Are you ready for Christmas yet?
I got the final burst of energy and motivation I needed yesterday to finish up my Christmas cookies--I am happy to say they are all packaged and waiting in the freezer to give to dear friends and family.
This year, I toned it waaaaay down, making only 5 different kinds of cookies.
I used to think I was Martha herself, and would make 10-20 different varieties, packaged to give away in the most lavish of gift boxes...
3 kids later, and this is all I can muster up these days! :)
So, in case you are still wanting to do some last-minute baking before Christmas day, I thought I'd share our favorites with you.
Hope you enjoy.
Jam-Filled Butter Cookies.
This has been my most favorite cookie since I started making it almost 10 years ago. I copied it down from a newspaper cookie recipe contest (where it had received a well-deserved 3rd place), and I've since adapted it slightly.
I make these each year for Christmas, then again for Valentine's Day (heart shaped of course), and for special occasions like weddings or showers. They are lovely and they taste divine, especially with strawberry jam as their filling.
This is simply the perfect cookie in my opinion.
These delicious beauties are special enough to get their own little boxes, and each one is separated by a small sheet of tissue paper...
...All boxed and ready to give away (Boxes are by Martha Stewart from Michael's).
Next, my all-time favorite chocolate cookie:
Best-ever recipe: CLICK HERE
and please, don't even think of switching out the bittersweet chocolate for anything else.
Another proven winner I've been making for years~combine a thumbprint and traditional macaroon...now dip it in chocolate...What more could you want?
Another yearly favorite are these
Cornmeal Thyme Cookies
I don't know why, but I love them so. Each bite is an explosion of flavor--they are both sweet and savory. And the chewy currants alongside the coarse-ness of the cornmeal make for a beautiful texture. They are such an unexpected surprise, and are pefect paired with tea.
Lastly, this year, we made these
I have to admit, I would not have made them if it were not for my little mini-me helper. She begged me to make them with her, so I obliged; plus they added some festive Christmas color to our gift boxes. I gotta admit, they are quite tasty, and are practically BEGGING to be dipped into a cup of hot cocoa.
Ok. Time to put 'em all together....
I love, love, love holiday baking and giving so much, that I admit it was a bit hard not to make a few of our other favorites this year, like....
Lime Meltaways (seriously, so, so, so good, I may have to go upstairs right now and make them)
Homemade Peppermint Oreos (first had a cookie exchange...oh my, my, my)
Gingerbread Snowflakes (so lovely, aren't they?)
My friend Greta's version of the most addicting Buckeye (Crunch) Balls ever, and
Peanut Butter Blossoms (my friend Emily's specialty).
I MIGHT still try a batch of these Sea Salt Caramels tonight--they seem to be calling my name...
But since all my serious work is done, now it's time to have some FUN with my kiddos making and decorating some sugar-cookie cutouts...and yes, we'll be using store-bought dough and icing, thank you very much. I'm sure we'll make a huge, sticky-sweet mess!
Happy Holiday Baking, friends!
(even if it is last-minute!)