You don't get named the "Cookie Queen" of the northwest suburbs without the batches to back it up, so while many are gearing up for Thanksgiving, Kathy Lee is already knee-deep in cookie tins.
Lee starts picking up her ingredients in the beginning of October, and once she ramps up her production, works eight hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays.
It's a major undertaking baking 10,000 cookies by Christmas, especially for a gal who doesn't even like sweets — but loves making people smile.
After 27 years and 49 recipes, she's a one-woman assembly line of industrial cookie production.
There are cream cheese dainties, ginger snaps, spritz, peppermint, chocolate, mint melt-a-way, shortbread logs, chocolate with peanut butter chips, snowballs and peanut blossoms.
It takes six weeks for Lee to bake up what you'd normally see at at cookie swap party, or about 833 dozen. After they're made, she gives away containers full of cookies to just about everyone she meets.