This year, I approached Christmas cookies thusly: I made a small amount of a “kiddie cookie” and a small amount of a “grownup cookie.” And they were great! First, I made the “Sugar Cookie Cutouts,” from Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2001. The recipe is scaled to make 8 dozen, so I decreased it to make only 2 dozen. But rather than producing 24 cookies, I got only about 10. They were too big, perhaps? Anyway, this was fine. I liked how this recipe didn’t use too much sugar. I decided not to make the suggested frosting. Instead, I allowed my young child to go crazy with the sprinkles.

I baked these cookies for 10 minutes. They were lovely: buttery and sweet. Fun for kids and grownups alike. And speaking of grownups…

I managed to make 25 cookies with the next recipe. “Aunt Anne’s Sesame Cookies,” from All Recipes, were a moist celebration of sesame flavor. The recipe asks for anise extract, but instead I wisely used a splash of Pernod, which is a French, licorice-flavored apéritif.

I enjoyed rolling each little log of dough in my hands, dipping in the milk, then covering in seeds. When things got too sticky, I covered my hands in some flour. These cookies baked for 18 minutes. They were spectacular.

RECIPES: cookie baking should only be fun; the rewards here are great
PREP TIMES: sugar-cookie dough needs to be refrigerated for three hours; eat sesame cookies within an hour (if you can wait that long!)
TASTES: the sugar cookies deliver sweet butteriness; the sesame cookies shine with a licorice warmth

Remember to reference my recipe for Pinnulata, which I will definitely make again, this Christmas. Returning to dinnertime, next time I want to cook “Grandmas Chicken Chardon” and “Grecian Green Beans in Tomato Sauce,” both from All Recipes. Come back to my site to see this meal, on Saturday, December 26.