Some friends of mine get together the first weekend of December each year to bake cookies. But they aren't just baking a couple of batches to get into the holiday spirit, they're making gourmet cookies by the dozens to package up and send to about 50 people all over the U.S.
As you could imagine, this is quite an ordeal and the entire house is converted into a cookie baking workshop. Large, industrial food racks are brought in and setup in the dining room. All the ingredients are purchased and placed on a round table for easy access. There are three friends that do this and they each have their own station in the kitchen.
Each of the three friends pick 10 different kinds of cookies to make and they have to bake a minimum of 6 dozen of each cookie. Yes, I repeat, 6 dozen of each.
They shift, measure, whisk and stir their way through each cookie recipe, marking them off as they go and moving right along to the next one. All of the cookies are cooled and finished off with various toppings like powdered sugar, caramel or frosting by Saturday night. On Sunday, the packing begins. Here are some photos of the cookies this year.
On Sunday morning, all of the many, many trays of cookies are laid out on any flat surface available. Then the "pickers" go around and select a specified amount of each cookie and place them on an empty baking sheet.
These loaded sheets are taken into the kitchen where the "packers" neatly layer the cookies in between colored tissue paper.
Pictured below are the boxes of packed cookies.A cookie guide is included with each box of goodies and is tucked inside an envelope and given a seal of approval by the bakers themselves.
I had to run some errands Sunday and had to leave the cookie workshop early, so I didn't get to see the final package. But, when I got home later that evening, I had a pretty, snowflake themed package waiting on my doorstep.
They did such an amazing job with these cookies. I can see why so many people try (without success) to get on the list of recipients each year for these coveted cookie boxes.