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Seasons eatings from my kitchen to yours

The Great Cookie Bakeoff began today. I managed to get four batches baked.

As I wrote last year, the cookies are tightly tied to the season for me. It just isn’t Christmas without them, so even though I’m feeling more than a little behind the holiday eight ball this year, there will be cookies —  just not as many as in years past. (Consider yourself warned.)

Deciding which ones to leave out is no easy task.  Each variety has its own taste memory. But in the end we agreed Ginger Snaps, Lemon Snowflakes, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Chocolate Chips, Chocolate-Filled Cookies, Cocoa Cookies and Sugar Cookies were all required.

And as in each of the past 16 years, one of each kind will be left for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Over the years, my recipes have been tweaked or changed due to time or diet or whim. Some of them are stalwarts from my childhood, others are new ones we tried and adopted as we learned to go tree nut- and later egg-free in response to Catherine’s allergies.

I miss the Black Walnut Crescents and many of the others my mom used to make, but as with everything else in life, you have to go with the flow.

The house smells amazing, and here’s how the table looks:

We've only just begun. Lemon Snowflakes, Chocolate Chip, Ginger Snaps and Peanut Butter Blossoms, oh my!

We’ve only just begun. Lemon Snowflakes, Chocolate Chips, Ginger Snaps and Peanut Butter Blossoms, oh my!

Catherine is having a driving lesson with Basil. I have to run spell-check real quick and then start packing these treats before they return. The two of them have already started hording their favorites, creating finding “broken” or other undesirable ones to pull out of the inventory.

Part II of the baking madness will come next weekend.

Maybe you’d like to try a batch?

Lemon Snowflakes

1 cup butter

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup granulated sugar, plus additional for rolling and baking

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs (I use the equivalent of 2 eggs’ worth of Ener-G egg replacer)

1 tsp. lemon extract

4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. salt

  • Cream butter, sugars and oil in a large bowl. Add eggs and lemon extract; set aside.
  • Mix together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.
  • Stir dry mixture into wet mixture. Form balls the size of a quarter. Roll balls in additional granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet. Flatten with a flat-bottomed glass or jar about 3 inches in diameter. Dip the glass in sugar between cookies to keep dough from sticking to the glass. Find a vase or other cut-crystal container that has a pretty design on the bottom. Press the crystal design onto the flattened dough to make an indentation. Do not press crystal through to the cookie sheet. Remember to dip crystal into sugar between cookies to prevent sticking.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Edges of cookies should not be obviously brown. Makes about 8 dozen.

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


22 thoughts on “Seasons eatings from my kitchen to yours

  1. Wow look at all of the yummy goodness! Thank you for sharing your Lemon Snowflake recipe.

    So glad you could link up at this week’s Harvest of Friends Weekend Blog Hop.

    Posted by Our Everyday Harvest | December 15, 2012, 10:41 am
  2. Cookies look great. I volunteer to be the official tast tester!!.

    Posted by Mike Colaluca | December 13, 2012, 3:11 pm
  3. Wow, you guys take your cookie baking seriously. I have one or two recipes for shortbread and choc chip, but that’s where I bow down to you. That’s some table spread. 🙂

    Posted by rhythm & method | December 11, 2012, 9:55 pm
  4. I just checked my kitchen and didn’t see any cookies on my counter from YOUR kitchen. Please resend.

    Posted by John Pontillo | December 11, 2012, 12:04 pm
  5. So yummy looking! My cookie baking has been pushed to the end of the to-do list this year! I still have not started them. I have a feeling santa may just be getting good old fashioned oatmeal chocolate chip this year! =)

    Posted by Holly | December 11, 2012, 7:44 am
  6. It all looks so good! I made your ginger snap recipe recently – love them! But this time they came out too fluffy -not enough ‘snap!’
    Any ideas? too much flour? I have made them successfully in the past so I can’t blame you, unfortunately!

    Posted by Erin Walsh | December 10, 2012, 1:50 pm
  7. Hear, hear! It looks like a party. I wish I were there to taste every sample.

    Posted by pam2626 | December 9, 2012, 6:19 pm
  8. So much goodness on that table! YUM!

    Posted by Brittany | December 9, 2012, 4:34 pm
  9. You also make good fudge and haystacks. Oh, and I can’t forget the dreaded Jolly Jellies! I will really miss your cookies this year as we are not able to travel for Christmas.

    Posted by Kathy | December 9, 2012, 3:08 pm
    • No more fudge — egg whites in Marshmallow Fluff. Tried peppermint bark the past couple of years, but that will not be on the list this year. I’m running out of time (and energy. And sanity!) Will miss our December catchup. xoxoxo

      Posted by Terri S. Vanech | December 9, 2012, 3:31 pm
      • You can make it the old fashioned way! No egg whites needed. Real cream and chocolate and sugar and a candy thermometer…

        I’m the same way. If I could, I’d make at least 12 kinds of cookies each year. Love this post!

        Posted by chaotican | December 9, 2012, 10:10 pm
      • Thank you! Now you have me wishing I could visit YOUR kitchen! Hope you’ll stop by again soon….

        Posted by Terri S. Vanech | December 10, 2012, 6:54 am

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