Just Life

ten on tuesday. christmas treats.

…this week’s prompt is about cookies and perfectly timed since the knitting is coming along and I’m actually thinking I’ll have time to bake next week.

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from 2007 … and now only one of these cookies makes my top 10 list!

growing up, christmas baking was a big deal. huge. my mom comes from a german and scandinavian heritage. christmas food, especially the sweets, was full of tradition. she started baking weeks ahead and the pantry would slowly fill with tins and tupperware, some two dozen varieties give or take. we’d assemble trays and that was our gift to friends and co-workers. when I was in college and home for a few weeks with plenty of time on my hands, I took on the baking…learned my way around the recipes. and definitely formed opinions about my favorites.

fast forward 25 years and you have the spread shown above. toffee squares (from my mom), biscotti with dried cherries and white chocolate, cranberry oatmeal cookies and peppermint bark cookies.
and five years later, a few more tweaks. here are my current favorite christmas treats:
1. gingerbread biscotti. starbucks inspired. last year one of my knitting students gifted me a homemade batch and her recipe.
2. cranberry oatmeal cookies.  (that’s the one I’ve kept from the 2007 list). oatmeal cookies are my favorite, but I only bake this version at christmas.
3. cranberry bliss bars. another starbucks inspiration. sara tracked down the recipe and I prefer her homemade version, without the frosting.
4. pepperkakor. this one is from my mom. very thinly rolled orange spice dough cut into hearts. I haven’t baked these in years because they’re a lot of work. last year, I found an orange spice cookie that has similar flavors, but it’s way easier!
5. shortbread. another one from my mom. butter, flour, sugar and egg yolk. the real deal. she cut them into tiny shapes with canapé cutters (I definitely remember the bridge set with heart, diamond, club and spade). a few years ago, I discovered walkers shortbread. it’s delicious. and I decided it was ok to have store-bought.
6. lebkuchen. my mom’s recipe, from my grandmother, is just a bit different from the others I’ve seen. and it makes the best ones I’ve tasted.
7. spritz. an almond-flavored butter cookie, tinted green and shaped into trees with a cookie press. my sister-in-law always makes these, so we get to enjoy them still.
these last three aren’t cookies but they’re definitely treats.
9. candied pecans. I’ve tried making them, but they aren’t as good as the ones I can buy from whole foods.
10. peppermint bark. from costco. chocolate peppermint love.

…and that’s the list. I’d definitely like to make the biscotti and the cranberry oatmeal cookies. and I’ll be buying candied pecans and peppermint bark. can’t wait to see what everyone else suggests. there is plenty of room on my list for a new favorite or two!

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