Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Cookies 2013

There's just something about baking sweet treats to share that makes it really feel like Christmas-time.  On the Sunday before Christmas, our church fellowship has a candlelight service, followed by a cookie social, so that makes it extra fun to plan and bake.  For the past few years, my signature items have been peppermint meringues, sugared pretzels, and old fashioned peanut butter kisses.  This year I was ready to try something new, and I just love it when friends share their tried-and-true recipes!

Ginger Snaps
This recipe came from my North Carolina friend, Alicia Clark.
¾ c. shortening
1 c. sugar
¼ c. light molasses (I prefer Grandma’s brand molasses)
1 beaten egg
2 c. flour
¼ t. salt
2 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground clove
1 t. ground ginger

Cream together shortening and sugar.  Gently fold in molasses and egg.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour, salt, baking soda, and spices.  Dough will be soft and a little sticky.  Roll into small balls and roll in sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes - take them out just as they start "cracking," and then leave them on the cookie sheet for a minute or two.  Remove from cookie sheet, and place on cooling rack.  They will flatten as they cool.
This recipe is perfect for your family.  If you are baking to share (or to take to a gathering, as I am), it's great to double!

Thin Mint Knock-Offs
This recipe is from my high school BFF, Christine (Price) Allen.
chocolate for dipping: almond bark, milk chocolate chips, baking melts, etc.
peppermint extract
ritz crackers
Andes mints

Melt the chocolate, and mix in peppermint extract.  (Start with 1/2 tsp and then increase to taste.)
Dip a ritz cracker into the chocolate.
Sprinkle chopped andes mints on top.
Put in refrigerator to let the chocolate harden and set.

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