Introduction

Cookies_and_Cocktails_bookcover-compressedBaking Up Holiday Memories
The tradition of leaving Christmas cookies for Santa Claus is believed to have been started during the Great Depression. Children that were on the naughty list were encouraged to leave a sweet treat for jolly old St. Nick in a final attempt to avoid finding a lump of coal in their stockings on Christmas morning.  Perhaps folks were just being polite to leave the gentleman some cookies. After all, a night spent traveling around the world in a sleigh is bound to make anyone hungry.

The Christmas cookie truly is a holiday icon, but who has the time to bake them? It is unheard of to just serve ONE type of cookie or dessert, you need a variety. Kris Kringles, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Snowflakes, Peanut Butter Hershey Kisses® cookies, Fruit Cake, the list is endless. Between shopping, wrapping presents, dressing the Christmas tree, going to parties, secret Santa’s, Caroling and sending out Christmas cards, baking cookies always seems to gets pushed down on the holiday “to do” list.

Not this year!!! A Cookies and Cocktails cookie exchange is the answer to an effortless holiday season. Ladies, if you haven’t already hosted your own Cookie Party, this is the year for you. Holiday baking doesn’t have to be a chore. Have FUN doing it! Since 1996, my friends and I have been throwing an annual cookie party to exchange cookies, drink cocktails, catch up on girl-talk and have an old-fashioned good time. With each passing year, our friendships grow stronger and new memories are created.

We all grew up helping our mothers spend the first two weekends in December baking. I can remember my sister and I helping our mom bake at least a dozen different kinds of cookies and desserts. Kris Kringles were first. We would help roll out the dough, decide on a favorite cookie cutter…a Christmas tree or maybe a stocking shape so that we could write our names on them. It seemed like an eternity for the cookies to bake and cool before you could get to the fun part, decorating them with colorful icing and sprinkles. After eating the broken pieces or the ones with mistakes in the frosting, we would let them dry overnight. In the morning the delicate pieces of art were placed gently into beautifully decorated cookies tins. The best part, for me, was giving the cookies as gifts to neighbors and friends. People were always so excited to see “the cookie tin”. I guess it is the anticipation of finding out what delicious treasure is
inside.

Well enough reminiscing. The time has come to make new holiday memories with your best girlfriends, mothers, sisters, aunts and daughters. We hope our Cookies and Cocktails cookbook inspires you to host your own cookie party. Swap cookies, bake them together or just get together for holiday drinks. This is the year for your own cookie party revolution.

We would love to hear your “Cookies and Cocktails” stories, please tell us about your holiday cookie exchange and what makes your celebration so special. For cookie party ideas, additional recipes and information on how to publish your own edition of Cookies and Cocktails go to www.cookiesandcocktails.com.  Happy Holidays!

~Sherrie Wilkolaski