Hi Friends! I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. My friend and I had our Annual Cookie Bake and I can’t wait to tell you about it! I know I am posting this after Christmas but I wanted to share and I want you know that this is an activity that doesn’t have to take place just during Christmas time. You can do this activity for any holiday or special time. Valentines Day is coming up! Every year my good friend Mary and I have The Palmer-Hunt Annual Christmas Cookie Extravaganza.

My friend and I get together along with my youngest daughter Maya and her two daughters Reagan and Abby. We choose cookie recipes and agree on no more than six recipes. This time, we got together and decided to scale down a bit (we have learned over the years) so we only cooked three recipes. This is our sixth Christmas Cookie Extravaganza.  Our schedules were so busy this year but we still found time to get together . The recipes that we decide on depend on how much time we have and the ingredients that we want to purchase. Some recipes take more time and are more involved than others. Sometimes the dough has to be refrigerated overnight. If that is the case, either Mary and her daughters or Maya and I will make the dough the night before. We usually have a couple of simple recipes so that every recipe isn’t complicated or time consuming. One of my favorite things to make is Peppermint Bark. It’s simple and easy and tastes good! This time we made Hot Cocoa Cookies, Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting and Sugar Cookies with icing. They were so good!!! The Hot Cocoa Cookies are my favorite and an overall favorite so we make them every year. They taste soooo good warm!! They are best eaten warm in my opinion and they can be reheated. This year the Sugar Cookies were our simple recipe and Mary, Abby and Reagan made them from a Betty Crocker packet. They were so buttery and sweet. Very good!! Once we finish baking our goodies, we split the cookies and take them home. Last year we baked at my house, this year we baked at Mary’s house. We try to alternate if possible.

We have had such a good time getting together that we made an annual event out of it. We even made aprons. We thought of a name for our get together and Maya, my daughter, designed the aprons. The girls were younger when we started it and they got a kick out of our name for our get together! I have known my friend Mary for a long time, we used to work together and we were pregnant with our daughters at the same time. Now those two young ladies are 19!! This year, Reagan made cookbooks for us with our favorite recipes!

We have made so many memories; our daughters have grown so much and are growing up. We enjoy our time together; my daughter Maya and Mary’s daughters Abby and Reagan are both close in age. Maya and Abby are in college and Reagan is in high school. I know we will continue to have our Christmas Cookie get together as long as we can.

If you decide to have your own get together, here are some ideas to help you get started:

  1. Make it fun. This is a time that everyone should look forward to and enjoy.
  2. Keep it simple. If you make things too involved or too time consuming, then you won’t look forward to it as much because it will become more of a chore.
  3. Alternate houses so that the burden isn’t on one person.
  4. Share the expenses. Once you decide on the recipes, you can check your pantry and see what ingredients you have on hand and then discuss who will purchase what ingredients.
  5. We always have lunch while we are together so we cook something. Usually something simple like a Crockpot dish. Last year we had brunch. This year Mary prepared Taco Dip. It was simple and quick!
  6. Bring plastic containers like to transport your cookies home.
  7. Decide on recipes ahead of time for sure! We have improved our process over the years.
  8. Give your special day a name and make or buy aprons.
  9. Take lots of pictures!
  10. Enjoy yourselves and make memories!
  11. Remember, this is something that you can do anytime! It would be so much fun to have a Valentine’s Cookie Extravaganza and make beautiful Valentines Day Cookies! Heart shaped sugar cookies with icing,edible pearls and sprinkles come to mind! 🙂

Here is the recipe for the hot chocolate cookies. They are always a hit! We found the recipe on Pinterest. It is on the Pip and Ebby website. Megan from Pip and Ebby found the recipe in the Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine. The Pip and Ebby website has a ton of great recipes.

If you make these delicious cookies, please leave me a comment and let me know how you liked them! I hope you have a Happy 2018!!!