There is a “Cookie Master List” Excel file on my desktop. Last year was the first run rockin’ the spreadsheet idea and it helped me immensely keeping up to date with yet another favorite holiday tradition – baking.
Created in late November, this year’s spreadsheet is a combination of the tried and true plus a few newbie recipes. The idea of the spreadsheet came from my need to organize all the recipes I want to use – whether they’re in a variety of Penzey’s magazines, my Betty Crocker Cook Book or online at AllReceipes.com – I’ve got one location of where to find them. The other reason is that it helps me schedule my time better between the crazy holiday schedules of work, basketball, and of course, family.
Even before the spreadsheet, my love for baking started as a child – much like my love for cooking. As a kid I loved spending Saturday and Sunday afternoons in December tossing flour around the kitchen with my mom. Together, we would create a medley of sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies, turtles, mints, pretzels and more! The smells of vanilla, butter and almond would even bring my Dad in from watching football to sneak a cookie or two from the cooling rack.
Once all the baking was done, my mom would pull out Christmas-themed plates from the cupboard and fashion her “special cookie plates”. Utilizing strategic plating skills, she would create, and still does create, beautiful masterpieces of cookies that are distributed to my parent’s’ neighbors, and our close family and friends.
Since I’ve moved out of my parents home, I’ve tried to copy my mom’s “special cookie plates”…hence the excel file. I like to spread the joy of the holiday via cookies to my neighbors, friends, co-workers and family members as well.
I’m still working on a building a reputation like my mom – but I figure I have a few more decades to make it perfect, just like her.