These are a few of my favorite things…(part 3)

Cookies! Ever since I was little, Christmas has been a time for extensive cookie making. There are so many varieties fit for the season, how could you not? My mother would spend hours making hundreds of spritz cookies. It was typically an all-day affair which my sister and I would assist with. Our neighbor, Jean, would make wonderful butter tarts and candy cane cookies. Often there was an exchange which turned our house into a treasure trove of sugar. As we grew into adulthood and moved out of the house, Mom baked less and less. The stock pile slowly whittled down to just a few for her and dad to share.

About 5 years ago, my sister and I took it upon ourselves to continue the tradition of a massive Christmas cookie bake. We had no idea what we were in for the first year. I remember 8 pm rolling around and us both whining, “Are we done yet?” with several batches still needing to be baked. Over the years we have become a well oiled machine. We start early, toggle between oven baking, stove top cooking, and no bake varieties, carefully plan and gather all ingredients and tools necessary, and, of course, have wine and mimosas to steady our nerve.

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Last year, my sister was in Vegas with her husband during cookie baking season. I decided to employ my Sista (honorary Hawaiian sister) to be my cookie wing girl. Sista has quite the talent for rolling and shaping the candy cane cookies (which I suck at!) As she’s practically part of the family already, she now has a permanent spot in our cookie inner circle. She joined us again this year and resumed her coveted duties with great relish… She ate the cookies with great relish 🙂

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The best place to find every classic Christmas cookie imaginable is The Joy of Baking website. Not only are the instructions clear, consistent, and they have videos too! This is my go to site for the recipes I like to bake:

Russian Tea Cakes and Chocolate Crinkles

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Candy Cane Cookies and Cranberry Shortbread bars

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And Butter Tart Squares

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My sister’s recipes come from several sources but are tried and true favorites!

No Bake chocolate peanut butter squares and Fantasy Fudge

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Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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And apple pastry bars

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These are our spoils in all their glory

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Another part of Christmas Cookie Day is enjoying our favorite holiday movies. Holiday Movies are the best and there are several I feel are a must:

Babes in Toyland – Disney and Buena Vista together! Singing, dancing, melodrama, it’s a classic top to bottom. If you are a fan of movies like Bed Knobs and Broomsticks or Marry Poppins, this movie is for you!

The Muppet Christmas Carol – Sis and I love the Muppets. The music is catchy and Gonzo plays Charles Dickens!

White Christmas – This is another ultra-classic. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye sing and dance their way into your hart as they fall in love with another singing/dancing duo.

A Christmas Story – if you haven’t seen this one, there is something wrong with you! Stop whatever you are doing now and watch it!!!

    

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation – again, if you haven’t seen this one, there is something wrong with you! Stop whatever you are doing now and watch it! (Unless you’re already watching A Christmas Story.)

Elf – I love this one! Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel are sweet and wonderful!

Fred Clause – Paul Giamatti plays Santa while Vince Vaugh plays Santa’s estranged brother, Fred. Hilarious and heartwarming!

Well that’s all for today. Stay tuned for part 4.

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