Christmas cookies and Holiday hearts… I just love this time of the year with all of the beautiful decorations and gatherings. This year will be a bit sad. I know that I will miss Aunt Dot. She did love shopping, cooking and getting ready for the Holidays. I would always go to Atlanta to spend some time with her during the holidays and boy would we have fun! Phil could not keep up with us. Enjoy the Holidays with friends and family members that you love. I will say once again, “Life is so short, live each day to its fullest!”
The Gingerbread House event at The Viking Store in Atlanta with Aunt Dot and our cousins has been an annual tradition for years. Since the girls and I did not get to go to Atlanta to make a Gingerbread House we just did the CANDY COTTAGE in Albany! It is on the dining room table as a magnificent centerpiece for the holidays! Things have changed in my life – there is a void, but a lot of beautiful memories. Making cookies for the Cookie Swap is a must and that tradition has to go on! The girls have the aprons that our dear friend, Peggy Guillebeau, gave them when they were little. They ask every year about the aprons when we start talking about the Cookie Swap. Start a family TRADITION this year, if you have not already started something!!
“Bubbles! Let’s get May to print an invitation for the Cookie Swap”, both of the girls squealed! We rushed to Itty Bitty to select an invitation. Itty Bitty has tons to choose from and after careful deliberation, the Snowman was chosen. Good choice GIRLS!! All of the info was given and we waited for the invites to be printed. Guest list made, envelopes addressed and our cookie list was selected along with the grocery list! Of course, the party would be held at Bubbles’ and Phil’s house. We both love the children and their friends filling our house with laughter. What a blessing!
The best part of a Cookie Swap is that you leave with a bag full of goodies. Carson eats all of the icing off of the Holiday Cookies and gorges herself on anything that is chocolate. She is definitely kin to my side of the family with the chocoholic addiction!! My Daddy loves chocolate and Aunt Dot loved it as well. Carson and Phil even have their hiding places for their chocolate stash!!!
Collins and I found ornaments at the Dollar store for everyone that was invited. We also found the perfect bags for the guests to pack their cookies in to take home. You will see.
I will share some of the recipes with you that are our favorites. Hope that you will enjoy making these with your children and grandchildren. Our Grandson, Kiran lives in California. I do hope that he will be able to share in one of the annual Cookie Swaps in the years to come. If he cannot get to Albany to decorate cookies, we will just pack up the cookbooks and cookie cutters and go west to have a party for his friends!
“Krisp Kringles” Dipped in White Chocolate
2 Tablespoons margarine
6 cups of Christmas red and green rice cereal (This is a seasonal item)
6 cups of miniature marshmallows
1 package Vanilla CandiQuik candy coating
Prepare a 9 x 13 inch pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray. In a large saucepan, melt margarine over low heat. Add mini marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and add cereal, stirring to coat evenly. Spread in prepared pan using a buttered spatula. Cool and cut into squares. A 2 x 2 inch square is a good size. Insert a kraft stick into the square. Follow the directions on the CandiQuik package for melting. Dip the Krisp Kringles into the candy coating and sprinkle with Holiday sugar before the coating dries.
Fill a candy jar partially full with Gum Drops and arrange the Treats in it for serving. The Gum Drops help to hold the Krisp Kringles in place. You can also tie a pretty ribbon around the top of the jar.
Rene Rene, my mother actually made these and they were a hit!
Aunt Peggy’s Old Fashioned Tea Cakes
These are fun for the children to roll out and cut!
½ pound butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond flavoring
Cream butter and sugar; add well beaten eggs. Sift flour, cream of tartar and baking soda together. Add the dry ingredients to butter, sugar and egg mixture. Add vanilla. Roll thin and cut with a biscuit cutter or holiday cutter. Bake at 350 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet until light brown. Remove from pan and cool on a rack. Dust lightly with powdered sugar.
These are delicious! Aunt Peggy is Paula’s Aunt. She lives in my neighborhood and we love for her to come and be with us anytime, especially when there is an activity.
Cream Cheese Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla flavoring
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
On medium speed, beat butter and cream cheese until blended. Add sugar, beat until fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla; beat until blended. Beat in flour, ½ cup at a time. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness. Using cookie cutters dipped in flour, cut out cookies, re-rolling scraps. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes to until golden around the edges. Cool on racks.
Royal Icing for Cream Cheese Cookies
On medium-high speed beat 16 oz. confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons meringue powder and 6 tablespoons warm water until glossy and spreadable. If too thick beat in additional water, 1 teaspoon at time. Keep covered with damp paper towels when not in use. Divide icing among separate bowls and tint with assorted food colorings. Makes 2 ½ cups icing.
**If you cannot find meringue powder in the baking section of the grocery store, try a specialty store that carries baking supplies.
*** DO NOT USE FAT FREE CREAM CHEESE! Those cookies will run all over the pan! I actually called Paula when this catastrophe occurred and asked her what in the world could have happened. She had the nerve to ask me if I was using a good recipe. Guess what Sista, it was yours!!! All we could figure out was that I had used the fat free cream cheese. Made it the second time with regular cream cheese and all was well! She reminded me that a recipe is a formula and DO NOT CHANGE the ingredients.
Shirley’s Potato Chip Cookies
½ cup margarine
½ cup butter
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup crushed potato chips
½ cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Mix margarine, butter, flour and sugar. Blend in potato chips, vanilla, and nuts. Roll dough into balls the size of a walnut and place on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Press down or flatten balls with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in granulated sugar. Bake for 30 minutes.
Shirley Geer is a dear friend of mine and a wonderful cook! Believe me you will have to share this recipe with everyone that sinks their teeth into one of these delicious cookies.
Shep’s Cheese Crispies
I cannot give this recipe to you. Susan Geeslin, another friend of mine, uses her Mother’s recipe for these “to die for” Cheese Crispies. We always look forward to having these during the holidays, well actually anytime of the year! Susan actually bakes, sells and ships these scrumptious delicacies. Children and adults of every age LOVE these. She is always on the Cookie Swap list. Her email is email@example.com if you want to talk to her about an order. I promise you will not be disappointed!
Polish Granny’s silver punch bowl, ladle and wash those punch cups that have been tucked away since last year.
Pour chilled Sprite (you can use Diet Sprite) into the punch bowl. Float a large container of lime sherbet in the bowl. Ladle into cups and YUMMY! You can put a few strawberries in for color.
Time for the Cookie Swap to begin! I do hope that you will give this party a try. All ages have such a great time. There will always be those special memories that you can reminisce about for years to come!
Happy Holidays from our house to yours!
Love and Hugs,
Time to start planning the Christmas Dinner! Have you ever prayed that the oven and dishwasher make it through the holidays???
i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above?
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am
Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am
I WISH I COULD COOK.
COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER?
I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE.
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE.
19 SPENCER WAY
KINGS PARK, NY 11754
HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am
You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition.
Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm