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.