The Last Batch of Tax Time Cookies

I worked at a local accounting firm for many years when I first moved to Oklahoma. Even after I quit full-time work, I kept a position helping with taxes from mid-January through mid-April. It was tough mental work and long hours. During all of the years I worked for the firm, I remembered the thoughtfulness of a few clients who brought in baked goods for the staff to nibble on during those long days and nights at the office during tax season. Occasionally, a couple of ladies even delivered home-cooked lunches, and a few others baked cakes, rolls and cookies. I cannot tell you how nice it was to go back to the tiny kitchen area at the accounting office and cut a slice of cake or grab a couple of cookies to have with a hot cup of coffee when working those long, evening hours. Most of the time though, it was the during the late afternoon break that these goodies gave me the sugar charge I needed to get through another few hours of sitting at my desk and staring at numbers.

So when I quit working tax season all together, I made a vow to be that person to bake some goodies each week for the folks at the office. Fortunately, there is usually one day of the week during the winter and spring months where cool temperatures or rainy weather allows me to take time out for baking. It has been more of a challenge the last three years, however, since FD and I began practicing a Paleo lifestyle and eating healthier by staying away from grains, sugars, processed foods, dairy and unclean meats. That first year we changed our diet, I tried to incorporate some Paleo desserts into the weekly baked goods I sent to the office, but I do not think they went over very well. Paleo desserts take some getting used to. Most Paleo baking is done with nut flours, coconut palm sugar, honey, cocoa, coconut oil, and coconut milk. But many people enjoy indulging in refined sugar, real butter (which is acceptable in Paleo as long as it is made from the milk of grass-fed cows) and find that wheat flour is versatile and makes for some mighty decadent desserts.

I have yet to find a Paleo dessert I would declare decadent. So I went back to keeping a few off-diet ingredients on hand during those four months of tax season in which I get back into the groove of baking the way I used to. It is during this time that I blow the dust off of the old cookbook and make goodies that my mother passed down to me from her mother. And I keep it simple. Oatmeal Raisin, Chocolate Chip, Sugar Smashed Oatmeal (a crispy oatmeal cookie with a chewy center), Toffee Snickerdoodle, and Rangers are my go-to recipes for cookies I make for the office. On mornings where I manage to start baking super early, I also make Orange Scones. Last year, I did manage to find one Paleo cake that everyone likes – Blueberry Chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache frosting. It is a bit of a labor of love to make, but I do not mind. And because my dear friend, Ruthie, works there part-time during tax season, I make my special Paleo Chocolate Chunk Salted Caramel No-Bake cookies, especially for her to take and enjoy at home (Sometimes a girl just needs her own personal stash of chocolate).

The kitchen is a place of organization for me – and it IS organized. However, my kitchen is not for folks who are obsessed with “looks”. It is functional and practical with everything I need at the ready! Everyone laughs that I use my dishwasher as a drying rack. I do almost all of my dish washing by hand because turn around time is too slow in the dishwasher. I often need something I have just used, and it would take much too long to wait on the dishwasher.

Mr. T has taken over Bear’s job of begging while I am baking. Mr. T is a bit more polite though. He doesn’t paw at me and insist like Bear did! Instead, Mr. T waits patiently.

This morning I delivered the last batch of cookies for the 2016 tax season. Smiles greeted me as I walked in the door. I know the feeling of those last days before the IRS deadline. It is hard to muster a smile and you are so ready for the whole stint to be over. But somehow, knowing someone appreciates the work you do, makes it a little easier. At least it did for me all of those years ago. And it feels good now to be on the giving end of things… because I do appreciate my friends and the service they provide. And I certainly know how hard they work!

The most troubling part of the years I worked for the accounting firm during tax season, was knowing spring was popping all around and I was stuck inside crunching numbers!

© 2017 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


26 thoughts on “The Last Batch of Tax Time Cookies

  1. I worked at an accounting firm for a few years and I remember well the stress and exhaustion of tax season. What a sweetheart you are to make such great treats for them! I wish I hadn’t read this at 10:30 pm though, because those pictures have me craving a bedtime snack, haha.

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    1. Ha ha! I admit, I fall off the Paleo diet every week when I eat a cookie or three when I’m baking for others. My mom always said the baker must test a cookie or two to make sure they taste good!

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  2. You are such a kind soul, Lori. I do wish we were neighbors. And not for the baked goods, I can’t have them, but just to be able to spend time chatting and being neighborly. And heck, even though I can’t eat them I could and would help make them!

    PS: Love your use for the dishwasher! 🙂

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    1. Lynda, we’d be wonderful neighbors. We’d be gardening together and trading recipes. Our “kids” would all do well together! And I’m sure we could help each other with chores and other projects. Ha ha. I occasionally use the dishwasher, mostly to make sure the parts continue to work and make sure the thing still runs properly. But 95% of the time it’s a drying rack… and it works pretty darned good for that!!

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  3. Lori, you caused my mouth to water and I had an instant craving for anything sweet. Years ago I ate with abandon, lots of home made cookies and cakes and ice cream and chocolate. Then because I seemed to get sick and extremely fatigued I suspected that something was amiss with the food that I was eating. I was tested for allergies and I was found to be allergic to cane sugar. I was very upset and cried. But I have basically stayed away from sugar but sometimes I use beet sugar if I bake cookies or make a dessert. But that is rare. I envy anyone that can eat sweets.

    At any rate you are such a nice person to think of the accountants at tax time. I am vey sure that they appreciate you more than you know. It something that you are paying forward.

    I think you kitchen is charming. Everything is at your disposal and that is what counts. I’d love to have a kitchen such as yours.

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    1. I am not sure how my mom ever managed feeding a family of seven when the kitchen was tiny. The kitchen table (also crammed in with barely room to walk around) was her work area. I have a huge kitchen with a lot of counter and cabinet space and I still wonder how I might fit one more item somewhere. I use everything I have on counters, daily. During garden harvest it looks like even more chaos, but it’s organized and functional.
      Gads, Yvonne, what a disappointment to be allergic to cane sugar! I have never tried beet sugar. I’ll have to research that and see if it is Paleo-friendly. We do manage some decent desserts, but they are always a splurge in any diet (not meant as to lose weight but a way of eating – a lifestyle). I find I still crave just a bit of sweet from time to time.
      Paying forward is a wonderful thing. It’s our experiences that speak to us and remind us of the importance of giving… and how good it feels to be on either end of a gift.

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  4. I’ve never thought of doing this for tax preparers — in fact, I’m not sure I know a tax preparer — but when Christmas rolls around, I still take cookies to the post office for the workers. I’ve always done it, and the appreciation is palpable. Their seasonal job can be as much of a challenge as the CPAs.

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    1. I do the same at Christmas, but have had to cut way back. I got burned out when after many years, I baked more than one thousand sugar cookies and decorated them with frosting and colored sugars.I gave the cookies to service people, neighbors and co-workers. My favorites were the trash pickup guys. I always fixed a couple of boxes of cookies up, complete with hand sanitizing wipes and napkins. I included a note thanking the “refuse technicians” for all that they do all year long. Those guys never could believe someone would do something like that for them. It takes so little to show people we appreciate them and it means a lot.

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    1. Goodness… in all of my years of baking for service folks, I completely forgot about the firemen!! Thank you for reminding us all about how important their contribution is to our safety and well-being! 🙂

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    1. Ha ha! Audrey, I never enjoyed doing my own taxes so I’m happy to bake them cookies – helps to sweeten my attitude about taxes in general! I also worked in the banking industry for many years. Therefore, I dislike carrying cash. Having had to be accountable for it so many years really soured the idea of handling money the rest of my life. 🙂

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  5. How thoughtful to bake for others especiialy when it’s no longer your everyday food. We love the man who does out tax, even now we don’t live in the city, he does it over the phone! We’re not strictly paleo but it’s the kind of diet our bodies are happiest with so we’re naturally that way inclined. I particularly don’t tolerate refined food. But it’s nice to have homemade sweet goodies from time to so so when I bake I make sure the G.O. has enough and the rest goes offsite to neighbours, family etc. I love your kitchen… I don’t get how people can have minimalist sweeps of clear benches. My kitchen is old, not at all modular and there’s no dishwasher so sometimes when I cook, despite my best efforts at orderliness it looks like it has exploded….

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    1. We are not strict Paleo, but for the most part we try. I never could give up cheese but I make sure what we get is from grass-fed sources. Of course there are times when we travel that it can be difficult to eat well, so we do the best we can. As for sweets that FD and I eat, I make Paleo recipes and try to stay away from refined sugar and wheat flour as much as possible. I almost feel bad about baking the unhealthy way for my friends… but it’s what they want.
      Ha ha! I love your word “exploded”. My kitchen seems to have that look at times too. It’s just part of cooking and baking I suppose. 🙂

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  6. Wonderful read! I completely relate to the kitchen and Mr. T begging! LoL! We have TWO beggars. The “T” and the “C”. The kitchen has to be neat, and functional, never mind the looks. And what is life without these four-legged “beggars”, anyway 🙂 🙂

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  7. That’s so nice! As a Librarian, I found myself filling in an inadequate way, locally, this year, as the organization that usually held events at our library to help those who needed it, didn’t show up this year – since I ain’t a CPA, accountant, etc., I was bound to say, “I use this online option and have done so for 5 years – can’t help you with any of the details, but I can help you walk through setting up an email so you can FILE OR I can print off the forms/instructions for ya…” – I already reached out to the one organization that held help dates back in March, this year, to ask if they could come over and/or, let me know next years schedule, so I can promote their dates (15 miles away) – sigh – tax time – I was done and waiting in January – so I seriously, needed some oatmeal raisin cookies (or gingersnaps…) this week to keep me from saying, “Um, do you need to file an extension? Isn’t tax time already over? It’s not? by midnight, tonight? Okay…..”

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    1. Wow, what an interesting experience! I learned long ago that it’s not that much more cost to have a CPA do your taxes than it is to go to one of those quick, big name companies who often employ people who are not experienced in the field and do not have knowledge of current changes. I also know that many people who do their own often do not realize situations that could help them or and maybe do not understand how to plan for better results next year. Just this year our accountant helped us achieve much better results by informing us of how the pecan orchard could help us. That kind of information is why a CPA is important.
      Dang it! I would have been happy to send you some cookies had I known your predicament!! Ha ha! They might have arrived in pieces, but they eat the same… and it’s the thought that counts, right? 😀

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    1. My folks raised us kids to be thankful and appreciative for other’s contributions in our lives. And there is no better understanding of appreciation as when you are on the end of doing the work or service for others. 🙂

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