While I'm not a huge Christmas person, there are three things I really like about this time of year:
1) Extra days off work.
2) The license to consume obscene amounts of sugar and alcohol.
3) The spirit of generosity.
All of these things converge this week. Starting tomorrow, I have five days off, which is not as great as the two weeks some people have but is certainly better than no days off! Among the things I want to do before Christmas is deliver cookies around town.
While many people bring sweets to their friends and neighbors, I've gotten in the habit of delivering cookies to some of the people I appreciate all year round even though they're not friends. This sometimes includes the corner grocer or the local drycleaner, but it always includes the butcher and the vet.
This year's goodies include the fabulous array of cookies my friends and I baked on Sunday. Of course there were my Mexican wedding cookies, but there were plenty of other treats, truly something for everyone.
Peanut butter and jelly cookie sandwiches: a good excuse to eat two cookies masquerading as one.
Biscotti, for the adult in some of us.
Soft ginger cookies.
Thumbprints filled with homemade jam.
I'll happily risk losing a tooth for this toffee.
Cranberry-orange-pistachio cookies, in perfect Christmas colors.
My miniature black and whites (which were not nearly as photogenic as the ones on the Gourmet cover.)
Sugarplums, which I'd never had before. They were nutty, chewy, and delicious.
Shortbread with peppermint bark: buttery, minty, chocolatey perfection.
German cinnamon stars, crunchy and spicy.
And the divine rocky road.
Happy holidays, everyone!