Cookies and Cocoa 2011

Christmas is my favorite time of year …. I think it is my son’s, too.  Andrew had to turn in a school project about traditions and he choose Cookies and Cocoa. I think this truly captures our family tradition and I don’t think I could have done a better job describing it.


by Andrew Ahneel Dunn

One of our Christmas traditions is Cookies and Cocoa. Cookies and Cocoa is when all our friends come over and eat cookies and drink cocoa. It is usually the week before Christmas and we have an open house where all our friends and neighbors can stop by all day long.

Before the actual day, my Mom and I bake cookies all weekend long. We also have friends who come over and help us bake cookies and cupcakes. We mix the dough, we add chocolate chips and nuts, and cut it out with my cookie cutters. We eat almost half the cookies we bake, when it comes out of the oven. The floor in our kitchen is mostly white because I drop flour and sugar and coconut.

We bake chocolate chip cookies, maple syrup cookies, Linzer cookies (which are my favorite), coconut cake (that is really good), carrot cupcakes (that I don’t really like), white chocolate chip cookies and many others. My favorite part of baking day is being able to lick the spatulas and whisks.

This tradition of Open House during Christmas started with my grandmother in Malaysia, who passed it down to my Mom, and my mom passed it down to me . This tradition is important to me because it means a fun time with all my friends and their Moms and Dads. Some of my friends have come to Cookies and Cocoa since I was in Kindergarten.

This tradition is important and I will pass it down to my children because it reminds us to have fun times with friends during Christmas.


Note: We started calling it Cookies and Cocoa just 3 years ago – a name we borrowed from Heath and Leslie Cates (

Coconut Cupcakes – Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa Recipe

Chocolate Cake – nice and moist with a beautiful chocolate ganache topping. Delicious.

Cake pops seems to be a hit with kids and adults alike.

Linzer Cookies – Barefoot Contessa Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookies

We always have a generous hot chocolate bar – complete with sprinkles, peppermint, chocolate flakes, marshmallows and whipped cream.