a CookieFest throwdown

Our last Saturday in Boston before home and Christmas was reserved for CookieFest.


After speeding through our final bits of Christmas shopping and wrapping, I settled in the kitchen for my first ever attempt at Grandma's spritz recipe.

I've wanted to make these for a while now, because it doesn't feel like Christmas until I've had one of these butter cookies. They melt into nothing, leaving behind a deliciously sweet almond flavor that makes you crave more. I kept putting it off — they are intimidating, but the tasting contest at CookieFest finally gave me the motivation of a deadline.

So, armed with a vintage cookie press Grandma gave me last December, I tossed the butter and sugar in the KitchenAid and crossed my fingers.

anna's first spritz attempt

After some trial and error with the cookie press, I got into the swing of things. They came out of the oven with that barely golden edge, and they were edible. Unfortunately, I think I added just a smidge too much flour, so they didn't quite measure up to Grandma's (that means I need to practice; friends in Boston, you've been warned).

We packed up the spritz anyway and headed to Brett and Emily's in time to help with the sugar cookies for the decorating contest. From there the doorbell kept ringing, cookies kept piling on the table, and the competitions commenced.

erin won the tasting competition

Erin snagged the golden reindeer in the tasting competition, while the snowboarder's lodge won the gingerbread house competition — judged by real architects Dan and Ian.

team 4's colorful chimney

I think Erin, Wen, and I's turned out pretty good though. Ian assured me we had the best landscape. I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that we're married.

team 3: indoor/outdoor spaces

A speed sugar cookie decorating session followed, and Erin and Gerald awarded the third and final golden reindeer to Jenny, three-year CookieFest veteran.

Exhausted, the remaining CookieFesters settled in for Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. This was my first time to see it in it's entirety, and while the look-beyond-appearance message is a good one, I was surprised at the sexism ("the important thing was to get the women back to Christmas Town" ... really?) Critique aside, it was a fun bonding experience, and we could all laugh together in the progress society has made since.

After the movie, we trudged home and collapsed in bed, half wishing we hadn't eaten quite so many cookies.

Thanks to Brett and Emily for hosting this great event — we can't wait for next year.