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Is it too early to start thinking about cookies?

With the recession, it looks like I'm giving everyone cookies and candy this year, in lieu of gadgets and gizmos.

Last Christmas, I did vanilla and chocolate spritz, shortbread, chocolate covered marshmallows, cardamon marshmallows, and caramel. I also made cocoa mix, with a little cayenne and more marshmallows.

The spritz were great (I really think this was because I used top shelf butter), but the output of my gun makes such a small cookie, it takes a long time to fill the whole cookie sheet, decorate, repeat.

What is everyone else making? Any suggestions for a good bottom layer filler?

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  1. It's never too early to talk cookies! I am going to bake Lebkuchen (great bottom layer, and people seem to really like them), sugar cookies, and Russian teacakes (I'm not sure that is the accurate name, but that's what Mom always called them). My mother, and by extension my sister and I always make a lot of cookies. When my mother was alive, friends and family would call our home around Dec. 19 or 20, itchy to receive their cookie trays that they knew my Mom would give them.

    1. Never too early to start planning (the stores would have you think it's already Christmas heh) check out the Cookie-Paloooza thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/564196

      1. I give cookies to coworkers as gifts. Last year I gave chocolate chip cookies with milk and white chocolate chips and walnuts. This year I'm thinking of giving brownies, maybe with white chocolate chips and crasins. I know I won't have a lot of time to bake this year, so I'm thinking brownies are easier than cookies.

        1. Never too early. We give Christmas baking as gifts and I sell it to co-workers. Will probably start very soon. Good thing the freezer is fairly empty now, cause it will start to fill up fast.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Sooeygun

            Sooeygun: Do you freeze the dough or the finished cookies?

            1. re: CeeBee

              I freeze the finished cookies in tupperware. There are a few things that I do in smaller batches as I need them, as the don't freeze as well, but almost everything I make goes in the freezer, shortbread, macaroons, lemon cheesecake squares, other bars and squares and on and on.

          2. I usually make at least four or five kinds, but package them inidvidually (colorful takeout containers, coffee mugs, holiday sandwich bags), so I don't really use a base layer.
            On the list this year:
            Chocolate Chips
            Pecan Sandies
            Oatmeal Rasin
            Chewy Ginger Cookies
            Hello Dolly Bars
            Bourbon Balls

            1 Reply
            1. re: CeeBee

              I've never heard of a Hello Dolly bar. What is it?

            2. It's never to early to think about cookies!

              Last year I made large-ish ginger bread men for my co-workers and packed them in celo-bags with holiday M&Ms to make them "stand up" in their mail boxes. It was a hit, and definitely will repeat this year.

              We also have a cookie exchange with a few other working groups from our section of cube-land. Last year I brought mini versions of the ginger bread men and spritz cookies. For this year I'm making cranberry-orange bar because I made a batch of marmalade a few months ago that turned out a little too sticky for toast. The other cookie variety is still up in the air...

              My step-grandmother used to bake hundreds of cookies and pack cookie boxes for each person in the family. She can't bake anymore, and we all miss those treasured boxes of goodies with our names on them, so I might resurrect the tradition this year. My favorites were always the peanut butter balls :)

              1. I like to give biscotti, especially to coffee drinkers. I make a mean dried cherry and almond dipped in white chocolate and prettied up with red sugar.

                1. There is a coconut pyramid cookie with chocolate on top on Martha Stewart's web site. I make these every year to great acclaim -- plus they hold up really well.

                  1. I have been making cookies as a gift at my client appreciation party. Each one will receive a dozen of their choice.

                    My favourite recipe this year is a French Butter Cookie. It is so versatile. I have made it and added some crushed lavender...yum. And I made it with crushed saffron threads and a scraped vanilla bean. That one was my absolute favourite.

                    Other ones I am making:
                    oatmeal and raisin
                    chocolate macaroons (the unbaked sort)
                    chocolate dipped orange peel cookies
                    lemon peel cookies - not sure if I will dip them