Every year, my sisters, sister-in-law, and my mom get together and bake Christmas cookies. We’ve been doing this since before it was cool. I’m not sure of the exact year (help me out here gals) but I believe it was the early 90’s. I loved it then because I was in high school and the only one at home. It was such a treat when my sisters came home. I love it now because I get to go “home” and feel like a kid again.
Cookie Day is more than just cookies. We talk (a lot), sing Christmas songs (like dorks), exchange cookie day gifts, eat soup (the preferred cookie day lunch), sample cookies, give each other a hard time, and reminisce about past cookie days (remember Joan’s chocolate orange sticks?). It is one of the best days of the year and I can’t wait.
2 more sleeps!
We each bring a couple different types of cookies to bake (with the dough already made). One that is a cookie day classic like sugar cookie cutouts, gingerbread, etc. and another one (or two) of your liking – a new recipe we’ve been meaning to try or a reoccurring cookie we’ve missed.
This year I’m bringing Peanut Blossoms (a classic and Brette’s favorite) and Espresso Balls, a new recipe that involves chocolate covered coffee beans and hazelnuts. What’s not to like?
The day will start with something like this:
And then there will be some of this….
and at the end it will look like this:
It seems my photos each year look very similar. I might try to mix that up this year.
Some of our favorites are:
- Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs
- Ginger Bread Cut-Outs
- Peanut Blossoms
- Date-Filled (my favorite)
- Santa’s Whiskers (yes, we snicker when we say it)
- Date-dipped (my dad’s favorite)
- Fruitcake Cookies
- Chocolate filled Biscotti
- Russian Tea Cakes
- Dipped pretzels
We’ve made quite a few others, but these come back again and again. I’m positive my sisters will chime in with any they think should be on the list.
For now, I’m leaving you with my peanut blossom recipe. They are a crowd pleaser. People will like you if you give them a tray of these.
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. white sugar, plus extra for rolling
1 C. Shortening (before you freak you, I use Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening. I tried swapping butter, but didn’t think it was the same. Sad, because I love butter.)
1 C. peanut butter (natural version is fine, but stick with creamy)
3 1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Chocolate stars or chocolate kisses. I prefer stars because I don’t have to unwrap them. They now make dark chocolate stars if that floats your boat.
Cream sugars, eggs and shortening. Add in peanut butter and mix until combined well. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except chocolate) and mix until combines.
Roll into balls and roll in sugar. Space about an inch or two on a baking sheet (they spread). Bake for 8 minutes, take out and press star into the middle (the cookie will crack – you want that). Bake for 2-5 minutes more until slightly firm.
Remove onto cooling rack and try to wait a few minutes before popping one in your mouth.
Question: Favorite Christmas Cookie? Do you have a baking tradition? Please share!