We went to my sister-in-law’s house for Christmas. I baked four different kinds of treats for the dessert tray — orange shortbread cookies, pecan bars, rugalech and brownies. Other people brought cookies, miniature pies, whole pies and more. There were about 30 people at the house for dinner and about 500 cookies. At the end of the night, there were a lot of leftover cookies.


I took the leftover cookies that I'd made plus many of the other cookies home with me, knowing that on New Year's Day, I would be having a lunch at my house after church. My oldest son was being confirmed that day, and friends and family would be coming back to the house to celebrate. A good friend put the cookies in some extra space in her freezer for me, and I grabbed them the night before the celebration.


Aside from a quarter-sheet cake that I ordered, the only desserts on New Year's Day were the cookies. Still, when everyone left, there were leftover cookies — mountains of them. We ate some of them on Monday; it was the kids' last day of winter break.


With Tuesday came school and the realization that the holiday eating had to end. I sent the boys off to school with healthy lunches and a small piece of leftover cake. When they left, I was faced with all those cookies.


I work from home. I have no office to take leftover cookies to. My husband works from home, too. My friends and neighbors all have their own glut of leftover holiday sweets to contend with. I had to make the hard choice. I froze a few of each kind of cookie for some time in the future and tossed the rest in the trashcan.


Before I threw them away, I searched for ideas for leftover cookies. I could turn them into piecrust, but then I’d have a pie to eat. I could crumble them up as an ice cream topping, but then I’d be eating ice cream sundaes. I could crumble them, add butter and make a cobbler topping out of them, but then I’d ... you get the general picture. Any recipe that uses leftover cookies creates a different sugary dessert.


Considering that this past Friday I wrote about food waste and yesterday I gave you a recipe that makes use of odds and ends of cheese, it felt pretty hypocritical to chuck all those cookies. Still, it had to be done.


I certainly can’t have all those cookies in the house, taunting me all day long. I don’t want the boys to come home from school and choose cookies over healthier snacks.


I could see only two ways to get rid of the cookies — eat them or toss them. The trashcan was the wiser choice in this instance.


I don’t usually have that many cookies left after the holidays. Hopefully, it won’t happen again. But sometimes, you just have to throw away the cookies for the greater good of your family’s health.


Would you throw away the cookies?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Sometimes you have to throw out the cookies
Going against her “don’t waste food” mantra, our food blogger throws away a mountain of Christmas cookies.