The most important decision I make every year around Christmastime has nothing to do with shopping and everything to do with baking: which cookies will win a coveted spot on my annual cookie platter? Each year, I churn out anywhere from 12-18 dozen cookies for Christmas; it’s my favorite holiday tradition. It has been twenty years since I first started giving gifts from my kitchen. Back then, I thought it was genius idea since I had little money for gifts. As the years passed–and I could actually afford gifts–I opted to keep on baking as a little extra something. My family gets excited about our cookie platter every year; the anticipation grows until they get their very own take-home box–it’s even more fun to see if their boxes are emptied before they make it home.
How do I choose the winners? After I pore over the pages of my favorite holiday cookie magazines and family recipe cards, I take a potential list to a vote with my husband and son. There is one rule–each of the five cookie “food groups” must be represented: something chocolatey, something oatey, something fruity, something spicy, and something nutty. I usually throw in some kind of candy for fun. Two cookies never up for dispute are my Grandmother’s Snickerdoodles–which are unlike any snickerdoodle you’ve ever had–and Oatmeal Scotchies.