Joyful And Triumphant...

Phew! After three days in the kitchen, I finished baking the 320-ish cookies that comprised the 2009 Cookie Bonanza. I packed them into seasonal-printed boxes (from Martha Stewart, naturally) with clear-acetate tops so that you would be able to see the bounty within. I also printed and included a paper insert for each box with warm wishes for the holiday season and a description of the contents of the packages. Everyone received the following assortment of cookies:
  • 2 iced sugar cookies
  • 2 chocolate peppermint cookies
  • 2 cashew caramel linzer cookies
  • 3 chocolate gingerbread cookies
  • 3 maple pecan shortbreads
  • 4 lemon ginger cookies
  • 5 vanilla spritz cookies
I packed six boxes for my favorite coworkers, and a large bag of miscellaneous cookies to place in the office kitchen for those not lucky enough to be on my list for individual boxes. The cookies were very well-received. I got emails and office visits from appreciative colleagues all day long, and even one hug. It may have been a ton of work, but the true joy of the season is all in the giving.

Reflecting on this year's Cookie Bonanza, I feel pretty good about my offerings. I was proud to have increased the selection from last year's five cookies to seven this year, owing to better advance planning. I think I had a good balance of flavors, and I represented a wide array of techniques, with three drop cookies, one pressed cookie, three cut-out cookies, one of which was a sandwich cookie and one of which I decorated with royal icing for the first time. There might have been a slight bias towards shortbread-textured cookies, but I think that's acceptable. My only regret was not having a thumbprint-style cookie, but I felt I already had enough chocolate offerings and the only thumbprint cookies that caught my interest this year boasted chocolate fillings. Besides, it's good to leave something to aspire to for the Cookie Bonanza 2010.

I must say though, I am thoroughly sick of cookies. Besides one of the cashew caramel linzer cookies that I forced myself to eat to assess whether they were worthy of sharing with people, a few spritz cookies, and a lemon ginger cookie that I broke removing from the cookie sheet, I've barely eaten any of my own production. I get exhausted just thinking about all of them. But I am happy to have made other people happy, and that's what the Christmas spirit is all about.

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