Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Cookie Tradition

I think everyone out there has a tradition of baking at Christmas. I've grown up with baking with my Mom. I can remember at a really young age helping her make her infamous Fruit Cakes. She probably baked about 10-12 loaves every holiday season and gave them out to family, neighbors, and friends as gifts. They were always sooooo delicious. She made them extra special with loads of nuts and fruits. Different liqueurs were used depending on the taste of the recipient. Some people loved the traditional rum, but others liked Orange flavorings.
I remember one Christmas coming home from Rochester, way before I was married, and made sure to grab that recipe so that I could make them too one day. Well, needless to say, I have never actually made one of those infamous fruit cakes. Not sure why. Could be because she stopped making them after my Dad had died, so maybe the tradition waned a bit.
But, those fruit cakes were soon replaced with an array of yummy cookies that she began experimenting with. She had a copy, and she bought me a copy, of Martha Stewart Holidays.

Martha Stewart Holidays

I have made recipes out of this book every single Christmas season, and they really have never let me down. One of the favorites my Mom made were the Ginger Crinkles. Like ginger snaps, rolled in glittery crystallized sugar before baking . They always turn out delicious, and the recipe makes a never ending amount of cookies.
Another favorite of mine, and Greg's, are the Black Pepper cookies. These are really good cookies for peeps who love Christmas spicy cookies, and want an alternative to the really sugary sweet kinds. Black Pepper Cookies

You can put some glittery sugar on top right before baking for an added touch. The first time I ever made these cookies was at Andrea and Mike's when they were still living in NY. I will always remember those cookie bake parties she used to have. Friends from work would pick out recipes, bring the ingredients, show up at Andrea's at around 7:30am, and bake all day. Always a lot of fun, even though we were so ambitious thinking we could each bake 5-6 different recipes, in one house, with only one oven.

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This year, we made the Black Pepper cookies, and some traditional sugar cookies. We'll decorate them on Christmas Eve after Mass, because that has been our yearly tradition since Christopher was born. We love to make all different colors of frosting, and make up a good plate of cookies and milk for Santa. Chief Mess Makers

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