Story by Anna Aughenbaugh | Ft. Collins, Colo.

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December 8, 2012
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Holiday Baking


Decide what recipes you want to make, then when you can set aside time to bake. If you are putting a meal in the oven that will take an hour to cook, make a batch of cookies or sweet bread to bake at the same time. Freeze some of them to have on hand to serve company, or to give as gifts. One of our sons, whose wife doesn’t bake has asked me to give him his favorite chocolate chip ones with nuts. The nuts assure him that his kids won’t gobble them up. He also asks for Soft Chocolate Chips because they don’t make crumbs when he carries them out of the kitchen.

Our family much prefers homemade cookies over store bought, but they don’t care for fancy ones that look pretty, but lack good taste. I have resorted to easier to make bar cookies. They can be cut into geometrical shapes, sprinkled with colored sugar or spread with icing.

Baking with children requires lots of patience, but the memories they make are worth it. Be sure to snap some photos. There will be distractions, so read the recipe, then set out the ingredients in the order they will be used. When the cookies are cool, they can stack them into tins or onto plates.

Gathering at Grandma’s kitchen to make cookies together has become a family tradition that is looked forward to by my cousins, their two daughters, their spouses and two grandsons. The men always appear to help with the decorating. When the cookies have been put into containers, the family sits down to a supper of soup. The cookies that are broken, or otherwise not perfect, are eaten for dessert. Then the grandsons are taken home, full of sugar and good memories, the grandparents clean the kitchen and then collapse into their chairs, exhausted, but happy.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1-1/3 cup Butter

1 cup Brown sugar

1 cup Sugar

2 Eggs

2 tsp. Vanilla

3-1/2 cups Flour

1 tsp. baking Soda

1 tsp. Salt

12 oz. Dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped

Cream butter and sugars; add eggs and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients, chips and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten a bit with a fork. Bake at 375 degrees 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup Butter

1 cup Brown sugar

2 Eggs

1-1/2 cup Flour

1 tsp. Baking soda

1 cup Plain yogurt

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 cup Chocolate chips

1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs; beat well. Stir in flour, and baking soda. Beat in yogurt and vanilla; stir in chips and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 36 cookies.

Chocolate Bars

1/2 cup Butter

1/3 cup Cocoa

2 Eggs

1 cup Sugar

1/2 cup Flour

1/2 cup Walnuts, finely chopped

1/4 tsp. Peppermint extract

Bring butter and cocoa to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in a greased 13-by-9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees

20 minutes.

Icing:

1 Tbsp. Milk

1 cup Powdered sugar

3 Tbsp. Butter, melted

3 Tbsp. Cocoa

Mix all together. Spread over bars. (Add more milk or sugar if needed.)

Toffee Butter Bars

1/2 cup Butter

1/2 cup Shortening

1 cup Brown sugar

1 Egg

2 cups Flour

1 tsp. Vanilla

Cream butter, shortening, sugar and egg. Beat in flour and vanilla. Spread in an ungreased 15-by-10-by-1-inch pan. You may need to pat dough with your fingers. Bake at 350 degrees 15 to 20 minutes. When cool, spread with chocolate icing and sprinkle with colored sprinkles or nuts. Cut into bars.

Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup Butter

1/2 cup Shortening

1 cup Sugar

3 Eggs

3-1/2 cups Flour

1 tsp. Baking powder

2 tsp. Cream of tartar

1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Cream butter, shortening and sugar; beat in eggs. Stir in dry ingredients and vanilla. Chill. Roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters; place on ungreased cookies sheet. Bake at 425 degrees 6 to 8 minutes until brown on the bottom. Cool on wire racks.

Icing:

1/2 cup Butter

5 to 6 Tbsp. Milk

2 cups Powdered sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla

Beat all together till smooth. Add more powdered sugar if need to make it the right consistency to frost cookies. Add food coloring if desired. ❖




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The Fence Post Updated Dec 10, 2012 10:24AM Published Jan 7, 2013 08:58AM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.