Do you remember making cookies as a kid? I'm sure it looks different in every family: some follow a decades-old recipe, some use the one from the chocolate chip bag, and others buy the Pillsbury slice and bake dough!
Honestly I think my family did all of these at times, Sometimes it was about the experience of creating something together, and other times the end result (COOKIES) was way more important. But the one thing that never changed was how much I loved it. Baking brings me joy, both because I am creating something delicious that I can share with the people around me and because there's something extremely calming to be about following the steps in a recipe, whether in my head or on paper.
One of my favourite cookie recipes is this 3-ingredient shortbread. These cookies are light and buttery and just the right amount of sweet, and they're super easy to make. This recipe is especially important to me though, because it was one of the first recipes I ever learnt to bake. It was also the first recipe I mastered.
These cookies have been a staple in my family since before I was born. Growing up, I would follow my aunt around at Christmas and sneak her cookies before she put them out for dessert, and then ask for extras to take home when Christmas was over.
Eventually, I got the recipe from her. My first few times making them, though, they turned out kind of flat. It took me a couple of tries to get the right flour to butter ratio and to perfect the amount of baking time they'd need in my oven at home, but the first time they turned out as good as my aunt's, I was practically jumping for joy.
Mastering that recipe, around age 13, was the first time I ever felt like a baker, and that's part of why Christmas baking holds such a special place in my heart.