Beyond the colorful decorations and after the initial rush of sugar, holiday cookies are about memories and tradition. Be they humble or ornate, our baked goods are used to celebrate and give thanks -- thanks for our childhoods, the blessings of family and friends and the magic that can be found only this time of year.
This fall, we asked L.A. Times readers to share their special cookie recipes with us for our third annual Holiday Cookie Bake-Off and then to help us narrow down their favorites to the top 50.
We received close to 200 submissions, and more than 2,500 votes were cast. We took the top vote-getters to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, where students spent one Saturday morning baking batches of cookies.
Just over a week ago, the L.A. Times Test Kitchen was jammed with happy bakers and their helpers for this year’s photo shoot. Amazing cookies, memories and traditions were shared.
Celebrating memories, cookies remind us of home. Or remind those close to us of home. One winner made cookies to share with a friend from Sweden. When he tasted the ginger-spiced cookies, the friend remarked, “This is my taste of Christmas.”