FORT WORTH, Texas, December 15, 2011 – Now that we’re well into the holiday season, it’s time to get cracking with Christmas and holiday baking!
Whether it’s donuts and latkes for Hanukkah or cookies and candy for Christmas, it’s time to pull out the familial recipes that help us to celebrate this time of year.
I’d like to share two of these from my childhood in Dolton, Illinois. My mother made these cookies my entire life and probably got them out of a newspaper. That was over forty-seven years ago. It just wasn’t Christmas without these goodies, along with the other treats she made as well. The cookies she baked were an integral part of the magic of Christmas for my four siblings and me.
The first is a pressed cookie. The title says Sea Horses, but we always made Christmas trees and flowers. These cookies have a strong buttery, almond flavor that makes them hard to stop eating.
The second are chocolate with walnuts and dropped by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet. Then they get frosted and sprinkled when cooled.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we did – and still do!
Sea Horses (Cookie press Christmas Trees)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 TBSP. almond extract
4 cups flour
green food coloring
Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Add coloring last, a bit at a time until you get the shade of green you want. Blend thoroughly. Fill cookie press and press out onto ungreased cookie sheets. This recipe works best if you do NOT refrigerate the dough first.
Bake @ 375 degrees for 10 minutes. My oven bakes fast, so I start checking them at about 8 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Store in a festive tin.
My mom also made cookie press flower shaped cookies using this recipe. Make the same recipe except do not add food coloring. When flowers are pressed out on cookie sheet put half of a candied cherry in the middle. I use red and green cherries. I’m not a big fan of candied fruit but these are very addicting along with the Christmas trees. Enjoy!
Chocolate Drop Cookies
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts
Melt chocolate over double boiler; cool a bit. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt. Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl. Blend in eggs and melted chocolate to butter and sugar mixture. Then add flour mixture and milk, alternating them until both are incorporated. Fold in walnuts (I toast mine ahead of time since it gives a better flavor.)
Drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake @350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely. Frost with chocolate frosting and sprinkle with nonpareils.
For more Christmas cookie recipes visit Donna Rae Shiffert ‘s column Making Change.
Read more of Claire’s work at Feed The Mind, Nourish The Soul in the Communities at The Washington Times, her blog Sustenance For The Mind, and the writing group she belongs to at Greater Fort Worth Writers Group.
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