Tag Archives: cookies

Cookie-Thon 2016

Can you believe this is the 7th year I’ve done Cookie-Thon? I guess it didn’t technically become a “Cookie-Thon” until about 5 years ago, but still… I was shooting for a number less insane than last year’s 3,454 cookies, but apparently less for me, was only by 10 cookies, bringing this year’s total to 3,444. Despite that, this year went a lot smoother thanks to a few things: taking Friday and Monday off to give me 4 full days, my friend Shawn lending me his mixer so I could run 4 bowls at the same time in equally powered machines, having my friends Aubrie and Ari helping on Saturday and my Maw Maw on Monday, cookie sheets as big as my oven that held 30-35 cookies, a giant spatula, and just overall better planning.

 

I filled over 60 packages this year and 6 platters, mostly to the usual friends and family members that receive them every year. But the most fulfilling part of Cookie-Thon continues to be the ability to give cookies to strangers. The surprise of the pizza delivery guy, touched by the offer to come inside and have a warm cookie before he takes the road again. The comfort in the face of a neighbor I don’t really know, but who lost her daughter 2 months ago and is understandably struggling to feel Christmas joy. This is what Cookie-Thon is really about, this token of love, to whoever is willing to receive it. Spreading Christmas cheer is my absolute favorite thing to do and I implore all of you to find a way to spread some too.

 

This year I had the opportunity to do something really worthwhile with the excess cookies and I am excited about being able to do it every year from here on out too. With about a bins worth of leftovers, I asked around for a good place to donate them, or for people who would like a small package themselves, and my old childhood friend Sasha suggested The Sharing Table. You remember, that humbling experience I had last year when I volunteered? She says they get well over 100 people for the Christmas dinner and now some of them will get to go home (or wherever they find shelter at night) with some of my cookies! I know it’s hardly enough to make their lives any better, but I hope it at least serves as a sweet treat in the name of Christmas that they would have otherwise not had.

 

I’ve got this idea about making Cookie-Thon a sort of movement, where I release my recipes online and people all over participate in the same event, same weekend, and then we all set out to get them into the hands of people who don’t expect it – who need it most. Be that homeless people, cops, delivery people, someone who’s been down on their luck, etc… If we could create a movement to spread Christmas Cheer…. gah! it’d be an amazing thing to be a part of. Anybody interested in possibly being a part of this next year?

 

For the most part I posted the progress of Cookie-Thon live on Instagram Stories and Snapchat this year, but I did manage to capture a few pictures with my good camera, too. If you’d like to see the process, click the image below! :)

 

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Christmastime 2014

December came so suddenly and passed so swiftly, it’s almost as if it didn’t really happen. I was SO busy. I know it seems like every time I blog these days, busy is topic of discussion, but it’s been true and was extra true in December. I started the month doing a a series of Christmas card shoots (Shoot 1, 2, 3, 4), then it was time for my annual Cookie-Thon, and before I knew it Christmas week was here! Thankfully, I captured it all in pictures, since there was zero time to write about it!

 

(Click through the slideshows below!)

 

Christmastime Around My House 

 

 

 

Christmas Eve Eve

 

 

Christmas Eve

 

 

Christmas Day

 

 

Annual Whisted Women Holiday Lunch

 

 

As you can see, my Christmas was AWESOME! How about yours?

 

Gingerdoodle-Snickersnaps!

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This year I introduced this awesome cookie to my Christmas cookie collection and it has become a new favorite to a bunch of the people I gifted them to. Because they’re more involved than all the other cookies in my Christmas collection, I photographed the steps and figured I’d share the recipe (click through the picture slideshow at the bottom). Enjoy!

 

Snickerdoodle Dough

 

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar for rolling cookies in

 

~Cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well, until creamy. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar and mix until combined.~

 

(Note: This dough is smaller than the gingersnap dough. If you’d like to make sure you aren’t left with excess gingersnap dough, I’d increase this dough by half.)

 

Gingersnap Dough

 

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies in

 

~Cream together shortening and sugar. Add molasses and egg and mix well. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and mix until combined. Put 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl and set aside for rolling dough in.~

 

Bringing the dough’s together:

 

I find it’s best to make these dough’s the night before so they have time to firm up in the refrigerator. It’s not necessary, though.

 

To start, set aside two bowls with the sugar and sugar/cinnamon mixtures in them for dipping the cookies in.

 

Then, using a pizza cutter, slice 1-2” strips of each dough and press them together, pushing and squeezing until you have a long rope of dough. The dough’s will crumble if you try to roll them into this strip.

 

Slice the strip into 1-2” squares and roll each square into a ball. I suggest preparing all of the dough like this before dipping them into the sugar. (The original recipe I found for this suggested rolling two separate balls in their appropriate sugars and then pressing them together, however the sugar makes it difficult for them to stick to each other properly.)

 

Once you’ve got all the dough rolled into balls, dip the ginger side into the sugar and the snickerdoodle side into the cinnamon sugar mixture. When placing them on the cookie sheet, position them so the split in color is turned upward if you want your cookies to have that half in half or ying yang look.

 

Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes.

 

(Note: My oven cooks high and I often only leave them in for 7.5 minutes by the last few trays. Use your best judgment. The cookies should have a bit of crunch on the ginger side and a chewy texture on the snickerdoodle side.)

 

Baking Cookies Like a Boss

This weekend I set out to bake 500 cookies. I always bake cookies around the holidays because I like to give them out as gifts and people seem to really like my cookies. Usually I bake around 300, but I had a lot more requests for them this year and planned to make more. About halfway through the bake-a-thon though, I realized I was going to have far more than 500 cookies when I was done. 

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Cookies prepped for baking

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Cookies fresh out of the oven

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Peanut Butter Cookies

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Chocolate Chip with Pecan Cookies

7 hours later, there were 791 cookies. O_O

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In case you're wondering, this is what 791 cookies looks like.

It took 4-5 more hours to prepare all of them as gifts, with all the tissue paper, ribbons, tagging, and packaging. To say I was exhausted would be an understatement. I’m still tired.

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And you might think that I’d quit after that, but nope. I just had to make something else this year. So I made an old family recipe for Holiday Spice Cakes

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I can’t wait until everyone’s received their goodies! 😀

We have this running joke in my house around the holidays that I’m a Keebler Elf (partly because I’m so short, partly because of the cookie baking). I’m pretty sure I got the “Most Productive Keebler Elf of the Season” award this year.