Our North Forty News staffers love cookies! We seem to gravitate toward holiday cookies that are quick and easy to make (as well as delicious, of course!), although we also have a soft spot for classic decorated cut-outs. Still, we all know that it’s the memories and the sharing that make these treats so special.
Here’s what we’re hoping to indulge in this holiday season. How about you?
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I Ate Santa’s Head
by Gary Raham
Christmas cookies! Who can resist them—especially when fashioned in shapes appropriate to the holidays, like bells, Santa Clauses and Christmas trees? Sugar cookies cut into these shapes became my opportunity to splash colored frosting in all the right places. I nipped off Santa’s head—hoping he wouldn’t take offense—and waited for him to sneak in the house somehow (we had no chimney) and place the objects of my desire beneath a well-decorated tree. I reveled in the smells of a Christmas kitchen and anticipated daily attacks on hand-frosted sugar cookies.
Mix, Dump, Spread… Voilà!
by Libby James
Blonde Brownies are my favorite cookie because they are quick to make, are closely related to chocolate chip cookies, and can be dumped onto a cookie sheet and spread around rather than dropped one at a time! To produce them, melt 2/3 C. butter, add 2 1/4 C. brown sugar, then 3 eggs one at a time. Beat. Add 2 2/3 C. flour, 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 C. chocolate chips and 1 C. chopped nuts. Spread onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350°.
For That Christmas Pony
by Marty Metzger
Naming my favorite Christmas cookie is like asking a millionaire to name his favorite dollar! One bestie is Pfeffernusse, spicy German wonders rolled in powdered sugar. However, my heart belongs to Oatmeal Horse Cookies. Not doughy horse cut-out cookies, but cookies made for horses.
A horse lover since age two, I rode by 14, then trained, showed and eventually rescued horses from slaughter. If it’s equine—pony, horse, donkey, mule—it’s wonderful… and deserving of treats universally called Horse Cookies.
“I’ll Never Be Clara” Tamales
by Theresa Rose
My best memory of Christmas cookies doesn’t come from my childhood but from the beautiful little boxes from my husband’s grandmother. Approaching the last years of her independence before moving into assisted living, she managed to create, package and mail out lovely wrapped boxes of perfectly shaped little gems, each kind carefully separated by sheets of tissue paper. Rum Balls, each exactly the same size and issuing a slightly sinful aroma, were the first to be devoured as soon as the box was opened. Russian Tea Cakes exploded into a velvety powder with the first bite. Divinity candies almost floated away by themselves, packaged, of course, on the very top. Thumbprint cookies cradled a little dollop of homemade frosting. Date bars, never a favorite, were on the bottom row and always the last to go. But disappear they did, and the pretty little box was usually empty by Christmas Eve. Clara gave up many of her cherished activities when she left her South Dakota farmhouse, but the memory still lingers. My efforts to carry on the tradition fell flat. I would never be Clara.
My own Christmas tradition consists of dozens of homemade tamales, frozen and ready for the pressure cooker whenever guests arrive. My beautiful, brilliant and talented daughter can’t keep a house to save her life and hasn’t seen the bottom of the kitchen sink since she first moved into her apartment. Christmas treats seem a long way off. But she’s young yet and very much her own person. Maybe she’ll invent something that doesn’t have anything to do with food. I’m waiting.
Sweet Tooth? Who, Me?
by Blaine Howerton
Favorite cookie? I don’t have one. Why? BECAUSE I LOVE THEM ALL. Especially the soft and chewy chocolate ones (big chunks only, please!). I joke with my kids (not really joking) that I get half of all of their cookies. I take pride in collecting cookie tax for the cookie monster.
If I had to stray away from a cookie, I would say fudge is my second favorite treat. That is, if the ingredients don’t get eaten first. During the holidays I find myself hiding in the pantry, with the door closed, eating marshmallows first and then chocolate chips second.
by Matt Bartmann
I’m a picky eater. I’m stuck with that reputation forever, even though my tastes have changed. Still, there are still certain things that I just don’t like. “What? You don’t eat mushrooms? That’s just weird.”
I love cookies. But keep ’em simple. Oatmeal cookies? One of my favorites! No raisins for me, though. Peanut butter cookies? Yum! Made with creamy peanut butter, not chunky. Chocolate chip cookies? Yay! Plain, of course: no nuts. And serving temperature is vital, when it comes to chocolate chip cookies. They should be chilled. Frozen, in fact. Out of the oven, into the freezer. Eating warm cookies with gooey melted chocolate? That’s just weird.
Memories of a Classic
by Mark Moody
My favorite holiday cookie was the simple sugar variety cut into Christmas shapes like trees, reindeer, and of course Santa. We would then use brightly colored frosting and decorate them adding sprinkles, etc. The cookie cutters themselves were antique, and probably not particularly safe, but they were clearly a vital part of our holiday tradition. We munched on these edible decorations, arranged on bright red and green plates, through the New Year.
Uh-Oh, I Ate It All Myself
by Sally Roth
Maybe it was the name. Maybe it was thinking that no treat made with a base of cheap saltines could be good enough for gifts. For whatever reason, it took me way longer to try making Christmas Crack than it should have. Oh. My. Gosh. That name is well deserved: Out of three full cookie sheets I made last Christmas, only a few small ziplock bags of it ever made it to giftees: The rest went in my belly. This year, I’ll be making it the day before I have to mail gifts. Although I do feel guilty (not very much) that far-flung friends and family will be instantly addicted, too.
North Forty News would love to hear about your holiday favorites, too! Leave us a comment here, or comment on Facebook, so we can drool along with you. Oh, and if you want to see more about these cookie-loving North Forty News folks, just go to http://northforty.news/staff