It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Well, actually, it’s beginning to look a lot like I’ve been in the kitchen making a mess, but the two concepts do go hand-in-hand with one another.

It’s the holiday season, and that means breaking out the Kitchenaid and going to town making a bazillion cookies. Every year we swear we’re going to make less – and every year we seem to make more. It’s a holiday tradition in excess, for sure.

This year, though, we have Gino, Victor’s 10 year old nephew coming down to help and to learn a few of the traditional family cookies! This shall be fun! Gino has definitely shown an interest as well as an aptitude for learning. (His dad’s a really good cook, too!)

The most important cookie to learn is Aunt Emma’s Apricot Cookie. This particular cookie elicits arguments all Christmas season from various cousins – and one particular uncle. “It’s made like this” It’s rolled like this” It’s… It’s… It’s…” It’s delicious no matter HOW you put them together – and everyone seems to think THEY have the “right” way. Sadly, Aunt Emma hasn’t been around for about 15 years to let everyone know that WE do them the right way!

We’ll also be making several different biscotti’s and pizzele’s… And my mom’s spice cookies, Aunt Dolores’ Rum Balls… and… and…

I’ve already made a half dozen different doughs… Vanilla Almond, Chocolate Almond, A Peppermint Pinwheel I’ve never made before, as well as a Spiced Apricot and Walnut that I sort of made up… All sitting in the refrigerator awaiting that magic moment when the double ovens get fired up and the score of sheetpans get covered in parchment, the butcherblock island cleared off of all but rolling pin and flour and the Christmas music blares from the speakers all over the house.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, indeed!