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#215794 - 12/14/11 02:17 PM I'm Baking Christmas Cookies
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2686
Loc: Illinois
Do any of you take time to make homemade Christmas cookies these days? I started making mine last week.

I love to make them and give them away to family and friends, who are generally delighted with my blend of unique and traditional cookies.

So far I have made five kinds:

Cutout Sugar Cookies- a Christmas "must have," of course!

Chocolate Krumkake- a variation on a traditional Norwegian cookie, this is sort of like Italian pizelle, but rolled up into a cone.

This is the first year I have tried making them chocolate, and I must say my modifications to the recipe are 'to die for.' They're very delicate and pretty much impossible to safely ship, as far as I can tell.

(I decided to try a chocolate version because most Scandinavian cookies are made with butter, sugar and flour, and none are chocolate. It seemed my cookie tray was missing something without a chocolate treat on it...)

Mint Meltaways -- A green colored buttery cookie that resembles Mexican wedding cakes in consistency, but they are green and mint flavored.

This recipe is one my mother found and taught in her Holiday Foods classes. I make them in honor of her.

Mondel Snitzen -- A family heirloom recipe that's a roolled out butter cookie base topped with crumbs, almonds and nutmeg, I have never seen it served anywhere else.

The recipe comes from my maternal great grandmother who was German, and it's a time-consuming bear of a recipe that almost takes all day to make, but is oh, so good!

Cherry and Almond Biscotti - I made this Italian favorite for the first time last year, and everyone who tries them just raves about them. So far, I have had to make them twice this season already, as I keep running out of them!


I am about to make some Pepperkaker, a Swedish ginger thin whose flavors include cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Also a hit of lemon rind. These are rolled out thin and sometimes topped with a sliver of almond.

I suddenly occurs to me that this is 6 kinds of cookies. And, if I make one more type, I will be, according to my wonderful Norwegian step-mother, a "good Norwegian hausfrau."


Of course, making 7 kinds of cookies all my myself is a lot of work, and I hadn't anticipated going to that extreme.

Back when she was healthier, I used to drive to Madison the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and join my step-mother in a big Christmas cookie baking party. It was all women, about eight of us, and we would make cookies all day in her huge kitchen with the double ovens. It was loads of fun.

We always enjoyed cocktail hour during the afternoon, and you never knew what sort of surprise my step-mother would have in store.

One year, we she teased us that we would be entertained during our lunch break by a Chippendale dancer! Sadly, I don't recall that the guy ever showed up! (Or if he did, we knocked him out with the delicious scents of our labors, he ate a plate of cookies with milk, and then lapsed into a coma and never DID dance for us! LOL!)

So here's the question. If I am going to make 7 kinds of cookies, what should I make for the last kind? I want my cookie plate to have a nice variety!

Tell me, what kinds of Christmas cookies are the 'must haves' in your family? (In my first husband's family, the cutout sugar cookies are required. They actually all get together on the 23rd and spend the day making them for everyone in the family. Here's a link to a pic of my kids making them when they were little: Boyden Family Christmas Cookie Baking (The kid on the right is not mine, he's a cousin.)

Thanks for your suggestions.

Anne
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#215800 - 12/14/11 03:37 PM Re: I'm Baking Christmas Cookies [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9414
Loc: New York State
Cutout sugar cookies with confectioners' sugar frosting is my favorite. I don't bake 'em but I sure love eating 'em. I can smell that aroma all the way over here, Anne. Have fun. I wish we lived closer.
_________________________
Embrace Life with Passion!
Everything loses its flavor without God!
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#215803 - 12/14/11 05:08 PM Re: I'm Baking Christmas Cookies [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2686
Loc: Illinois
I wish we did too, Jabber!

You would definitely be on my list to receive a plate of my homemade Christmas cookies! Heck, maybe I'd even get you to come over and keep me company while I baked. (Those who do get to eat all the cookies that don't look "perfect!")
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#215817 - 12/15/11 09:59 AM Re: I'm Baking Christmas Cookies [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9414
Loc: New York State
I'd love to come over and bake cookies with U. I eat too many cookies during this time of year and then fight with myself
because I ought to be stronger willed than I am. Prayers and blessings, 2 U Anne!!!
_________________________
Embrace Life with Passion!
Everything loses its flavor without God!
Joyce Meyer Ministries

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#215824 - 12/16/11 01:44 PM Re: I'm Baking Christmas Cookies [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2686
Loc: Illinois
OK, after talking to my sister, who reminded me that her daughter is allergic to all nuts, I have given up on my idea of including pecans in the creation of my 7th Christmas cookie.

Instead, I have decided to make a bar cookie I sort of "invented" about 5 years ago. It's pretty easy, looks festive, and makes a fair number of delicious cookies.

I'll need to come up with a cool name for them but for now we'll use the working title Peppermint Topped Frosted Chocolate Bars.

"Anne's Peppermint Topped Frosted Chocolate Bars."

Here the concept:
Bake a devils food cake in a half sheet pan (or in my case, I will be using a large cookie sheet that has low sides to it.)

Cool the cake and frost with a lovely vanilla buttercream frosting. I recommend making it "from scratch" using a stick of butter, a bit of milk, half and half or cream, (depending on what you have in the fridge), plus about a teaspoon of vanilla and plenty of powdered sugar. (I never use a recipe to make this frosting, I just sort of "wing it," but I know recipes exist for this sort of frosting.)

Grab a handful of peppermint candy canes (I had them on hand, but you could use any red and white peppermint flavored hard candy) and smash them up. Don't turn them totally to powder, leave a few small chunks, so the striped coloration is still visible.)

Liberally sprinkle the candy bits on top of the frosting, and allow the cake to set a few hours, so the frosting firms up a bit and it will be easier to cut neatly.

Cut the "cake" into small pieces, perhaps 1 x 2 inches, and add to your cookie trays.

These were a real hit on my cookie trays the year I made them, and I am sure they will be again.

By the way, if you don't have an appropriately flavored box cake mix in your cupboard, you can certainly make a dark chocolate cake from a recipe.

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Boomer in Chief of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
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#215845 - 12/18/11 05:21 PM Re: I'm Baking Christmas Cookies [Re: Anne Holmes]
chatty lady Offline
Writer

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 20267
Loc: Nevada
Oh, these sound scrumptous Anne. Peppermint and chocolate goes together so well...
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#215861 - 12/20/11 06:16 PM Re: I'm Baking Christmas Cookies [Re: chatty lady]
Anne Holmes Administrator Online   content
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 2686
Loc: Illinois
I just saw something that made me chuckle. It's the US Post Office trying to be 'sociable," I guess. I was on the website, www.usps.com, looking at their calendar, to see if I still have time to send a box of cookies to my mother.

On the calendar page, which gives "last day for" information, I discovered a tab titled "Snickerdoodles."

Sure enough, in honor of their current commercial promoting priority mail shipping, in which a man is baking snickerdoodle cookies while living in what looks like a highly decorated child's play house, or else a really fancy dog house, they actually include a recipe for them!

Made me smile!

_________________________
Boomer in Chief of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com
www.boomerlifestyle.com
www.boomerco.com

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