My first holiday cookie box


This year, I had the idea to give out Christmas cookies to everyone on my holiday list. It was a little ambitious, so I’m happy to say that I got it done.

My list came out to 11 households. For four of those, I gave boxes with a dozen cookies. The rest were treat bags with about eight cookies each.

The plan was to make six kinds of cookies, so that each treat bag would have one of each and each box would have two of each, making for half a dozen and a dozen, respectively. I got a little burnt out after four kinds of cookies, but next year or sooner, I will make that happen. I had the most of chocolate chip and not a lot of peanut butter or polvorones, so everyone got a custom box based on what I thought they would like best.

Below are the recipes. They are all very classic, traditional cookies. I’m very inspired by Cookie Good in Santa Monica, by the way.

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies – This is the classic Nestle Tollhouse recipe. I made these as slice and bake cookie dough logs, aka icebox cookies.
  2. Peanut Butter Cookies – This is a Pillsbury recipe that my brother adapted. It’s in our Carpenter family cookbook. Replace the white sugar with honey. His recipe doesn’t say, but I think it helps to add 1/4 cup flour. I made the dough into balls using a cookie scoop, froze them on a baking sheet, then transferred them to a plastic freezer bag.
  3. Double-shot Mocha Chunks – I used the same freezing process for this one as the peanut butter cookies.
  4. Polvorones Mexicanos – I had a little trouble with this one. Next time, I’ll weigh the amounts instead of using the English measuring units. I must not have measured the shortening right or the conversion was off. I had to keep adding shortening. Once I had the dough at the right consistency, I divided it in half. I added pink food coloring to one half and made the other half as cookie dough logs rolled in sprinkles. Also, the recipe doesn’t include salt but I added 1/2 a teaspoon. It said to either add orange zest or vanilla extract but I did both.

Before I sign off here, I need to give a few shouts. My sister Katie made 5 different kinds of cookies: Coffee Toffee, Six Layer Bars, Chocolate M&M Cookies, Funfetti Cookies, and Gooey Chocolate Bars. My sister Mary made two time-consuming cookies: Apricot Horn Cookies (on the blog!) and Walnut Cookies. My mom made Chex Mix after I had brought it up in our family chat. Last but certainly not least, my in-laws and sister-in-law made tamales for the first time to share with the family. I got to try everyone’s except my sister Mary’s, as she lives in the Bay Area. I’m proud of everyone. It means more than ever.

I’m proud of all of us for getting through this year. Sending love to everyone reading this.

Pumpkin cookies with penuche frosting

Easy drop pumpkin cookies

Many moons ago, my sister Mary made these pumpkin cookies with brown sugar frosting. They became one of her specialties for a few years. Mary is a great baker. She got into baking before me, and now that she lives up north, I miss her baking.

These stuck in my memory and I was inspired to make them, as I have been wanting to share more seasonal recipes on my blog and just to make more seasonal recipes for fun myself. I’m not one to go out and buy all the pumpkin things in the fall, but these cookies are certainly an exception. They’re making me rethink my aversion to all things pumpkin spice.

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Corn cookie and mixed berry ice cream sandwiches

Two of my favorite summer flavors are sweet corn and fresh mixed berries. You don’t typically see them together, but corn and berries actually go really well together in a dessert.

For the Trader Joe’s ice cream sandwich last week, I made corn cookie and mixed berry ice cream sandwiches. For the contest, I named these “Berry Corny Ice Cream sandwiches.”

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Stamped lemon shortbread cookies

Sesame street shortbread

This week has been tough. I’m not going to lie. It’s hard for me to write about because I’m not used to talking about systemic racism with friends or family, let alone writing about it for the world to see. (Not like this blog gets many views at all, but still.) I know that I don’t often have to talk about race because I’m not negatively affected by the color of my skin. Which I see as even more of a reason to speak up now.

I don’t want to say the wrong thing. But I don’t want to not say anything. So, I made lemon shortbread cookies with Sesame Street stamps that I got for Christmas as a conversation starter.

Jump to recipe
What is a stamp cookie?
When I got the idea to make stamp cookies, it made me wonder: Are stamp cookies always shortbread cookies? Or can stamp cookies be made with sugar cookie recipes? I think the answer is that stamp cookies can be made with sugar cookie dough or shortbread dough. I didn’t get a clear cut answer. Isn’t that life?

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Molasses chocolate chip cookies

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie day. I have had this chocolate chip cookie recipe in drafts for a few months, so when I saw that it was a National day to celebrate them, I thought how would be the perfect time to post.

Time to write again. You see, that’s the part I have been putting off. I had my recipe and photos done, but no intro. No update on my life or anything like that. Maybe you don’t care to read that anyway. So for today, it’s JUST the recipe. Some other day soon, I’ll write down some pleasantries and a clever note on life or an interesting anecdote.

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Apricot horn cookies

apricot almond horn cookies

I have a grandma who is not technically my grandma. She is my cousins’ grandma. But she is my Grandma Irene. I’ve called her Grandma Irene since the time I was a little kid. If you were to meet her she just might introduce herself to you as Grandma Irene too because that’s who she is.

You see, she’s not technically related to me because she is my cousins’ grandma on their dad’s side and we’re related because our moms are sisters. It’s confusing to explain. She’s part of my family though.

She’s smart and determined. She took college classes when her children were grown. She walks three miles just about every day. She’s giving and kind. She cares for animals, including injured birds and the dog she loves so much. And just about every Christmas she would make these delicious apricot horn cookies.

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Grandma’s recipe: Gold nuggets


When I was a kid, my grandma used to make these no-bake peanut butter cookies called “Gold Nuggets.” My sister Mary and I would love to help her make these. If I’m remembering right, we would usually make them in summer months because they don’t require an oven and therefore won’t heat up the house (even more).

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