Cookie Marathons

Today’s post comes from Verily Sherrilee

My mom doesn’t like to bake. Heck, she doesn’t even like to cook that much. So it was interesting that she decided on cookies as a great holiday gift for teachers, ministers, postmen, etc. We would make eight to ten kinds of cookies during the weeks before the holidays, all of them going into the freezer. Nothing fancy, just the basics: chocolate chip, oatmeal, snickerdoodles, peanut blossoms, sour cream with almonds, frosted sugar, brownies. Then one afternoon we would put all the cookies out on the dining room table, each take a box and walk around the table, loading up the box w/ an assortment of cookies until it was full and then we start again with a new box. We were still doing this each holiday when I was in high school.

marathon2Without even meaning to, she handed down a baking tradition that I cling to, to this day. I don’t do as many cookie gifts as when I was in school, but I still do plates for my vet, my hardware store guys, my library and my milkman. Most of the cookies, however, end up being taken to various parties throughout the season, or brought out for visitors. And eaten with hot chocolate while watching holiday movies.

marathon1Nonny doesn’t bake anymore, although she does help out when she visits around Thanksgiving. She won’t measure, pour, stir or any job that requires that she get her hands dirty. However, she LOVES to clean so we are a perfect pair. I mix and measure and every time I’m done with a cup or a spoon, she whisks it away and washes it. On the years that she isn’t visiting when I cook, I really miss that!

This year we did 13 kinds of cookies in three days. Peanut Blossoms, Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Crescents, Peanut Butter Bon Bons, Oatmeal Scotchies, Chocolate Crinkles, White Chocolate Ting-a-Lings, Frosted Shortbread Sticks, Red Velvet Shortbread, Ginger w/ Caramel Filling, Spritz and 2 kinds of fudge.

Do you have a favorite holiday cookie?

60 thoughts on “Cookie Marathons”

    1. . I didn’t make sugar cut outs this year. Kind of a long story related to how I was feeling in N
      ovember. I made these sugar shortbread sticks instead. They taste good and they’re pretty but I think next year I’ll go back to cut outs.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Rise and Nibble on Christmas Cookies Baboons!

    I have many “favorites” which makes it difficult to name one only. So why name one? I love the sandy texture of shortbread in any shape or type: Russian Tea Cakes, classic Scottish Shortbread, and thumbprints. Then there is the peanut butter chocolatyness of Peanut Blossoms–heaven.

    Unfortunately I have little self-discipline around sweets, so I don’t bake them much anymore, especially this year because I have been doing a weight loss process. I chose to request a cookie blog post the other day so I can be a cookie voyeur this year.

    It works!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mexican Swizzle Sticks (not even sure that’s the real name, but that’s what my family calls them.) Basically, a chocolate spritz cookie piped out into a long, curved stick (a skinny S-shape), spread with a thin layer of chocolate icing on top, and sprinkled with colored sprinkles.

    Mom has baked Christmas cookies for close to 60 years now and shows no sign of stopping. She makes fewer amounts of each kind, but still bakes 8-10 varieties plus fudge. We three children, plus step children and all adult grandchildren, receive a “care package” of cookies. Probably 10 batches in all. At 80 years old, she’s amazing.

    Chris in Owatonna

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    1. Does she make the old-fashioned stir-until-your-arm-drops-off fudge? I love this best, but will admit that I’ve been doing the cheater fudge for years. I should make it a point to make “real” fudge at least once a year.

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  3. I am always amazed at people who make dozens and dozens of cookies and hats off to you, Sherrillee! On the other hand, I just absolutely refuse to do baking. Don’t like it, too stressful, too time-consuming and all that damn sugar, bad saturated fat and calories is just not needed by anyone. But we all love those of you who do enjoy the baking and keep us all supplied in goodies! Live long and prosper!

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  4. Both my favorites are not overly sweet. My grandma’s Kringla makes the house smell so heavenly. Best served warm out of the oven with a little butter. 🙂

    I’ve also come upon a Cardamom Cookie Rings recipe that you shape into little wreaths and decorate how you like – red-hot candies are nice if you use green frosting. Kind of like a shortbread, and simple enough I’ll copy it here:

    2 1/4 C. flour
    1/3 C. sugar
    2/3 C. butter, softened
    1 egg
    1 tsp. cardamom
    2 Tbsp. brandy, or 1 tsp. brandy extract

    Mix everything together on low speed till well combined. Shape round teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls; form into 5-inch-long strips and shape into circles on greased cookie sheet (or lined with parchment), about 2 inches apart. Bake at 30 deg. for 8-12 minutes or just until edges are lightly browned. For the glaze:

    1 1/4 C. powdered sugar
    2 Tbsp. cream
    2 Tbsp. brandy or 1 tsp. extract
    1/4 tsp cardamom
    (food coloring)

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  5. I’m pretty useless today. I don’t bake and don’t even eat cookies. The only thing I can do to support this post is to offer the recipe for the only baked sweet I’ve eaten much of, Cindy’s “Horrible Bars.” I don’t find a recipe from them on Kitchen Congress, so I probably haven’t shared it.

    Cindy was the first wife of my best buddy, note the “was.” She had strong but mixed emotions about many things, especially me. A nutrition nut and super-fit woman who finished several Iditarod sled dog marathons, Cindy officially hated sugar-laced baked objects. But without fail, when I visited she would always offer Horrible Bars, so-named because the nutritionist in her considered them terrible beyond all reason, but she always happened to have a big batch in the kitchen when I dropped by. These are so good they are horrible! Or so horrible they are good.

    Horrible Bars

    1 cup butter
    2 cups brown sugar
    2 eggs, beaten
    2 tsp vanilla
    2½ cups flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    3 cup quick oatmeal

    Cream the butter and sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla. Mix flour, soda, and salt together and add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Then, stir in the oatmeal.

    Spread 2/3 to 3/4 of the above mixture in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Then make the following filling.

    1 12 oz pkg chocolate chips
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    2 Tbsp butter
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    1 tsp vanilla

    Melt chocolate chips and milk in a double boiler and stir until smooth. Add nuts, butter, and vanilla. Pour over first layer. Dot with remaining 1/4 to 1/3 of first mix. Bake at 350º for 18 to 20 minutes.

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  6. I will admit to one sentimental favorite cookie, if it can be called that. My maternal grandmother made these concoctions that we called “bullets” — a well-deserved name. They resembled light-colored rabbit turds and were hard as rocks. Each Christmas, she would give each of us our little plastic bag of bullets and we reveled in gnawing them to see if they would break our teeth. The grown-ups dipped them in coffee which is how they were probably meant to be eaten.

    I believe they were dried and baked, similar to how biscotti is made (not that I really know) and were spiced with cardamom or anise or something (my family is German, so not sure of that either). I have 5 sisters and one brother, and his wife loves to bake. Somehow, she found a recipe for this stuff and the bullet-shaped implement to cut them out of the dough. She made them for all of us one Christmas and we had such fun and, of course, totally loved them. I’ve never really seen them anywhere else as they are unusual, and not very sweet or easy to eat.

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    1. I wonder if these were a form of Pfeffernussen, a German, anise flavored cookie. My Grandma used to make them. They were larger, but very hard and meant to be dipped in coffee.

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  7. My favorite is a tie between spritz and krumkake filled with real whipped cream. I used to host a holiday Open House for many years and would bake cookies like crazy – molasses, sugar cookie cut outs, date balls, Russian tea cakes, fudge, thumbprints, etc. Nowadays I don’t bake cookies at Christmas. Instead I have inherited Mom’s job of making rice pudding for Christmas Eve. It’s the basic eggs, sugar, rice, and milk recipe. In fact I just finished baking a double recipe with raisins and am finishing up a single batch without raisins. Mom also used to make Swedish rusks but my younger sister has taken that over. She does the big holiday cookie bake now – I help out with the baking part. Yesterday I rolled and baked about 12 dozen molasses cookies. One of my cousins has a tradition going back about 40 years. She and a close friend get together in late November or early December for a weekend of baking an obscene variety of cookies and bars. I always thought and still think that is too over the top. She has Christmas cookies in her house for months!

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    1. I will only mail it free. No payment to be made. Will not mail it until week after next. Next week Sandy has implant and I spend the week by her side as much as possible to control it.

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    2. Already have it on my hold list at the library. I was just wondering yesterday how I came across it. Have you mentioned it before?

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  8. Hi–

    I’m having trouble with my Amish Friendship Bread. I’m only on the third batch this year.
    First batch is always practice anyway… some stuck to the pans and some didn’t cook all the way through. But it was also 1 small box of pudding and 2 large boxes of pudding.
    Second batch I tried 3 pans coated in butter and 3 pans coated in crisco.
    2 small boxes of pudding and 1 large and the bread all set up right but was dry. And the butter ones all came out of the pans nice and the crisco ones stuck. One ripped completely in half horizontally. Kinda interesting… still tastes OK (other than dry).
    Third batch; all buttered pans, all came out OK. 1 small box and 2 large boxes of pudding and again, didn’t set up right and 4 collapsed after taking out of oven. Sure is moist! And yummy! But adds extra guilt eating it because it just looks completely decadent…

    Any ideas bakers? I use a toothpick to test it and it comes out clean plus I can feel a different density. And yet it falls…
    Anyone use a thermometer?

    I bake ‘Chocolate Tempters’ for a neice for Christmas every year. No bake– peanut butter, cocoa, milk, butter and oatmeal, dropped onto wax paper.

    Used to be a tradition of Christmas eve over at the uncles house with a chip dip and oyster stew (None for me, thank you) and lots of cookies. My favorites were a sort of caramel brownie. Man, those were good…

    We still make the cheesy, Mexican chip dip.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve never made cookies in my life. When I was married the first time, I did make handmade caramel rolls. God, they were good, but I wouldn’t have a clue how to make them again. I’m amused at how many versions of what a grandma’s called. Nownie (my grandma); Nana; Nana ( with the ah sound; Noni; Nonny. I’m Noni to 12 grandchildren.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. huh
        one grandma was dead when i was born and the other was never called anything. i didnt refer to her as hey you but i dont remember ever referring to her as anything. i didnt have to shout across the roo to her ever and if she was in a conversation everyone jst knew who we were talking about
        .odd

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  10. I used to bake a lot when my children were young….now, not so much… (I hardly cook also) Well, I need the rest.,,after cooking and baking for many years as …my kids grew up, I do it once in a while for the grandkids….

    Liked by 2 people

  11. My favorite Christmas cookie is whatever I’m eating at the moment. I make four kinds (one is a candy, not a cookie): coffee walnut toffee, pfferneusse, ginger hottentots, and chocolate truffle cookies. The toffee is very good, but judging by my reaction to the caffeine, I think it’s time to switch to a non-coffee version. The hottentots are a tasty ginger cookie; the chocolate truffle cookies are so intensely chocolatey that the whiff I get when opening the container gives me a little rush; and the pfeffernuse is a recipe passed down from my mom. They are small and hard, have anise flavoring, and are spiced with several spices including cardamom.

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  12. Morning all. Renee’s piece today is up, but the header is lower down on the main page. (I emailed Dale but know if he’ll see the email today).

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  13. My mom used to make Bird’s Nests (sugar cookies with the cherry in the center), Peanut Butter balls dipped in chocolate, and Peanut Butter Kiss cookies. Of those, my faves were the Peanut Butter Kiss cookies. But I actually prefer a really good gingerbread/molasses cookie, sans the ‘rock sugar’ crust or icing or frosting or any of that rubbishy, too sweet topping.

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