Christmas is probably my favourite time of the year to bake cookies. I love making the family recipes I grew up on as well as adding new and exciting treats to my repetoire. For me baking during this time of year really holds a special place in my heart because, to me, it means family. Whether it's Nana's ginger snaps (excellent year-round with tea by the way), or Grandma's sugar cookies they all have so many memories.
One of my favourite is my Grandma's almond cake. The first time I made it was 2 years ago. The recipe was the last Christmas gift I got from her. It took me 8 years to bring myself to make it. And reading the recipe still makes me cry. I didn't get a chance to make it last Christmas; between teaching, participating in a local baker's market, moving and a serious case of first-trimester narcolepsy, it just didn't pan out. This year it's a must on the baking list.
 I usually go a bit overboard with the cookies, partly because of my sweet tooth, but mostly because I love having them around for family and friends. Also, I love baking cookies with people. One of my best baking assistants is my hubby. I do most of the baking, but he's a great help. Whether it's dipping cookies in chocolate, taste testing, cutting out shapes or refilling my eggnog, he's always there with enthusiasm and a sense of humour. The other night he helped out with the Cardamom Honey cookies while I fed baby. Yep, those are Christmas lobsters he's making!
I've tried not to set the bar too high for myself this year. Baking and taking care of a 5 month old at the same time isn't easy. Things get burnt. The dog steals anything that isn't closely gaurded.  So what gets done gets done, and I'll probably opt for more slice and bake cookies rather than cut outs this year. I do know that I'm already looking forward to Christmases in the future when little hands can help us make cookies together.

Here are a few of my favourites for you to check out. Sorry, only a lucky few get the family recipes!
Hope your baking is full of friends, family and lots of love!
 


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