Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And now it's time for...a little Christmas quiz.

I saw this quiz on a few random blogs and thought, ahh why not?!  So here goes...

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? Probably neither...Chai is where it's at.
2. Wrap presents or leave them alone? Most definitely wrap.
 3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.
5. When do you put your decorations up? As soon after Thanksgiving as I can.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? My 91 year old Grandma's Candied Yams...or her Sugar cookie cut outs.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Being at my Grandma's house.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember exactly, I feel like it just happened gradually.  I was not shocked, scarred, or imbittered by it.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We always open gifts on Christmas Eve with my dad's family.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Multi-colored lights with new and old ornaments.
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Both.  I like the snow right away, but living in Minnesota, the snow that falls in December will still be on the ground in March.  It doesn't get warm enough to melt here! 
12. Can you ice skate? ha! That's a big fat no!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Gosh, maybe the stereo I got when I was 16.
14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Being with family.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Nantucket Cranberry Pie.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Making lots of cookies.
17. What tops your tree? An angel.
18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Both.
19. Candy canes: yuck or yummy? Yuck.  I get canker sores anytime I eat hard candy.  :(
20. Favorite Christmas show? Tied between National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Love Actually. 
21. Saddest Christmas song? Ave Maria.
22. What is your favorite Christmas song? Sacred: O Come, O Come Emmanuel.  Secular: (It must have been Ol') Santa Claus by Harry Connick Jr.

Merry Christmas All!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chewy Molasses Christmas Cookies

You know what I just got?  An early Christmas/late birthday gift. It's this beauty.  I've wanted a stand mixer for a very long time and I finally got it.  (insert Hallelujah chorus).  Thank heavens for Cyber Monday. 
Well, the first thing I decided to make with this beloved machine was my Grandma Bea's (my middle name is after her) Chewy Molasses Christmas cookies.  This recipe is particularly special to me because it is written in her handwriting on a 3x5 card and the recipe card is stained, with molasses no doubt.  I LOVE that it's stained.  It makes me feel like she's with me in the kitchen. 

I must say that these cookies live up to their name, chewy.  These were just as chewy and flavorful on day 4 as they were the day I baked them.  The flavor of molasses, ginger, and cinnamon is heavenly and in perfect harmony with the rest of the cookie.  Oh and the glaze...the glaze, the glaze the glaze. It's truly amazing. Now, I know that it calls for heavy cream. And, I know that cream can be a bad word, but I implore you to use it.  It makes an incredibly rich glaze that perfectly accompanies these cookies.
You know what else, these would be perfect cookies to set out for Santa. 

Grandma Bea's Chewy Molasses Christmas Cookies
yield: about 4 dozen 2 inch cookies

2 cups sugar
1 cup molasses
1 cup shortening
2 eggs

2 tsp. baking soda
4 cups flour
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4-6 Tblsp. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the first 4 ingredients by hand or with a mixer on low speed.  Add the remaining 5 ingredients and mix until well combined.  Roll into balls the size of a walnut.  Bake at 350 degrees until they puff up and have firm bottoms.  About 7-9 minutes.  The cookies will look not quite done.  In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cream.  Mix thoroughly. Glaze cookies, while they are still warm.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!