What is a sugarplum, anyway? A plum dipped in sugar? This is a good thing?
My started my version of sugarplums, which is basically lots of cookies! As I write this it is snowing gently, I'm listening to Christmas music, the lights are on and the house smells great. This is Christmas!
Every year I make a few favorites, resurrect one or two from the past, and if I find the right thing, try to include a new recipe. (Isn't this a cute vintage book? Maybe I'll have to try one from here, too!)
My current favorites this year are my cousin Bonnie's Jingle Bells (below), lemony shortbreads (the link takes you to a Christmas blast from the past!) and former blogger Anno's spiced almonds (her original recipe was for pecans).
The triple ginger snaps, along with Martha's Lemon Cake, which I make as small bread loaves, are also must-bakes!
I had two new recipes this year, Drumkickers, which came from one of my former bosses and is a German cookie (spelled differently -- this is how Kent's kids spelled and pronounced it!).
The other is Melting Moments, a very soft, meltaway cookie, the frosted cookies in the photo below.
There is a fun story to that one. Our friend Carolyn used to always make them for her husband Wally's gallery open house each holiday. When Carolyn died this spring the recipe (which she would never share) died with her until my friend Kate found it online! They are to die for!
Our Christmas tradition is to frost Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve. We started this one when the boys were small and it was a fun thing to do after dinner and before bed, so Santa would have a good selection!
(Here is a great tip for sugar cookies -- divide your dough in half and roll each half between two pieces of waxed paper and then transfer the whole paper/cookie unit to the back of a cookie sheet and chill for a half hour before transferring the cookies to their baking sheets. It cuts down on the rolling mess and also is an easy way to get them chilled. I did half the recipe for Detroit and in my freezer I have the other waxed-paper set ready to be cut out and baked this week.
Last weekend we celebrated the holidays with our kids in Detroit, so before we left, I made the cookies and packed up the icing and sprinkles.
After dinner, we all chipped in!
I have loads of great memories of this when the boys were little -- Kevin making a stacking cookie about seven cookies tall and packed with icing -- then cramming it into his tween-ager mouth; Greg (the artist) doing only a few cookies, but each one exquisite!
I hope it's something we'll be able to do with baby KevMo when he gets old enough to join in!
Sad to say that as of the Tuesday before Christmas, pretty much all the cookies I baked in this post (and the bread and the nuts!) have been distributed to friends on cheerful cookie plates picked up over the years after the holidays.
And so now, under the watchful eyes of the Kitchen Cooking Santa, I will venture forth today for encore baking!
After all, you have to have cookies at Christmas!
Today I'm joining blog parties at Sweet and Simple Fridays, Pink Saturday and Share Your Cup! Check out the wonderful links there.
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