By Nancy Dinell, Bead Charmer Girl
I love Christmas Cookies!
In my family, the holidays were deliciously laced with cookies. Homemade cookies baked in our kitchen. Every year a Saturday in early December was designated as our “Baking Day.”
Mom spent weeks gathering all the special baking ingredients for our Christmas cookies. There were sprinkles, colored sugars, flavored extracts, nuts and candied fruits to make the Christmas cookies extra festive.
We listened to Christmas music and pored over Mom’s cookbooks selecting the “perfect” recipe for this year’s cookies. There were old favorites such as iced sugar cookies and Spritz cookies. Each year we made a point of trying new recipes. Some we liked and others not so much. A family of five little “taste testers” can polish off a batch of cookies in short order.
So each year, part of my Holiday Plan includes “COOKIES!” My love of cookies never wanes, and they are among the Christmas goodies I look forward to eating.
A trip to Whole Foods Wichita recently had my daughter and I peering into the window of the cookie display. The cookies looked delicious! Sometimes I buy but mostly I just look, because I love to bake Christmas cookies. If you’ve wanted to bake for the holidays but weren’t sure how to get started, you might want to follow my Holiday Plan for Christmas Cookies.
HOLIDAY PLAN FOR CHRISTMAS COOKIES:
1. Schedule Baking Time
Plan a time to bake. Allow enough time for baking and cleanup.
2. Choose Your Recipes
Review cookie recipes and determine what you will bake. Shop for the baking supplies. Double-check ingredients. Assemble baking utensils, bowls & pans.
3. Baking Partner
Do you prefer to bake alone, with a friend or family? It’s your choice. Maybe you’ll choose all three ways. The results will be the same. Home-baked cookies!
4. Sharing the Cookies
Do you bake for yourself, family, friends or strangers? One of our joys as children was to take a tin of homemade cookies to the neighbor’s house. Several friends bake for those in need or the homeless. Have you ever received a package of cookies in the mail from a loved one? They taste delicious. I highly recommend sharing the cookies.
5. Buy the Cookies?
It is perfectly acceptable to buy cookies. If you hate baking, don’t have time and don’t find joy in it, buy the cookies. Try bake sales, local bakeries, specialty grocery stores, and mail order. There are wonderful cookies selections available. Place an order and be prepared to enjoy the holidays.
One of my all-time favorite recipes is Spritz Cookies made with cream cheese. You’ve probably tried them sometime, too. They remind me of the Christmas cookies I lovingly baked with my three sisters and Mom. If you love Spritz cookies as much as I do, you’ll want to know there are tons of Spritz Cookie boards on Pinterest. Here is a recipe I’ve used over the years. Warning, this recipe might become a favorite of yours too.
Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon almond extract (or any flavor you prefer)
2 1/2 cups flour
Food coloring (if desired)
Preheat oven to 375F.
Cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar until well blended. Beat in egg yolk and almond extract. Gradually blend in flour until completely incorporated. Add a few drops of food coloring. Cover and chill dough at least 2 hours or overnight. (Note: You can make the dough ahead and keep in the refrigerator a couple days or freeze it.)
When ready to bake, remove the cookie dough from refrigerator and allow to rest about 10-15 minutes. A cookie press can be used, or the cookies can be formed by hand. Bake on an un-greased baking sheet.
I hope your holidays include a little time for enjoying cookies. It doesn’t matter whether you bake them or buy them. Just take a few minutes to enjoy the blessings of this time of year with a cup of coffee and a cookie.
Be a Blessing,
Nancy ~ Bead Charmer Girl
I’m a Christian. Wife. Mom. Step Mom. Adoptive Mom. Creative Soul. Jewelry Designer. Small Biz Owner. Former HR Manager. Advocate for Developmentally Delayed People. Potter. Environmentalist. Future Author. World Traveler. Dreamer. Blogger. Caregiver. LifeGroup Coach.