Tasty Traditions

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Tasty Traditions

By Heather Jeffcoat

Every December, my kids and I set aside a couple of days to get into the kitchen to bake cookies and make candies. The idea is that we’ll use some for gifts, and some will become a festive treat for us to snack on. My kids love to help in the kitchen, so I never have to sell them on the idea, especially when sugar is involved!

We usually end up with a very dirty kitchen, lots of dishes to wash, and full stomachs from tasting our delicious end results. My husband loves these days because he is normally our taste tester, timing his entrance into the kitchen when a batch of something is ready. After we’re done, we relax with some sweet confections and a tall glass of milk while watching a holiday movie. I love those times!

Last year, the kids invited a good friend over to make chocolate crinkle cookies. If you’ve never made these, they’re great cookies to prepare with kids because you can set up an assembly line, which is what we did. One kiddo rolled the dough into balls, one dropped them in the confectioners’ sugar to cover, and one placed them onto the baking sheet. Then I put them in the oven for baking. All the kids (and somehow me, too) ended up covered in sugar, probably from all those wonderful giggles throughout the process. What a great memory to relive! I didn’t even care what those cookies were going to taste like, I was just happy to see those smiles. (They did, however, turn out pretty great.) The kids have already asked me if we’re doing it again this holiday season. And my husband has requested some with a tall glass of milk—I think he may even be tempted to jump into the process this year!


Making cookies with my kids always takes me back to my childhood when I made cookies with my Mom. She would get our sugar cookie dough ready and line up all the colored sprinkles to use for our decorating. I remember using these silver cookie cutters to make candy canes and angels. I was always nervous that I was going to cut myself, so I was extremely careful. I’m sure my Mom warned me about that at some point, and it stuck! I still think about that, even though my cookie cutters have dull, almost rounded edges. It still doesn’t stop me from telling my kids to be careful though.


I love making decorated sugar cookies with my kids too. They usually end up more like an art project rather a culinary delight, but the process sure is fun. This year, though, we’re using one of Paula’s recipes for sugar cookies with a delicate buttery taste and topped with a fun meringue frosting. They’ll not only look great, but taste pretty fantastic too! You can find it in Paula Deen’s Christmas on newsstands now or click here to purchase it.

Grab the kids and head to the kitchen to make some wonderful memories. Package your treats in a cute box or bag, and pass them out to someone who needs a smile. May your holidays be bright!

What kind of treats have become traditions in your home during the holidays? I would love to know.


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Reader Comments:


Hello!! I just found out that my daughter wrote Miss Paula a letter, so I thought I might send one as well. You asked what treats have become a tradition around our House at Christmas. Well, it is hard to break it down, we have so many!! I think our absolute favorite is Her 3 chocolate chocolate chip cookies with toffee in them. We make somewhere between 10-15 dozen to give out as Christmas gifts, and a few more just for us. We have a family tradition started by my sister-in-law Holly many years ago when my mom and dad were still around. We would choose 12 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day to do 12 activities together as a family. We had Cookies for Santa, Decorate the Christmas Tree, Christmas Lights, Build a Gingerbread House, etc.... and it always included Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My family loves this continued Tradition, and my daughter Kendall is now in on all the planning. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year, usually, somewhere in July, I start all of the planning and shopping to make our Christmas as memorable as the one before. I think this year we will be going ice skating!! Nothing like some cookies and hot cocoa to set the mood for my favorite time of year, Christmas!! Sincrely, Sherille

By Sherille Raley on September 02, 2013


Miss paula deen my name is amanda, i have a fiance the loves your cooking. Her birthday was january 6,it would mean so much to her if you would write a letter to natasha cooper.

By amanda on January 08, 2013


hahaha Paula, did you see this yet? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6Leo4JVl7c

By Jac on January 03, 2013

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