My kids were convinced that I had lost my mind.
I don't even eat cookies, why would I bake them? I think the answer was: "Because I can".
I am actually planning on sending a tin of cookies to my Mom in Germany. She has sent me cookies in the past, but she didn't bake this year. When I told her that I would send her some this year, she cracked up laughing.
Never in a million years did she expect that I would send her cookies because (1) I don't bake and (2) I don't ever make it to the post office.
By now the baking has in fact happened and here's a picture of the tin that will be sent to my Mom (if I actually make it to the post office sometime soon.)
Unfortunately, I suspect that they won't look like that when they get there....
Then again, maybe there is a site out there that can help me with that part. Something like "How to ship cookies by mail.com". Wouldn't you know it, there are instructions for that sort of thing: http://allrecipes.com/howto/mailing-cookies/. We'll give that one a shot.
But back to the baking part:
All of the recipes came from my trusted "Das beste Dr. Oetker Backbuch"
The first thing I made was "Zimtsterne" (Cinnamon stars).
After I made them, I was wondering why they didn't look like the picture in the recipe book.
The stars had 5 points rather than 6! Obviously, they don't taste the same with the wrong number of points! A good friend reminded me that the German cookies had the shape of the Star of David. So I went all over town looking for a Star of David cookie cutter, but I was unsuccessful. Finally, I did find a set of German Cookie Cutters at Amazon.com. While they did get here before Christmas, they didn't get there soon enough to make another set of cookies.
After the cinnamon stars I made vanilla crescents, but didn't get a picture.
Then I made Spritzgebaeck (spritz cookies) that require a meat grinder for the shaping. Hey, what's not to like about a cookie that requires the use of a meat grinder...
My kids helped with the next variety - the butter cookies:
Then, in one last push to get enough cookies for everyone's Christmas tin, I spent an evening baking Kokoshaeufchen (coconut mounds),
Kokosmakronen (coconut macaroons),
Scharz-weiss Gebaeck (Black and white cookies)
and Friesenkekse (frisian cookies) in both light and dark.
One day I may manage to actually describe how each of these are made.