Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Party + Cookie Baking

This past weekend was full of Christmas{y} activities such as my work party, the Nutcracker ballet with my daughter, cookie baking with my mom and a performance of Harry Connick Jr.'s The Happy Elf musical at our local community theater.  Though I barely had time for nothing else, it sure was fun to take in a few shows and gather with my coworkers.   

Here I am about to board the bus for our party with my friends at work...  

My favorite people to work with!

Our old teammate {Katie} met up with us for a bit.  It was great to see her too!

And of course,  my BFF at work, Beth...

Even though you work with people everyday, it's always nice to have a chance to socialize with them beyond the school walls.

Cookie baking has become a tradition that I do every year with my mom.  Though we like all kinds of cookies, there are a few must-haves that we are certain to make.  Two of those include my Baba's Jelly cookies and the Spritz cookies using an 80 year old cookie press. 

While we were busy perfecting each and every cookie, Payton and Alli were having fun making holiday cards using the old cards my parents received in 2011.  Leave it up to my mom to pull those babies out!   

First up, "Jellies" with red raspberry preserves.  The dough for this particular cookie doesn't expand so we fit a ton on one baking sheet.  We like to make them rather small since that is how my grandmother used to do it.   

If I had to choose, these are probably my favorite holiday treats.

After a quick lunch, we were on to the next type...old fashioned Spritz. 

Spritz cookies are made by placing buttery dough into a metal cylinder tube.  By turning the knob, the insert inside is lowered and pushes the dough through these metal stencils.  This particular cookie press belonged to my grandmother and like I said, my mom estimates it to be approximately 80 years old.  We've tried the newer plastic versions and they just don't match up. 

This year I picked up colored sugar for the top.  These buttery cookies are so good that they melt in your mouth.

After dinner my family wanted cookies for dessert.  Being the cookie police, I only allowed two per person.  Needless to say, my family was not happy but they need to last until Christmas!  

On another subject, running has been hard to squeeze in.  I did, however, run 4 on Saturday and about 7.5 miles with Jesse on Sunday.  Hey, it's something.  

What did you do this weekend that put you in the Christmas spirit?

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