As hectic as the holiday season can get, taking the time to make cookies gets you in the spirit and offers a great activity for you and the kids (as well as a little homespun gift for friends and family). Just accept that there will be a happy mess and proceed. We like to look to Sur La Table and author Cindy Mushet’s “Baking Kids Love” which includes a recipe for Be Creative Sugar Cookies and decorating tips for sugar cookies.
As part of your cookie-making adventure, drop by Cookies in Ballard to let the kids choose their own special cutter. Cookies is a cozy shop that’s packed to the rafters with cookie cutters of all shapes, sizes and materials. You also can assemble a cookie-making gift basket with copper cutters, cookie decorations and, say, a rolling pin or other baking tool. There also are Christmas cookie-making sets that include icing mix, decorations and cutters. Gingerbread sets are available, too.
Of course, if a day of baking is not in the cards, you can give the gift of some of Seattle’s best bakeries. Columbia City Bakery offers assorted Christmas cookies, including raspberry thumbprint, lemon sugar, tipsy rum, packed in a red Chinese takeout box for $9 per dozen. Macrina Bakery sells large brown sugar shortbread Christmas tree cookies ($3.75 each) that look great in a cellophane bag tied with ribbon. Honore Artisan Bakery makes the best Parisian macarons ($2 each) in a rainbow of colors and flavors. Café Besalu makes beautiful pine nut cookies, checkerboard shortbread and others depending on the chef’s whim ($1.25 and up). Bakery Nouveau is offering cookie platters ($22 per 18-24 pieces) that include an assortment of shortbreads, Russian teacakes, ginger, and Linzer cookies. Call ahead to the bakeries if you have a large order.
— Hsiao-Ching Chou