This Saturday I got to enjoy a highlight of the holiday season — my annual day of cookie baking with some of my favorite LA ladies. Last year we missed it. Luke had pneumonia and our house was struggling big time. So, it made this year all the more sweet. Add on to that our first visit to Sarah’s beautiful new home and I was eagerly awaiting the day.

IMG_4203Up at 6 with a toddler who has yet to adjust to the time change, Luke and I had more than enough time to hit the store and mix up my cookie batter in advance of the party. If I’ve learned anything the last few years it’s that having cookies in various stages of the process allows us to jump in and get going early when we still have stamina. Luke’s become pretty good about helping in the kitchen and this time he got the extra special task of licking the beaters.

We made these Chewy Lemon Snowdrop cookies that I found on Pinterest. They are much like a lemon bar and maximize one of my favorite winter CA ingredients with the use of both the zest and the juice. I would definitely make them again.

Kelli’s known for her sugar cookie cut outs and puts a huge effort into making the day a success. This year Sarah manned the oven with some serious efficiency. I don’t think we used the timer more than twice. Katie brought along a homemade limoncello that was way to delicious for my own good.

IMG_4205Everyone brings at least one cookie recipe and 80% of their kitchen equipment. We spend hours and hours in the kitchen using every pan we can find. There’s usually an unsuspecting husband/man-partner who staggers into the kitchen at some point completely unprepared for the production that is sprawled out before him. We usually play christmas music. We always have booze and an intense amount of cheese. We share a lot of good stories, we get a little crass and are definitely creating a tradition that none of us are eager to walk away from any time soon.

Having hosted the festivities on a handful of occasions, I was pleased to learn that being the first to leave meant I left with a reasonable portion of cookies for our household of 3 to consume before we head east for the holidays. Hosting herself this year, I can imagine that Sarah and Leon are up to their eyeballs in cookies but are no doubt the grateful recipients of the treats.

What are you baking these days Country Mama?