eat our fair share. But come cookie party time, we’re kinda sick of them.
We bake for months. We fill the freezer. We taste test as we go. I think half the time I like the cookie dough more than the actual cookies themselves. (Yep, I’m a beater-licker and I haven’t died of salmonella yet.) And of course, if it’s a cookie I haven’t made before, then I have to try one. Or if it’s a cookie that Tommy made, because don’t things always taste better when you’re not the one making them? Or if a cookie breaks, because we’re not giving anybody a broken cookie, but we wouldn’t want that cookie to go to waste, now, would we?
Yes, hot girl summer is over and baked-goods bod winter is fast approaching.
I will probably need to do a cookie detox soon. But it’s only October and I still have a list of like, a dozen more cookies that I want to bake. Maybe we can get to 40 kinds this year.
And I haven’t even figured out what cocktails we’ll be making. What wine pairs best with chocolate chip cookies?
(Side note: If you’re wondering about freezing cookies, honestly, we’ve never had an issue. We usually start baking in September or October and freeze the cookies until our party sometime in December. We have never had a problem with flavor or freezer burn or anything like that.)