I love cookie cutters.
I have about a hundred in various shapes, sizes and designs. I used to store them in a box in the pantry, but now they are pinned to a framed bulletin board and displayed in the living room. I can’t take credit for this art project – I saw a photograph on twitter – but it makes it easier to find the cookie cutter I want when baking cookies.
Despite my love of cookie cutters, I am not a fan of sugar cookies. I love to eat them, I just can’t make them. Every batch I’ve attempted either turned out too hard, too soft or baked into chewy blobs that did not resemble a reindeer. I even mess up store-bought sugar cookie dough.
My lack of sugar cookie expertise wasn’t an issue while I was living in St. Joseph, Mo. Several of my St. Joseph News-Press colleagues and I would get together for a Saturday of Christmas cookie baking at my house every December, and my friend Susie would bring the sugar cookies. (She has the best recipe. In fact, she is going to write the guest column later this month and share it with you.) Kristi always made peanut butter cookies with Hershey’s Kisses in the middle and I went with chocolate chip. There were other recipes we tried over the years, but those were the staples.
I loved our baking tradition. Crowded around a table filled with bowls of frosting, sprinkles and other decorations, we’d laugh and talk and consume way too much sugar. Everyone left my house with containers of cookies, most of which showed up in the newsroom the following Monday.
Nearly seven years have passed since my last Saturday baking day with Susie, Kristi and anyone else who happened to stop by. My daughter loves to bake, so I’ll have company when it’s time to make Christmas cookies this year, but I hope that someday the three of us can meet in a kitchen once again to bake, frost and laugh.
In the meantime, here’s a cookie recipe that is one of my holiday favorites. A friend shared it with me years ago and it has since become a Christmas staple.
INSIDE-OUT OREO COOKIES
Crush the Oreo cookies until they are a fine powder. A food processor works best, but you can put them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin, too.
Beat the cream cheese, then add the Oreo crumbs. Mix until combined.
Roll the batter into bite-sized balls. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
Melt the almond bark according to instructions on the package. Dip each ball in the almond bark until covered.Place the balls on waxed paper and refrigerate until ready to serve.