Amelie, my older sister, and I share the same smile, the same sense of humor, and the same gene-deep love of cookies. (We get it from our mom.)
As a teen, I baked chocolate chip cookies for Amelie and her (three years older, cooler) friends in a bid to join in on their fun. It worked…sometimes. She went off to college in Michigan, and I missed her back home in Connecticut. So I made cookies and mailed them to her dorm. In return, I got CD mixes and college T-shirts, which made me feel very worldly indeed.
Eventually, she made her way back to the East Coast with her husband, Joe. That first year, a few weeks before the holidays, she called me with a crazy idea: Let’s make all the Christmas cookies in one go—together—and give them as gifts. We called it Cookiepalooza. Through moves, job changes, my time at culinary school, and the arrival of her son, Alex, (and, coming soon, a second kid!) we’ve kept it up.
Sure, it’s nuts. But Cookiepalooza is also one of the best days of the year. We play music, catch up, cuddle Alex, try new recipes, and occasionally burn a few cookies. And although we’re gifting other people with treats, what we’re giving each other is time—a few luxurious hours when we answer only to the oven timer and each other. I can’t think of anything sweeter.
Ready to throw your own Cookiepalooza? The key to success is organization (and caffeine). Here’s how we pull it off.
Don't Forget This Stuff!
Besides groceries (get the shopping list here), these are your essentials:
• Parchment paper (get lots!)
• Piping bags or gallon-size freezer bags
• Plastic wrap
• Cookie scoops, 1- and 1 1/2-tbsp. capacity
• Food coloring
• Bakery boxes (for gifting)
• Bakery twine (for tying the boxes)
• Gift labels
• Something super-easy for lunch (I recommend charcuterie, bread, cheese, and fruit—and, of course, rejected cookies)
Have your baking buddy bring:
• Extra cooling racks
• Mixing bowls
• Cookie sheets
• Plastic containers
• A spare hand mixer (or if she has the same type of stand mixer as you, just the bowl and the paddle attachment)
Get the complete Cookiepalooza shopping list here. Yes, you really do need all that butter!
Line your entire dining room table with parchment so you have a spot for all your cooled cookies.
Heat it Up
The toffee bakes first thing. Turn on the oven before you do anything else.
Get the Recipes:
Peanut Butter Saltine Toffee
Try our Peanut Butter Saltine Toffee
Buttery Sugar Cookies
Try our Buttery Sugar Cookies
No-Roll Linzer Cookies
Try our No-Roll Linzer Cookies
Minty Chocolate-Covered Slice-and-Bakes
Fennel-Citrus Greek Tea Cookies
Try our Fennel-Citrus Greek Tea Cookies
Chewy Lots-of-Ginger Cookies
Try our Chewy Lots-of-Ginger Cookies
Try our Royal Icing