Food + Drink

The First Annual Cookie Advent at Chronicle Books

I’m always looking for a new way to be festive at this time of year. At work, we’re busy and it’s easy to forget that the holidays are coming. I wanted to bring cookies in to the office, but as a dedicated home baker, I do that all the time anyway. I saw all the advent calendars popping up in the stores, which inspired me to take that concept, bring together fellow bakers, and organize a cookie advent—every day we would provide a plateful of cookies for those in the office, right up until the holiday break on December 24. The intention? Spread good cheer via butter and sugar.

Who could have predicted how successful it would be? Many baking enthusiasts at the Chronicle Books offices volunteered to bake and I gave them the very simple rules: Bake one recipe of cookies. Use any recipe you like.

At the end of this first week of cookies, here are the delicious results.

Monday, December 2
I started the ball rolling by baking Chocolate Dipped Butter Cookies from Elinor Klivans’ Slice & Bake Cookies. Crumbly and buttery with a wonderful dark chocolate coating.


Tuesday, December 3
Editorial Director Lorena Jones gave us her irresistible Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies. They were gone by 10:30am. I guess Chronicle Books employees have no qualms about eating dessert first. The recipe is from the late, lamented Gourmet magazine, but is still available at


Wednesday, December 4
Maple Meringues were the featured cookie, which is from Meringue Girls, an upcoming Chronicle Books cookbook (you’ll have to wait for the book if you want this recipe!). These light as air little wonders were made by administrative assistant Amanda Poulsen-Dix and were gone even faster than yesterday’s cookies.


Thursday, December 5
My turn again (I told you I was dedicated). I went back to Slice & Bake Cookies and brought in Salted Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. Their double chocolatey goodness (cocoa and chocolate chips) was tempered by a sprinkle of coarse sea salt on top.


Friday, December 6
To end the week, contracts and permissions assistant Jane Chong wowed us with her Ginger Cookies, which were soft and chewy with a nice kick of fresh ginger. This one is from

The lesson learned this inaugural week? One recipe of cookies has a lifespan of about 1/2 hour. There are never enough cookies to satisfy this hungry group of publishing professionals. Should we put them out around lunchtime instead of first thing in the morning? Should we just make more?

We’d love to hear about your favorite cookies. Do you make the same treats every year or are you like me, always searching for the new and exciting flavor? What makes a cookie festive?

Amy Treadwell
Senior Editor

Amy Treadwell

Amy Treadwell is an editor of food and lifestyle books and a lifelong home baker. She loves cookies and the holiday season in equal measure.
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