Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Annual Cookie Tray & Boxes

Ah yes, it is that time of year again. Panda le Chef's famous annual cookie trays! For those of you who know know about my cookie tray and boxes, here is a little history...

A few years back I decided I was over Christmas... WAY over Christmas. So over Christmas that I revolted and decided to not buy anyone presents. I didn't want to add to the piles of useless junk we all carry around with us, only to have my gifts tossed out the following year in a landfill. After some brainstorming, I decided that I should bake gifts for folks. Especially since baking is a joy and a passion for me! I fiddled around with doing custom baked gifts for people, but that didn't prove to be very efficient in my kitchen. Next, I decided that a uniform cookie list was a good choice, but I didn't want to fall within the conventional holiday cookie tray trap (sugar cookies, frosted snowflakes, and all that jazz). After realizing how good at research I am and how it could be of great use to me for baking purposes, I spent a great deal of time searching for new and fun recipes for my cookie spread. Online resources, cooking magazines, friends of friends recipes, you name it. And after a while, my annual cookie trays became AMAZINGLY tasty and different from all the rest.

Nowadays, I usually spend all year selecting the right recipe blend for my cookie trays. I bake sample runs of the recipes throughout the year and get feedback from folks on which are their favorites. I have found that 6-8 recipes is just right for what I am going for. I typically do a double batch of everything making my total production line in my poor ol' kitchen around 600-800 cookies and treats. It literally takes me 72 hours of good solid baking and crafting to produce my cookie spread. And I put my heart and soul into those baked goods, so it feels incredible to hear the people who eat my treats tell me how much they brightened their day.

Check back later for a full list of recipes on this year's cookie tray as well as links to those recipes. Happy baking!

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