On the Delight of Family and Ovens

I’ve been back in America for about two weeks now. Less than one week before I return to Japan. This is hard for me to believe. The time has flown by…but that’s probably because, as most folks who return home after a long sojourn abroad know, you pretty much want to do everything you can’t do while in your expated country.

For me, the first one was baking.

My mother was shocked that I could decorate cookies like this. Makes me wonder what the last ones she saw looked like.

Long time followers of the blog/good friends who I complain to ALL THE TIME know that my oven in Japan is about the size of a toaster. I can bake about 6-10 cookies at a time, or one pie, one small cake, etc. Asia is not a baking continent. So I’ve been slowly but surely building up a need for other cookies.

Luckily, I came home over the holidays.

From the age of 13 to 17, after which I trucked to college, my family and my friends would make thousands upon thousands of cookies. I called these “Cookie Baking Parties”, and they were the highlight of the holiday season. Three days. Twenty or thirty friends. Enough sugar to down the Titanic.

It’s kinda hard to do the same thing when it’s just you, your mother, and your pregnant sister, but we three still managed to make about 25 varieties of cookies, for a total of about 1200. These we trussed up in Christmas flair and sent to mom’s friends, my friends, Sarah’s friends and work friends, and eldest sister’s friends.

Plates for the Red Hats Society.

It was a good, if somewhat stressful, time. And I’m happy because now I don’t feel like baking anymore. HAHAHAHAHA :/ .

It pleases me immensely to share something that is full of such warm, nostalgic memories. I love the smell and taste of cookies, of course, but I also like the careful process that goes into some, yet the slapdash stirring of others. And I’m so, so gratified that I could make so many cookies in an oven that requires less than an hour for a full batch THANK YOU GOODNESS.

That’s all. Any holiday traditions, minions? And I’ve put some photos of the cookies below (not all of them). If you’d like a recipe for any which one, maybe I’ll put it up in a future post. 😀

Gingersnaps. Our recipe makes softer, not snappy, ones. Maybe I should call them Gingersofts.

Zimtsterne, or cinnamon stars. Not for the faint of heart.

Expensive Lesson/Neiman Marcus cookies using dried cranberries and dates rather than chocolate chips.

Snickerdoodles. Anyone know where this name comes from?