Since the year I was born, my sisters and I have gathered at my Aunt’s house for one sugar-laden night that’s practically coined, Cookie Night.
For 30-plus years, my Aunt has had us over at her house for one fated night where we gather to make dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies. She’s a Christmas cookie classicist and never veers from her classic buttery sugar cookie dough and a deeply spiced molasses gingerbread dough. The night begins with one sister rolling, another cutting out various shapes, and the third manning the oven. Then, along with a comfort food dinner and some wine (now that we’re older), we decorate for hours on end.
My domestically-inclined Aunt excels at this sort of thing and she has always kept the DIY spirit alive in our family, be it through her handmade clay ornaments or these cookies. I owe a lot of my kitchen creativity to her as she was the first person to patiently teach me to pipe icing and to sort through her endless assortment of decorations to find just the perfect one, even if it was one of the last of those now-outlawed, believed to be lead-laden silver Dragees.
Through the years, this night has taken on all sorts of identities. When we were younger, we’d have cookies yawning under the weight of too much icing. As teenagers, we turned them into naughty cookies with PG 13 or even R-rated decorations. And once I got into culinary school, I took to meticulously designing each and every cookie with way more effort that it was worth seeing as my brothers would promptly inhale multiple cookies at once.
These last few years, I haven’t been able to make cookie night but I’ve decided to pay homage to the tradition with a week of cookies here on the site. So, for the next few days, I’ll be sharing three cookies that are staples at our Christmas celebrations. First up is the twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie where I added the ice cream sundae classic flavor pairing of vanilla and cherry. They’ll never replace my Aunt’s Christmas cookies but they’re just as sure to win over many a cookie lover.