December 10th ~ It’s time to bake!

On the tenth day of December my true love gave to me,

a plate of homemade cookies.

As much time as I spend in my kitchen daily, you’d think I wouldn’t want to add to it. But I love baking at Christmastime! To me, it’s all part of the season, and it’s also a great way to get the kids involved and squeeze in a little family time. What a wonderful way to savor the season in good health, good spirits, and good fun!Here are some of my annual recipes.

I’ve been known to make other things depending on my fancy, but these are my standards and I make them almost every Christmas. Below are the recipes.

Gingersnaps

I love gingersnaps, but I don’t always like the snap. These are a chewier version with all the same great flavor. They go amazingly well with Bigelow’s Orange & Spice tea.

1 cup butter flavor Crisco or stick butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 T molasses

2 cups flour

4 t. cinnamon

1 t. nutmeg

1 t. cloves

1/2 t. ginger

1 t. baking soda

Beat together butter, sugar, egg and molasses until creamy. Mix in rest of ingredients. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour or two. Preheat oven to 350*. Roll dough into balls about the size of walnuts (or use a 1 inch melon baller). Roll balls in sugar and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Don’t flatten. Bake for 10 about minutes.

Snowballs

These little cookies have many names but I grew up calling them snowballs. This particular recipe came from my grandma, so it’s likely she took a recipe and tweaked it to make it her own. They are very delicate, yet rich, cookies. The recipe does not typically yield more than 2 dozen little cookies, so be prepared to double it. Otherwise, you’ll be in the kitchen baking up a new batch within a few days.

7/8 cup sifted flour

pinch salt

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 T. sugar

1 t. vanilla

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Cream together butter and sugar. Add everything except the flour and mix well. Work in the flour. Roll into balls that are 1 inch in diameter and placed on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 300* for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and roll in sifted powdered sugar (make sure they are cooled). Place on waxed paper to completely cool.

Peanut Butter Balls

I got this recipe years ago from a co-worker. It’s delightfully sinful and rich.

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

2 sticks butter or margarine

1 can coconut

2 cups chopped nuts

1 box  10x powdered sugar

2 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers

chocolate bark – I usually buy 2 pkgs and end up using 1 1/2)

In large pot melt butter. Add all the other ingredients, except for the chocolate bark, and mix well. Form balls out of peanut butter mixture and set aside balls on waxed paper.  In double boiler melt chocolate slowly. Using tongs, dip peanut butter balls in chocolate; cover completely. Put balls on waxed paper and allow to cool and harden (about 30 minutes).

 

Above, Two is mixing all the ingredients together, and below One is crushing the graham crackers, which will be added to Two’s pot.

 

Our project line: I scooped out the mixture using my handy melon-baller, handed it to Two who shaped them into balls, and then One covered them with the chocolate. It was very messy!

pre-chocolate 🙂

POST-CHOCOLATE!

So, what do you do with that extra 1/2 lb. of chocolate bark? Make Peanut Clusters, of course!

Simply melt the bark with 1 (12 oz.) pkg. of chocolate chips. Turn off heat, add 1 can of spansh peanuts, and mix.

Then drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and wait for them to harden. They’re delicious!

What are some of your traditional holiday recipes?

And as always, don’t sweat the small stuff and remember the reason for the season. Blessings and happy baking!

“Along with his fellowship offering of thanksgiving he is to present an offering with cakes of bread made with yeast.”

~ Leviticus 7: 13  NIV 

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