The past two weeks have been pretty intense. In addition to the general busyness that is my job, I've had two work parties that I have catered. So it was so wonderful to relax today and simply spend time with my mom. It's been forever since I've spent time with my family and I've missed them! Mom and I had a marathon baking day to get ready for Christmas. We didn't get all of our cookies made but we got a head start. We baked from 2pm - 9pm and we were exhausted! All of the cookies we made are going to our neighborhood Christmas party. I've been wanting to host a neighborhood party for a while but haven't been able to make it happen because of my work schedule. One of our neighbors must have been reading my mind because they called a few weeks back to see what we thought about "having a little neighborhood get together." Yes! Our contribution to the party will be Maryland crab dip, semi-homemade meatballs, a veggie platter, and (of course) tons of cookies.

"You don't really need all of that, do you??" asked my dad. Yes, Dad, we do.

No matter how many cookie baking books I have, I always come back to these two.

I begged my mom for a cobalt blue Kitchen Aid mixer a few Christmases ago. She managed to find it on sale at Kohl's on Black Friday. I think I just about cried when I opened the box that Christmas.

Sugar cookies aren't my favorite cookie, but my mom's are pretty tasty. Her secret is to roll them out using a 50/50 mix of flour and powdered sugar...and she rolls them thin!

I always line my baking sheets with parchment paper because it makes clean up super easy. Another one of my "secrets" is using a cookie scoop. It makes all the cookies uniform so they bake evenly. I like to use a scoop on my chocolate chip cookies. After I scoop them, I flatten them slightly and they bake up perfectly.

This is first year I tried to make these chocolate mint ribbons. They were very buttery and delicious!

Mom and me :D

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~ Erin