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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Family Favorite Christmas Cookies

Now that the recent snowstorm is history, I can share some of my families favorite Christmas cookies.  I make the usual cut out cookies that everyone makes.  The only thing I don't do is ice them all at once.  I frost and decorate as we use them or we eat them plain.  If you frost the cookies too early they get soft and I like them crispier.

The first family tradition cookie was started in 1977.  Near the holidays, a Madison Wisconsin newspaper (Wisconsin State Journal) would put out a holiday cookbook in the Sunday edition.  In 1977, I saw an easy recipe that I thought I would try.  It was an instant favorite and every year my family requests it.  Now I see the recipe all over and on many websites, but back then it was unique.

Quick, Easy Bars

1 sleeve of soda crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 package (12 oz.) chocolate chips
Chopped nuts as desired

Line a 12 by15 inch cookie sheet with foil.  Grease the foil with butter or oil.
Layer whole soda crackers on of the foil.

Then in a saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar, bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.
Pour the sugar-butter mixture over the soda crackers and bake in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes.
Cool for a few minutes and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top.  In a couple minutes they will start to get soft.  At that point frost the top by spreading out the chocolate.  Sprinkle with nuts and cool completely.  Peel off the foil and break into pieces.

The next recipe also came out of the holiday cookbook put out by Madison Newspapers.  This was from the 1981 edition.  I make this one every year also.

Peanut Butter Temptations

First make any peanut butter cookie recipe or buy the premade dough.  Enough for about 40 cookies.  Roll dough into balls and place each ball into mini muffin tins.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  

In the meantime, unwrap the small Reeses peanut butter cups (about 40).  When the cookies come out of the oven, press one peanut butter cup in the center.  Let them set for a little while before removing from the tin.  

The last cookie recipe I want to share is my husbands favorite.  His mother made them and he asks for them every year.   

Mexican Wedding Cakes

1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cream butter adding sugar gradually
Blend in salt, vanilla and flour
Take small pieces of dough, roll into a small ball and place on ungreased cookie sheet
Bake 12 minutes and
While still hot, roll cookies in powdered sugar

I usually try to make a couple new recipes every year, but these are the favorites.   They are quick and easy.