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Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Great Cookie Experiment

Well, for the first time around things did not go badly. I've sent cookies out before, but not such a mass mailing. All told it was 14 boxes and with the exception of Nancy and Ray all out to relatives, from New Jersey to Nebraska they are out. Making them was not as hard as you might think, but I planned well ahead. I found my handwritten old recipe book for the gingerbread first. Out of everything I can make that is the one that really brings home the feeling of the holiday. Then Spritz of course, sugar cookies, molasses, chocolate chip. I wanted macaroons but some of the recipes were beyond complicated. I found one from Food & Wine that had 5 ingredients and minimal fuss - sold! My requirements were easily found ingredients, ingredients that could be used in multiple recipes - the chocolate chips are one of the main ingredients in my chocolate hard sauce and then were used in cookies. Idid a shopping trip specifically for what I needed, made up all the rolled  doughs a week  ahead of time, found all baking stuff. When I got home on a Friday I started baking gingerbread,  then got up early the next morning and rolled, baked, cooled, iced, decorated, dried, baked again. David bought me two giant containers and I layered wax paper to cushion and keep them fresh. Homemade cookies, especially gingerbread are better if they sit for a few days. During the week David brought home boxes - I had decided on flat rate priority mail rather than use the boxes that needed weighed. And then I packed, wrote out cards, taped, addressed, and stacked. David mailed them from our wee little post office for two days, half at a time. The second day he showed up with the remaining 7 boxes and a plate of cookies for the post lady. And then off they went. I checked my tracking and they have all either arrived or are imminently due. Cost wise I think between ingredients, shipping, and a few extra expenses  (I found some really cute Christmas cloths that I used for padding) it was close to $400 - not a cheap date, any of you. On the other hand I made enough Christmas cookies for everyone, just about. Did everyone that got them like getting them?Next year I am planning on doing it again and will expand my list a little depending on the feedback I get - but its been positive so far.This year was more of a trial run, it was a little hard to figure out how many cookies I would need, how long, etc.. But I have to say it was fun doing this and I very much liked that even though we are so far away from each other I can still do some baking for everyone

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