mad skill with balls.

My sister Debbie is quite serious about her holiday baking.

baked cookies 2

This is no small undertaking.  She bakes more than a dozen different kinds of cookies, plus various quick breads.  Then she also makes fudge.  The crazy part is that she did all of this back in New Jersey in a kitchen the size of a small walk in closet.  Seriously, I don’t know how she did it.  She has a much more suitable kitchen here in Minnesota and I know she is enjoying it!

baking Debbie

She sets aside an entire weekend for her baking.  Since this is her first Christmas here it was also the first time I got to see the production first hand.  Her small dining table was piled high with supplies …

baking supplies

… nearly disguising my niece’s white tabletop Christmas tree.

baking supplies 2

Luckily Debbie’s new apartment has a good sized island which became the cookie cooling zone.

baked cookies cooling

It was also the measuring zone.

baking flour

I usually have to throw flour away at my house because it goes past the expiration date.  Yes, it’s true, flour has an expiration date.  I bet Debbie doesn’t even know that.  I believe she went through several jars of flour in one day.

baking flour jar

For the first hour or two I was fairly useless as a ‘baking helper’.  My main job was to retrieve supplies from the table as needed.

Debbie did all of the complicated stuff, like rolling these Stained Glass Cookies into long rolls and then slicing them into cookies …

baking stained glass

and spreading the dough out for Simple Sugar Cookies

baking sugar cookies 1

sprinkling them with colored sugar …

baking sugar cookies 2

and then slicing them into delicious diamond shaped cookies once they were baked and slightly cooled …

baked sugar cookies

I think these were my favorite cookie that we she made.  They had a faint almond flavor and were perfectly crisp.  Yum.

In addition to supply gathering, I was also given the task of crushing party mints which involved a hammer (since Debbie couldn’t find her rolling pin).  I’m pretty good with a hammer.  However, soon after my sister mixed up the Party Mint Cookies I found my niche.  Rolling balls.  Turns out, I’m good with balls.  Sometimes my balls got bigger than they were supposed to be and Debbie would admonish me to rein it in a little.

But just look at the Snicker Doodles that resulted from my mad ball rolling skill …

baked snicker doodles

Once Debbie had observed my ball rolling talents, she had me rolling balls for the rest of the day.  I produced a serious quantity of balls, like as in 100’s of them.  Balls rolled in blue sugar, balls rolled in green sugar, balls with a milk dud stuffed inside.

cookies 2

Turns out Debbie’s least favorite part of baking a million cookies is the ball rolling!  So now I have an official function in the cooking baking operation.  I hope to be rolling balls for my sister for many years to come.

How about you?  Is there a holiday baking tradition at your house?

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31 thoughts on “mad skill with balls.

  1. Clearly, Debbie enjoys holiday baking! Such a great time for making memories and now you have a “roll” in the whole yummy process!

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  2. Hmm…since you did not mention it was there no sneaking of the cookie dough sampling going on? I am a holiday baker as well. Sugar cookies with almond – wonder if we use the same recipe, snicker doodles, peanut blossoms (with the Hershey’s kiss on top) and a new to me a couple of years ago hot cocoa cookies. Those I have to be given away they are lethal. So I use a scoop for creating the balls but they still have to be rolled. That is usually my daughter’s job. Your sister is very ambitious lucky to have a cookie baller on staff. I bet you rolled some in sugar too!

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  3. Years ago my mother made us each a Christmas Bake Apron. My mother no longer can bake, but my sister, niece, daughter and granddaughter bake for en entire day. We make Russian Tea cakes, ginger krinkles, Spritz,, sugar cookies, peanut butter kiss cookies, ginger bread men, krunkaka and gum drop cookies. We quad every receipe so we each have , lots of cookies to bring home. It’s a fun day.

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      1. I will put recipe on later when I get home. Thanks everyone for the comments. I was laughing quite a bit reading them. I made 18 different things by the end of the weekend and I had my daughter to do the balling on Sunday and most of the dishes. Thanks to the both of them for all the help. Now we have tons of baked goods to eat and share!

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    1. Heres the recipe: So-Easy Sugar Cookies. Heat oven to 375. Mix 3/4 c. Sugar, 1/3 c. Butter, softened, 1/3 c. Oil, 1 tbsp milk, 2tsp almond extract and 1 egg until light and fluffy. Mix 1 1/2 c. Flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt into wet items. Spread evenly into ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar. I use colored sugar. Bake at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes and then cut into bars.

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      1. I think that’s what my sister likes about this recipe as well. These were so yummy that I might even consider baking them … probably not … but maybe 😉

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  4. Well, there’s something to put on your resume. “Good with balls.” Good call Mr. Q, wouldn’t be prudent. 😉 I love how Debbie always has the best smile in all of your pictures. You guys clearly have the best time together.

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  5. Love em or leave em, we love em… Fruitcakes. Bake them in early November so they can age in their brandy soaked wrappings. But snickerdoodles are a family favorite.

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