Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Question of the Month: What's your favorite holiday treat?

Hi, readers! We're all hip-deep into wrapping and baking right about now, aren't we? But there's always room for one more - whether that's one more present or guest or ... recipe! And that brings us to the Question of the Month for December: What's your favorite holiday cookie (or pie or cake or...whatever)?

Claire McEwen: I love simple, vanilla Christmas cookies. We decorate them with homemade icing in lots of colors and add sprinkles and have so much fun. Then we give them away to our neighbors because we end up with way more than we can, or should, eat.

Kristina Knight: Peanut butter Kiss cookies are our favorites. Although Christmas Brownies (which are basically Blondies/chocolate chip cookies in brownie form) come in a close second! Last year bebe started helping a lot with baking, which means a lot of laughing and a huge mess when we're done...but the memories! gah!

Janet Lee Nye: I don't do a lot of baking since going gluten free, but one recipe everyone loves is for candied cranberries. Sweet and tart.
Ingredients & Directions: 
One bag fresh cranberries.
Mix 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water, bring to just below a simmer.
Add cranberries. Allow to sit in barely simmering water for a minute or so (if skins start to split, stop!)
Pour cranberries and juice into a container, refridgerate overnight.
Drain cranberries, allow to lightly dry on papertowels, move to parchment paper. 
Roll berries around in extra fine sugar and allow to air dry.

Amber Leigh Williams: Macadamia nut cookies are my favorite! They remind me of a trip my grandmother took to Hawaii years ago. She brought back a whole trove of souvenirs for Christmas - among them, a big tin of macadamia nuts. They were so good, my sister and I cleaned them up ourselves before our parents were able to get a bite. I don't eat many macadamia nuts these days, but I can still remember exactly how they tasted then. Eating macadamia nut cookies takes me back.

Nan Dixon: Deciding on a favorite Christmas treat is too hard.  There are too many.  I love shortbreads.  One of my sisters and I have in the past had shortbread taste offs!  (I think I am running ahead in the contest.  Probably because when I roll out the dough, I use powdered sugar instead of flour.)  But I also love meringues.  And then there is Christmas Pudding flamed with brandy and covered in sherry sauce.  And I usually make a trifle for Christmas Eve.  I could go on and on!!

Kris Fletcher: This is my newest favorite - Alton Brown's Sugarplums. These are such a different addition to a cookie tray. They're not really sweet, not baked, and not as guilt-inducing as so many of the treats that we indulge in this time of year. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Plus they're a great conversation starter, because how many people have ever really had a sugarplum? I highly recommend watching the how-to video that accompanies the recipe. They're not complicated to make, but the psychotic Sugar Plum fairy is not to be missed.

Tara Taylor Quinn: This is my all time favorite cookie recipe.  I started making it with my mom and aunt when I was a kid.  I still use that original recipe card which has so many smudges on it now, fingerprints from all these years of loving and baking, that I can't even read it all.  Nor do I need to, but I pull it out every year anyway.  I have it on the counter with me as I bake.  I look at the chocolate and butter fingerprints and get full before I've even taken a bite.
Ingredients & Directions: 
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4  1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
Melt, remove from heat and let cool.
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
Blend, adding eggs one at a time.
2 cups flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
Mix and add to egg/chocolate mixture.
Chill.  (At least two hours, overnight is less messy)
Roll chilled mixture into cookie sized balls. Roll in a bowl of confectioner's sugar. Place on cookie sheet.
Bake at 300 degrees for 18 - 20 minutes.

Pamela Hearon: My favorite Christmas cookie is a Jelly Tart a.k.a. Thumprint Cookie.  It's a simple butter cookie with an indentation in the middle that is filled with jelly before baking.  I made these with my mom every year while I was growing up.  Then I made them with my kids and now my grandkids!  I'm especially excited to make them this year because my youngest grandchild is old enough to join in Gigi's Christmas Baking Extravaganza this year!  BTW, I think Damson Plum jelly is the best for filling!

Angel Smits: Like everyone else, choosing one is so hard!  It's a toss up between two.  A chocolate-covered peanut butter cookie that one of my mother's friends always made, or my great grandmother's sugar cookies.  The sugar cookies are good frosted or plain with a warm, rich cup of coffee. Yum!!!

Joanne Rock: Oh, the yumminess of reading everyone else's treats! My favorite cookie is probably the Ginger Snaps in the classic Joy of Cooking cookbook. But I don't make those often since I'm the biggest fan of the cookies in my house, and I turn into a frightening version of Cookie Monster at the scent of molasses. I have no control! I'm with Pamela on Jam Thumbprints... sooo good, and now I'm going to look for the filling she mentioned. At Christmas time, I make lots of exotic cookies I don't make the rest of the year, but our mainstay for the holidays is the sugar-cookie cut out. It's not Christmas without pretty frosted trees, wreaths and angels!


Anonymous said...

Yummy cookie recipes. Thanks and i hope I win this month

Nan Dixon said...

I love all these! Thanks for pulling this together!

Mary Preston said...

I've got the munchies reading this post.

My favourite would have to be fresh black cherries. They seem to have such a short season, so extra special for Christmas time.

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