Christmas Cookbook Giveaways!

In celebration of the holiday season, CookThatBook will be giving away a copy of Gourmet Magazine’s “The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941-2009” and Alice Medrich’s “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies”. To enter for a chance to win, post a comment below telling me about your favourite treat to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve. Be sure to stipulate which of the cookie books you would prefer to receive. On December 14th I will draw two names randomly from the list of comments. A huge thank you to the folks over at Thomas Allen & Son, Ltd. for donating copies of the books for our giveaway!

In our house the month of December is all about cookies. With Christmas carols blasting and holiday decorations perfectly in place, I don my festive apron that almost borders on being tacky and head into the kitchen. Each year I am full of excitement at the possibility of discovering new recipes, but also indulging in traditional favourites that only make an appearance at this time of year.

Followers of this blog will already be aware of my obsession with baking. I love the structure and regimented exactness that is required (can anyone say anal Capricorn?!) which allows me to completely zone out and focus on just one task. But there’s something special about Christmas cookies in particular. They hold an extra dose of magic! Yes they’re fun to make and delicious to eat, but they are prepared with the sole purpose of being shared with family, friends…and of course the big man himself; Santa. In fact, the whole concept of leaving cookies for Santa is believed to have started around the time of the Great Depression. Parents were looking for a way to instil values of generosity and sharing, even during difficult times. Hard to deny that there’s something infinitely uplifting about being the recipient of a batch of freshly baked cookies. They have the power to warm your soul.

As a child I remember leaving out plates of cookies I had baked with my mother and being so excited on Christmas morning when all that was left were crumbs. (Whew – he liked them!) Now when I bake cookies with my own children I see that same excitement in their eyes; the sparkle of holiday magic.

Here are the showstopper cookies that will be featured in our house this holiday season. And yes I realize as he reads this list Mr. Spock is preparing his annual speech about how I always get carried away and make a ridiculous amount of cookies. Bah humbug sweetie! You try cutting down on this list:

Chocolate Mint Cookies
Whipped Shortbread
Butterscotch Cookies
Butter Tarts
Mincemeat Tarts
Gingerbread Cookies
Sugar Cookies