Merry Christmas from Tokyo! Apparently my family is having a big German Christmas dinner back in California. Me? I just ate a 5-piece Chicken McNugget kids meal set for lunch and am baking my last batch of Christmas cookies from Blammo and Company. Last week, I decided to give some homemade holiday cookies to friends and coworkers. It. Was. Crazy! But fun too! When I was growing up, our neighbors, the Hendersons, always gave us a tin of Mrs. Henderson's homemade Christmas cookies.They were so delicious and unlike anything I'd ever had before. The memory stuck in my mind and I've always wanted to carry on the tradition. 2010 marks the beginning of my cookie tin holiday giveaway.
This event began on December 6th, with some pre-planning. I took out all my cookbooks, bought the Martha Stewart Holiday Cookie magazine and looked up all those Google Reader starred recipes I'd been eyeing all year. I think my first list of cookies was 13 recipes long. Eventually, that got whittled down to the final 6. Then came all the converting - Martha is not metric friendly. The flour cookbook came in handy because throughout her book, she lists how many grams X amount of sugar, flour etc. weighs. And this butter conversion website is a lifesaver.
The plan was to make my staple chocolate chip cookies, 2 icebox cookies that could be made days in advance, 1 stovetop treat and something classically Christmas. The decision to do 2 icebox cookies was my saving grace since they're so easy to make and can be made up to a month in advance. You can freeze the doughs in logs and when you're ready to bake, you just slice and go. Martha has a genius suggestion of saving you paper towel rolls to store the logs in so that they don't flatten out at the bottom. It worked like a charm.
Brown butter rice crispy treats (Flour cookbook), cranberry coins (Martha Stewart Magazine) and buttered rum meltaways with no powdered sugar topping (Martha Stewart Cookie Book).
Chocolate chip cookies (my own recipe adapted from The NY Times), gingerbread men (Martha Stewart Cookies) and buttered rum meltaways with powdered sugar (Martha Stewart Cookies).
I couldn't fine suitable tins anywhere in town, so I got these egg carton looking boxes and did what I could to jazz them up and make them my own. Not to shabby, I have to say.
Our apartment's reception desk and my coworkers got extra big boxes thanks to Ziploc Snap 'n Seal tupperware.
Me on the way to work carrying about 150 freshly baked cookies.
My coworkers and friends seemed to enjoy the treats however, I get the sense that people don't bake and share in Japan as much as back home. It was almost expected that people bring in treats once and awhile at my old office in NY. I think it mostly confused people here.
I had a lot of leftover cookies, so I've been passing them out to local restaurants we frequently visit. It's been really fun to share a little American tradition.
To top off my 2nd Christmas in Japan, I made a raspberry chocolate Buche de Noel at ABC Cooking Studio. ABC Cooking Studio friend and I have never taken a cake class so this was a lot of fun for us.
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!