Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Cookie Exchange

Every year my four daughters, three sisters, and my mom join together for our annual Christmas Cookie Exchange. The date this year took place on Saturday evening. So of course that meant that Saturday morning found me and two of my daughters in my kitchen baking all of our best recipes. It was quite the day so I decided to take pictures and document all the fun.

Here is how you KNOW when you have a good recipe:

Every year I make Teatime Tassies. This was one of the first recipes I asked for from my mom after I got married 29 years ago. It's practically vintage!

My BFF KitchenAid is working hard once again.
oh wait, my Bernina is my BFF, hmmm... can a girl have two BFF's?

This is my TeaTime Tassie baking pan. I love it because it makes 2 dozen Tassies at a time - a real time-saver.

And this little tool changed my life. I used to have to finger-press all the little pastries on at a time for each little Tassie. It took forever. Then I found this little tool at The Pampered Chef. It is amazing and I LOVE IT.

It works like this:

Then I put in the filling and pecans like this:

Here are some fresh out of the oven:

I added little bags of candied nuts to each of my bags-

In the meantime, Jess was busy working on her creation. She found the most delightful little reindeer cookies and she worked very hard on those.

And in the other corner of my kitchen, daughter #3, Andrea, came over to make her cookies. She chose a sugar cookie recipe. Half were decorated snowmen and the other half she used a beautiful snowman cookie stamp. I loved the stamped cookies - they looked very old-fashioned.

So we wrapped them all up and went to my sisters house and look at all the lovely packages we had:

After we exhanged cookies we do what we do every year - we went to a movie. This year we chose August Rush. It was a very sweet story about a little orphan boy trying to find his parents. We all loved it.

Oh and I wanted to share with you a picture of what my sister does as an Advent countdown with her kids at Christmas. I think it is the cutest idea.

She puts a little treat into each and every day the boys get to remove something from the day's stocking. It is usually little candies or snacks. I just love how it looks.


Dawn said...

Man, if I ever had that many people in my kitchen, we'd be sitting on top of each other.

I make those same things and have the same wonderful pan. But that's not what I call them. I think they're called Pecan Tarts - your name is much more intriguing. I live next door to a Pampered Chef manager and never knew my fingers could be saved by such a small, probably affordable instrument! For some reason she doesn't seem to like me any more and never waves or smiles or speaks. Not sure what I did to garner her wrath, but I maybe I could break the ice if I bought something from her. And she's supposed to be a Christian. Hmmm.

Well, that is the cutest countdown to Christmas idea I've seen in awhile!

Those cookies look just fabulous - what a great way to get a variety. I used to make aboaut 13 or more varieties - now pretty much none! Maybe if I had such a BFF I'd do more.

Myrna said...

The cookies look absolutely beautiful. But what I really love is the great family fun you all had together. Thanks for sharing. This is a great idea!

Becky said...

What a very fun day, and a wonderful tradition. I love that. I have one son who might get into the baking ... the Thanksgiving helper ... but other than that I will have to wait for daughters-in-law I suppose.

All the pretty packaging! And that advent idea is so sweet. Inspired! I just love seeing all the ideas in blogland. Every once in awhile I find one that makes me want to start over again :)

Karen said...

Your cookies look yummy! We have a family favorite that is similar, and I'm so glad my sister-in-law took over the tradition because they seem very labor intensive.

Such a cute idea with the socks! It would be fun collecting little Christmas socks to do it. I love reading about all the ideas in B'ville.

Dawn said...

Re your comment to me - it's so true! There are 7 verses to that song and I only printed 5, I think. And I had to go back to be sure I had the one that had the good news! Because otherwise it's pretty depressing!

I forgot to say yesterday that my recipe card for hot rolls and for Swedish Meatballs look just like that one you showed yesterday. Sign of a good recipe!

kittyhox said...

What fun! I just love getting together with my aunts/mother/girl cousins. Something about being with the ladies that is like nothing else!

Your cookies look awesome! Is it a secret family recipe or would you consider posting the recipe?

Also, what a cute idea with the advent stockings!

MondaythroughSunday said...

I love your Tassies..My MIL makes them every year for Thanksgiving..she calls them Pecan Tassies. For my birthday, she gave me the pan and tool from Pampered Chef..I love them both..what a great gift. Love you blog...

Diane @ A Watered Garden said...

I am sooooo jealous! This looks like a wonderful day spent together. I the movie to top it off sounded fun. I heard August Rush was good and want to see it soon. I make "Pecan Tassies" as well and the other offerings your daughters made looked wonderful. I hope some day my daughters will all be in town and we can do things like that. Having everyone spread out is NO FUN. You are right...this "grandma thing" is getting so exciting. ;-)

Julie Fink said...

What a wonderful tradition!

Lisa B. said...

Ok, so I have seen your blog on the cookie exchange and I got jealous. I wish I could have been there. I miss my sisters and my mom!

momrn2 said...

These all look so fun and yummy!! What another wonderful tradition! Thanks for sharing this too!! :-)

Linda said...

Wow-how can one even begin to comment here? First of all, to have a family full of girls, so fun! And you a pro at baking. The fact that producing these good in these quantities leaves you still enthusiastic is a sign that you were born with a gift!

Anonymous said...

I love pecan tassies. I've never made them, but they are sooo good.

I'm with Diane, having kids far away makes me long for the day when we will all be together for a holiday to make some sweet memories.

Nise' said...

I am here visiting for the Sout-Tacular, but I like these cookies better! The reindeer ones are adorable! Making my own noodles is just too much work for this lazy gal!

gail@more than a song said...

Y'all are all so cute! And what a fun idea...most of you chickiees are too crafty and smart for me. Yes you can have 2 bbf's!
I had a recipe that looked like that, and it was written on an old paper plate.

Org Junkie said...

Oh my gosh those reindeer cookies are adorable! Are those just pretzels for the antlers? Do you decorate them after they are cooked?

Very neat and I love your annual tradition!