Winner! And let’s talk Christmas Cookies!


 

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Hey guys! I just wanted to pop in and let you all know who the winner was in my Christmas card giveaway.

The winner is Angie who said:

“Love seeing the things you create, Brenda! And these cards are beautiful! I especially enjoyed the last one :)”

Congrats, Angie! I’ll get your prize package out to you right away.

And since I’m here, I thought I’d share a few Christmas cookie recipes with you. Baking has been a huge part of my Christmas preparations this year.  Seems like a lot more than usual. I did a whole day of baking with my sisters, and then two days on my own. That’s a lot of cookies! But we’ve already taken a few plates full to various events, the children have some plans for sharing a few more at school, and a majority of them will get boxed up and given to neighbors. Plus, I’m signed up to bring some to our Christmas Eve service at church, so there’s that too. Cookies have a way of disappearing quickly around Christmas time.

There are always some favorites that I make nearly every year, and then there are always new ones to try. I’m sharing my current list below with links to the recipes whenever they can be found online, as well as thoughts and notes about the recipe.

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For my sister’s cookie bake/exchange I made:

Italian Christmas Cookies: These are a favorite of ours that I’ve made for the last several years. I’m not sure if this recipe is exactly like mine, since mine is in a cookbook, but it looks similar. The addition of the ricotta makes these cookies pillowy soft and smooth. They disappear quickly! Plus, they look pretty on a cookie plate with Christmas sprinkles on top of the frosting.

Peanut Butter Cup cookies: I love these! I love the peanut butter cups in them and they are yummy and cutel. I usually double or triple the recipe for these guys.

Date filled cookies: I couldn’t find a recipe online like the ones I make. Mine comes from an old Mennonite cookbook. The date filling is sandwiched in between two soft, chewy cookies, kind of like a hand pie or calzone with the edges pinched shut. These are another favorite. They are a little time consuming, so I don’t make them every year. But they are a special treat, and well worth the time it takes to make them. I can post the recipe for anyone who may be interested.

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Other cookies I’ve made so far this year:

Peppermint Sugar Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting: These were easy to make and very good. I love the crunch of the crushed candy cakes on top.

Christmas Monster Cookies: There are probably a million different recipes out there for Monster Cookies. The one I used came from a Mennonite cookbook I have. I make Monster cookies throughout the year, but I made them Christmasy by adding red and green M&M’s.

S’more Cookies: These are super easy, and so good! I use my own chocolate chip cookie dough recipe and leave out the chocolate chips. I also don’t use the stacker marshmallows. I just use half of a large marshmallow for each cookie.

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Butter cut-out cookies: These are our traditional ones we make every year. We began  making these when my boys were about two and four years old and have been making them every year since. My niece was sleeping over when we made them this year, so she and my daughter helped make most of them. Then she had to leave and my second son stepped in to help finish them off. As the kids get older, they’re no longer as interested in helping to make these. I don’t know how long yet the tradition will last, but I’ll enjoy it for now. Again, I can provide a recipe for anyone interested.

Chocolatey Melting Snowman cookies: These are fun, and cute, and delicious! Chloe has already claimed a dozen of these for her classmates.

Gingerbread Cookies: My paternal grandmother was not known for her baking (or cooking) expertise. But every year she would make molasses cookies. I think I was the only one in the family that liked them. These reminded me of her cookies when they first came out of the oven. This was my first time trying gingerbread. These aren’t my favorite, but if you like gingerbread, you will like these. They do look pretty all decorated up though.

Cream Cheese preserve Thumbprints: These are another favorite. You can use any flavor of jam or preserves. I used strawberry this year. You can also omit the pecans and they’re just as good.

Peppermint Bark Cups: These aren’t cookies, but I do plan to add them to any cookie trays or packages I make to add a little color and something just a little different. They are super easy, and they are so good!

I haven’t made these yet, but I have to share the recipes anyway:

Chocolate-Caramel Delights: These might possibly be the best Christmas Cookies ever! I’ve made them several times, but I’m stingy about adding them to cookie trays. 1. because we like them too much to give away. and 2. because they do take extra time to make and I want to make sure they are properly enjoyed :). I already purchased all the ingredients, so it’s just whether or not I can muster up any more energy for baking.

Candy Cane Rolls: Again, these are not cookies, but they have become part of my Christmas baking tradition. The red cherries can be a little tricky to find, and I normally don’t even like those candied cherries. You’re probably thinking “fruit cake” at the mention of those, but these are as far from fruit cake as can be. My husband requested these again this year, so I plan to make them for Christmas morning. A little more time consuming, since it’s a yeast dough, but they are really delicious and so pretty!

And that’s the extent of my Christmas baking so far this year! If you have any questions at all about any of these recipes, I’d be happy to answer them. I love being in the kitchen covered in flour and sprinkles. Baking has always been a huge part of Christmas for me, and I love passing that down to my family. Christmas treats are meant to be shared, so I love that part of baking, sharing them with family and friends. It’s and important part of the Christmas season for me. I hope you enjoy these too.

My Christmas shopping is pretty much completed,  (yahoo!!!),  and now I have a huge stack of gifts waiting for me to wrap. I’ll be back with a few gift wrap ideas tomorrow.

Hope you’re Friday is awesome!

 

 

 

 

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