My family has a long tradition of baking for the holidays and our annual Cookie Bake occupies a large percentage of my childhood Christmas memories. My mom and her sisters would get together one Saturday a few weekends before Christmas and spend the day baking cookies like fools. They would arrive with 2-3 triple batches of dough each, and then make more as the day went on. In the early years, they also made candy (brittles, fudge, etc.) and did the decorating that same day as well. Now the candy is abandoned and all frosting, chocolate drizzling and other ornamentation is done later indepepndantly. This may be due to some gingerbread men that were obscenely decorated late in the day one year, but no one will say for sure. One Uncle claims they are slacking off in their old age and soon will stoop to just exchanging store bought cookies in some dark parking lot corner.
While I grew up in New York attending East Coast Cookie Bake (many will contend the Original C.B.), my Grandma and several Aunts live in Arizona and have their own West Coat Cookie Bake each year. As you can imagine there is fierce competition between the E.C.C.B. and W.C.C.B. Slanderous claims have been exchanged, authenticity of recipes called into question, one year a suspicious package arrived at one C.B. location containing boxed cookie mixes - all scandalous behavior.
As pictured above, Matilda is in training because she will attend her first Cookie Bake in a few weeks: W.C.C.B. Tim & I want to remain impartial as Matilda chooses which C.B. to affiliate herself with.