Bertolotti family celebrates holidays with cookie craze

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The Bertolotti family baked 85 dozen cookies for the 2018 holidays.

Story by Richard Li and Avery Maslowsky, Staff Reporter and Co-Editor-in-Chief

Package and Photos by Avery Maslowsky, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Bing Crosby’s voice echoes throughout the halls as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” plays on the radio. Nestled up in a one-oven kitchen is the Bertolotti family, chattering and giggling as each member prepares the next batch of cookies. One tasked to scooping the five-pound bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough and another to clean up. Just to the left, stacked meticulously in columns of 12 lay nearly 300 cookies of five different flavors. The day has only begun for the Bertolottis, who plan to bake 85 dozen cookies by the nighttime.

It’s because of an annual family tradition that senior Natalia Bertolotti, her freshman sister Adriana Bertolotti and the other members of their extended family gathered together Dec. 15 to bake hundreds of cookies. The day-long process ended in 85 dozen cookies, a number selected to top their 2017 cookie amount.

The tradition originated with the Bertolotti sisters’ mother and aunt.

“They first did them when my mom got married, and the tradition just kind of grew. Now that we’re old enough to start baking, we’ve started doing it more,” Natalia Bertolotti said.

Rolling the next round: Senior Natalia Bertolotti rolls a dozen chocolate chip cookie dough balls in preparation for their baking. The family made 85 dozen cookies this holiday season, surpassing their previous record of 84 and a half.

Since its creation, the tradition has morphed into a bigger project: making multiple dozen cookies. Adriana Bertolotti said the growing number of cookies is now a competitive element of the annual bake, as the family works to top the previous years’ total. For example, last December, the family made 84 and a half dozen cookies. This year, the family worked to surpass that number and bake a total of 85 dozen. Adriana Bertolotti said she hopes to one day hit 100 dozen.

With a growing number, the baking process only lengthens. Adriana Bertolotti said the family starts each year at 9 a.m. promptly.

“It normally starts with my family packing our baking supplies like the mixer, scraper, and ingredients for cookies. Then we go to my Aunt Keca’s house where we unpack and start baking,” Adriana Bertolotti said.

Once they have all arrived, the family works as a team to produce the cookies.

“We normally start with the chocolate chip cookies, and my aunt finds other new recipes we want to try and we go through each one. My uncle, brother and cousin bring pizza, and we take breaks and rotate with the baking,” Natalia Bertolotti said.

Natalia Bertolotti said however, the reason the family blocks a full-day to bake is because of the one-oven kitchen.

Making dough: The Bertolotti family prepares all cookie doughs for the day in the morning, wrapping and refrigerating them until they are scheduled to bake. Senior Natalia Bertolotti said the main reason the baking takes all day is the one-oven kitchen they bake in.

But although the tradition can be time consuming, Adriana Bertolotti said she believes it is well worth the hours spent, as spending the time with family and ultimately sharing the piles of cookies with friends brings out true holiday spirit.

“It means a lot to me because it’s a chance to hang out with my family and have an amazing time. I also get the share the cookies with my swim team and my friends, so it really brings us together. I will always try and make the time for it,” Adriana Bertolotti said.

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