That's a big number. An impressive number even. But it sounds so much cooler when I say that 444 is the number of cutout Christmas cookies I helped make today.
Today was the annual Cutout Christmas Cookie making day that my mom and aunts participate in. We tripled the recipe, using 21 cups of flour instead of the 7 cups called for in a single recipe. And there was 6 eggs instead of 2. And so much shortening was needed that we no longer use the measuring cup. Nope. A few years ago we realized the 6 cups of shortening was the exact amount that came in a 48 ounce can of Crisco. So now we just empty the entire can in.
We have a system worked out. My mom and one aunt mixed, rolled the dough and used the cookie cutters while I scooped the cookies on to the trays. My other aunt managed the oven. It's a system we've perfected over the years. In the past I've been much more involved, even doing some rolling, mixing and cutting myself, but due to the whole head throbbing issue and not feeling the greatest, I played a limited roll. But still, it only took us 2 hours and 30 minutes to finish.
And while 444 cookies, minus the four test cookies we had, sounds like an impressive number, it's smaller than last year's number. Last year when there was one extra aunt and we finished with 601 cookies.
Now all I have left to do is frost and decorate my share of the cookies. But I'm waiting. Because in just about a half hour, The Coach is coming over. And he's going to help me. And while he doesn't know this yet, he might go home with a small plate of cookies. Because my box of cookies came back to the City on the Water much fuller than I was expecting.
I'm sure a few cookies will be consumed tonight. But I'll be stingy with them. Because they need to last until Christmas. But I think it goes without saying that the annual cookie making day is one of my favorite parts of the whole holiday season.