It's time for Christmas cookies.
Yes, Christmas cookies.
The Keeler Elves are eager to test holiday recipes, even in the doldrums of August, so this is your cue to start thinking about what you make each December that has friends and family buzzing. Is it a special family recipe or one that you came across on a favorite blog? Does it make use of trendy ingredients such as sea salt and bacon, or is it a tried-and-true-and-traditional sweet?
Will you share it with other readers?
If so, send as many recipes as you'd like — be they for bars, drops or cutouts; with nuts or without; iced, plain or sprinkled; gingerbread, peppermint or chocolate. The more we've got to choose from, the better the final selection.
The best submissions will be printed in Taste's 12th annual Christmas cookie issue, which this year will be published on Dec. 4. As always, it will appear on the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving.
An insider tip for getting your cookie selected: Simpler recipes and those that don't require a lot of special equipment make the cut more often than difficult ones. We always look for a few that are easy for children to make, and we seek a no-bake or two. And if you have a special story about your recipe, send that along, too. The elves have a soft spot for sweet memories.
Our goal is to find about 35 recipes to test. The cookies are baked in a home kitchen, and if they don't turn out well the first time, we don't usually make them again unless they have great promise. We figure if they don't work for us, they won't work for others. Nobody has time during the holidays for baking disasters, right?
This year, we'd also like to answer your cookie-baking questions. What's the difference between baking soda and baking powder? Why should you use parchment paper? And what the heck does it mean to cream the butter?
We look forward to hearing from you. After a dozen years, it doesn't get any less special.