Welcome to the Blog Cookie Exchange! I hope you brought something good. Oh, look how festive you are! I’m wearing the sweatshirt that only sees the light of day once a year or so, usually at the children’s Christmas pageant at church. Here it is:
You can probably make your own with a white sweatshirt and a Sharpie!
I like to cook and bake, but at Christmas time, I’m pretty stressed and try to keep it simple. These recipes are not complicated or sophisticated, but they are the ones about which people always ask, “Did you make your … this year?” Many of my recipes originate with Southern Living Magazine, but then I tweak them. I’m not sure, but I expect that’s how these came to be in my repertoire.
Crumbly Cheese Cookies
These probably should not even be called cookies, because they’re not sweet, not for dessert. They’re more of snack or appetizer.
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (more if you dare)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Beat first six ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended; knead in cereal (it’s OK that it gets crushed in this process). Shape into 1″ balls and arrange on baking sheets. Press/flatten with a fork.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.
Makes 4 dozen.
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
I like these because the cookie part is not all that sweet, in contrast to the kiss in the center.
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups Bisquick
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 13-oz. package Hershey’s kisses
Beat condensed milk and peanut butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add Bisquick and vanilla, beating at low speed just until blended.
Shape dough into 1″ balls; roll each in sugar. Place on lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350 for 11 minutes. Remove from oven, and immediately press a Kiss into the center of each cookie. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.
Makes 3 dozen.
One of our favorite traditions is that of
forcing letting LG draw our Christmas card. Here’s her first one, done when she was 5.
I take her drawing to a little copy shop where they reproduce it and supply the envelopes. Of course, most of you are savvy enough to do this all on your computers without involving the copy shop.
Another tradition is the Jesus Cake. It is important to us that LG always know what the holiday is really about, in terms of our faith. On Christmas Eve, we have a birthday cake for Jesus. I bake it in a star-shaped pan (available at craft stores usually) to represent the Star of Bethlehem, and to remind us to keep following Jesus, and to let our lights shine. The cake is chocolate, to represent the darkness of the world that Jesus entered, and the darkness in our hearts. The frosting is white, to represent the light of Jesus, of God’s love, bright enough to cover all the darkness. We put red candles in the cake, the red to remind us of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, and the candle flame to represent the Holy Spirit. There are three candles on our cake, one for each person in the family.
Favorite Gift this Year
My favorite gift to give this year is this little compact purse mirror, from Red Envelope (www.redenvelope.com).
I like girly gifts, and I like silly little pretty things that people would probably not buy for themselves. I got one of these for a SIL, one for a friend, and three for three of LG’s teachers. They are $30 each, engraved with the first name of each recipient. Red Envelope has a free shipping offer right now, and I can’t promise anything, but the two times this season I placed an order for these, I had them within three days, even with the engraving!
I could use some advice in this area, too. The three teachers I bought these for are special, above-and-beyond, with extra-curricular stuff, too. I can’t really spend that much on all of LG’s teachers. I still have four more to buy for. I have heard from teacher friends that they get tons of picture frames, candles and mugs. Personally, I love me some picture frames, candles and mugs, but I guess if you’re a teacher you have enough. SO. Any good teacher gift ideas to share?
What Not to Give
A few weeks ago, one of our little friends was selling candy for her school. We ordered 3 boxes of various kinds, planning to include them in our Christmas gift-giving. Well, on Sunday, little friend brought our 3 boxes of candy to church, along with a statement of the monies due her. The candy boxes were stacked in ascending size order, and tied together with a festive ribbon. They looked very appealing, except:
This one had a BIG OL’ HOLE in it!!!! Some varmint had apparently trespassed against our candy. How do you not see this before you deliver it to your customer? Think we could get away with giving it as a gift and pretending we didn’t see? I thought not.
Thank you kindly for coming to the Cookie Exchange. If you’re having people in today for holiday partying, let us know, we’ll come see you, too! If you want to play, show us or tell us:
Favorite holiday recipes
Favorite gift to give
What you wear when you don your gay apparel 🙂