Arlene's Christmas Cookies
Twenty-one years ago, Arlene Stobbe took a plate
of Christmas cookies to her son’s office for the staff to enjoy. Little did she know what this would turn into.
Today, her son’s office staff looks forward to Arlene’s treats more than ever. “Cookie Day” is what the day has been dubbed. The staff begins to prepare for “Cookie Day” several weeks in advance. Coffee is a must, different varieties of milk are needed, and vacations are rescheduled.
But, it doesn’t stop there. Arlene has branched out. Now, she bakes and delivers cookies to about 25 different locations. Last year alone, she made 128 DOZEN cookies.
That’s over 1,500 cookies! She uses about 18 different recipes. Some of the recipes predate the onset of the tradition, and others are newer.
When baking on such a grand scale for Christmas, there is much to think about. First, one challenge is to calculate how much of each ingredient she will need. Another, is to plan the time it will take to bake all the cookies. Starting early is one of the keys to making so many cookies.
So, you may ask, does Arlene receive any help with baking these tasty treats? She does receive some. However, like every great baker, she has her own technique. So for the most part, she does all of the baking herself. However, she does designate other tasks to her helpers. One such task is plating cookies. Plating, reports Arlene, has a style to it. Each person has their style of organizing which cookies go where on the plate, and how to wrap the plastic around the tasty treasures. The final touches are a decorative ribbon and bow along with a gold label embossed with Arlene’s name.
So, if you would ever like to try Arlene’s cookies, come by Pathways at Christmastime. We might let you try one (if there are any left).
Brown Sugar Almond Bars
½ C butter, softened
½ C sifted Powdered Sugar
1 C flour
3 tbsp. butter
½ C packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. water
¾ tsp. lemon juice
¾ C sliced almonds
¾ tsp. vanilla
To make the crust: Cream the ½ C butter and powdered sugar with mixer. Add flour, mix well. Put into an ungreased 9x9x2 inch pan. Bake at 350* for 12 to 15 minutes.
In a small pan, melt remaining butter. Add brown sugar, 1 tbsp. water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in almonds and vanilla. Spread over crust. Bake 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool. Cut into bars while warm. Makes 2 dozen.
Note: If you would like to double the recipe, bake in an 8x12 pan.