Whether they're German (Lebkuchen, Pfeffernüsse, and Springerle), Norwegian (Krumkaker, Pepperkaker, Ingefærnøtter), British (Gingerbread and Scottish shortbreads) or American (fudge, sugar cookies, and peanut butter kisses), Christmas is all about kids, cookies and candies! Look how excited Calvin is about these cookies!
One of my favorites is Russian Teacakes (a.k.a. Mexican Wedding Cakes). Made with butter, confectioners sugar, nuts and flour, these little round cookies simply explode into tasty goodness in your mouth – and usually leave behind a little sugar dusting on your fingers, as well...
In recent years I've been making decorated gingersnaps. Because I've never really mastered cut-out cookies, (despite a shocking collection of cookie cutters), I make the gingersnaps which, due to the oil in the recipe, bake into perfect circles, providing the ideal canvas for fun and creativity. Instead of royal icing I use candy melts to "draw" my designs on the cookie and fill them in. Of course a generous use of sprinkles, colored sugars and other festive flourishes make this dessert pop with fun and pizzazz on a platter.
Even my four year old son likes to get into the decorating action. They still taste delicious!!
Spritz cookies from a cookie press, another nod towards my embarrassing lack of cut-out cookie skill, form lovely shapes with the simple squeeze of a lever and are loaded with butter, making them easy and delicious. I've gone through several types of presses over the years and simply cannot justify the electric ones. In my experience the added benefit of electrical power does not make the process any faster or easier and in fact, just distracts from the simple fun of the tiniest bit of "elbow grease" that goes into a manual press. There are often more than a dozen different shapes to choose from and if you do a few of each it really seems like you've worked a lot harder than you have. My season is made a little bit brighter when my family and friends believe I have arduously labored over the treats they are enjoying.
Recently, cake pops have popped onto the scene. It is deceivingly difficult to replicate the example photos on the box; in fact, we just gave up and went in a different direction.
I hope this season brings you a warm oven full of festive treats that look nothing like these creepy cake pops. Merry Christmas!
To complete your own Christmasy look inside and out (Christmas cookies inside and Christmas flags outside), don't forget to stop by the Flagsrus site to take care of your last minute shopping for you, your friends, and your family. Their snowy scenes are the perfect flags and mailbox covers to help you welcome everyone to your home this frosty season.
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