Thankful for our Annual Christmas Cookie Tradition

By
Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977

Thankful for our Christmas Cookie Tradition

 

My wife and I have a long-standing cookie-making tradition at Thanksgiving. In realty it’s been going on for decades!

 

For years we made these German Honey Lebkuchen all in one day (I make the dough the day before so it has time to chill), but in recent years we sometimes have stretched the timing out. My wife and I make some at home in Carlsbad, and then take the dough and everything else needed up to LA to make cookies with our 2 daughters and their families now that the 4 grandkids are older and want to help.

 

2022 will be special as both daughters and their families will be here for Thanksgiving…a rarity…and Black Friday, instead of shopping, will be cookie-making day with 4 grandkids!

 

I learned about my wife’s German family cookie making tradition before we even got married. On her mother’s side of the family it’s been a tradition for generations, and we started our own tradition when my wife and I first started dating.

 

Cookie making is done at Thanksgiving time, and depending on the size of the cookies (and the varying shapes with grandkids involved), you end up with around 15 dozen, plus or minus. In 2021 we ended up with about 180 cookies.

 

I’d estimate we’ve made well over 7000 cookies over our time together, not counting other cookies we make for the holidays. No doubt I have consumed hundreds over the years!

 

A big part of the fun of making these cookies, in addition to eating them and being with family, is sharing with others.

 

It’s quite a process from start to finish. I always mix the batter a day or two before making the cookies (that was done today). While much of the recipe is pretty easy, it gets laborious when you have to stir in 15 cups of flour into a sticky honey/brown and granulated sugar/butter mixture. I’ve actually broken 2 wooden spoons over the years.

 

Back in 2017 I had to hand over the final stirring to my son-in-law, who was thankfully visiting, due to a right rotator cuff injury. I just couldn’t manage the last 5 or so cups of flour!

 

Once the dough is rolled out (my wife is the expert) they are traditionally cut into diamond shapes. But when there are grandkids involved some tradition flies out the window - they like using varied cookie cutter shapes or creating their own shapes. Each cookie gets 1 blanched almond before baking, and after cooking they are coated with a glaze of powdered sugar, milk, and lemon extract.

 

The cookies are kept in canisters for a few weeks to season and soften with a piece of bread. The cardamom, citron, and honey lend a special flavor over time, but no one waits very long before taste-testing. While it’s nice to have some for Christmas Day and after, it doesn’t always happen that way.

 

We have a few other holiday traditions but this is one I particularly like due to family involvement. And I enjoy creating something to share with family and friends. On a few occasions we’ve had friends over to make them (it’s a lot of work for just 2 people!) since our kids grew up and left. I can’t imagine the holidays without this long-standing family tradition. I hope it will continue for years to come, and perhaps our kids will take it on themselves.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy your traditions!

Posted by

Jeff Dowler, CRS
Certified Residential Specialist / Realtor®


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Comments (16)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Kudos to you for doing two holidays at once and one fell swoop! Love and light and happy both holidays to you, my friend!

Nov 23, 2022 09:45 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thank you Laura Cerrano  and to you as well!

Jeff

Nov 23, 2022 09:48 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Anything home cooked and filled with love is awesome in my world:) Thanks for sharing! 

🍂 🍁Happy Thanksgiving 🍁 to you and yours! 🍁🍂

Nov 24, 2022 12:07 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

I agree Inna Ivchenko  Thank you.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jeff

Nov 24, 2022 08:46 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Jeff... I'm amazed by your cookie making tradition each and every year! Maybe that's because I've never yet baked a cookie myself that I didn't burn! Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and a happy cookie baking day!

Nov 24, 2022 04:25 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

It's been a fun tradition all these years and lots of family dialogue about whose cookies are the best Nina Hollander, Broker  The young ones really enjoy the process.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jeff

Nov 24, 2022 08:48 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Jeff Dowler, CRS I wouldn't mind being a fly on the wall to see why I only burn cookies and not bake them!

Nov 24, 2022 01:19 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Jeff. Kudos to you and the wife for sustaining your cookie making tradition for so many years May it continue for many more! Enjoy your day.

Nov 24, 2022 04:40 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

I hope so Wayne Martin  It's fun to make the cookies with others (plus it lightens the workload!).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jeff

Nov 24, 2022 08:49 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a wonderful tradition! And I bet the house smells amazing.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Nov 24, 2022 04:42 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

It's always a lot of fun Kat Palmiotti  and each year the basics are the same but the variety of cookies, and the people involved varies. In some ways it's hard to believe we have been making these for over 40 years!

Jeff

Nov 24, 2022 01:17 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Jeff - did you say cookies?  Thankfulness almost always follows mention of cookies.  Baking.  Eating, of course.  Giving and or receiving.  Sneaking just one more.  The list continues.  Or so I have heard. . . 

Nov 24, 2022 05:06 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Michael Jacobs 

Oh yes, lot of cookies, so lots of thanks for family help throughout and time together.

Jeff

Nov 25, 2022 11:26 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Thank you.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  Enjoy the day. bill 

Nov 24, 2022 05:18 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thanks Bill Salvatore - East Valley  Hope you had a wonderful holiday.

Today's cookie-making will be fun!

Jeff

Nov 25, 2022 11:27 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Jeff,

I love family traditions! Your cookie making is awesome and keeps alive those who passed it on. Enjoy making those cookies with your grandchildren..wonderful memory making activity.

Nov 24, 2022 05:22 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Absolutely Dorie Dillard Austin TX There are lots of fond memories, and photos, of friends and family helping. It's an awesome tradition.

Jeff

Nov 25, 2022 11:28 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I remember as a kid my Mom would make 20-30 different types of cookies and I loved each and every one of them, haha.

Nov 24, 2022 05:23 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

That's a LOT of cookies...like a bakery! I bet you ate a bunch Brian England 

Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Jeff

Nov 25, 2022 11:29 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jeff, what fun to bring family traditions into every Holiday!  Sounds fun, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 24, 2022 07:11 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Joan Cox 

Not sure which I enjoy more...the preparation, the baking, or the eating!

Jeff

Nov 25, 2022 12:07 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Happy Thanksgiving, Jeff.
That does sound like a lot of work, but what better way to spend time than keeping traditions alive? Have a wonderful day, Jeff.

Nov 24, 2022 07:35 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thank you Carol Williams 

It WAS a wonderful day and we'll be working on those cookies in just a couple of hours!

Jeff

Nov 25, 2022 12:07 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jeff this is a special tradition.  My daughter in-laws family also has a Christmas cookie tradition, and my wife has been able to participate in it as well.

Nov 24, 2022 04:13 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Cool, George Souto  And I assume you get to enjoy the fruits of their labor...or should I say the cookies!

Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Jeff

Nov 25, 2022 12:08 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Jeff Dowler, CRS, what a nice tradition to have, especially when you have the entire family involved in the baking. Enjoy the delicious cookies!

Nov 25, 2022 01:03 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Beth Atalay

It HAS been a fun tradition over the years and a tasty one.

Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Jeff

Nov 26, 2022 09:45 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Jeff Dowler, CRS  I will never forget when you sent me cookies. I was so excited and so was Cleo but I ate them not her!  They were delicious 

Nov 29, 2022 03:12 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

I'm glad you enjoyed them and not Cleo Hannah Williams  They are probably not something she should be eating! LOL.

Jeff

Nov 29, 2022 08:07 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, I love this tradition and remember reading that you do this every single year, Jeff! 7,000 cookies - now, that a LOT of baking! I'm sure they are amazing!

Nov 29, 2022 10:47 PM