I know it’s only the first week of December, but I’m already behind based on the past 18 Christmases!!!! Just before Thanksgiving I had serious dental issues which delayed the early holiday decorating. For the first time ever my tree wasn’t up by Thanksgiving weekend. I know, it’s a catastrophe isn’t it? I’m just teasing, but seriously, it has put a bit of a twist on my agenda. This weekend I’m scurrying around like twelve elves trying to get our home ready. The good news is the Thanksgiving dinner was a success, even if the décor wasn’t ready to roll.
About ten years ago I wrote this cranberry cookie recipe. Somehow I left it out of my last cookbook in 2016. According to my father, Jerry, it’s one of the best cookie recipes I’ve ever written. I admit the flavors of the white chocolate chips, (actually vanilla), nuts and dry cranberries are a nice blend. Anytime there’s dry fruit, nut or chips it will help hold a cookie for a longer period of time.
Watch the sales and try a batch of these for your holiday entertaining. I truly don’t think you’ll be disappointed. If you are shipping cookies my best tip is to use tins and pack things tightly. Between each layer of cookies layer inexpensive white bread. The bread is your ‘packing’ and also your ‘freshness’ friend.
Do you know what you’re giving the neighbors this year? Well, I don’t, yet, that is. As soon as I try a new recipe this week I’ll know for sure. I’m making a cranberry honey, if it’s something I like the neighbors are covered. Last year I gave each surrounding neighbor a bag of Amish Noodles with my recipe for chicken and noodles attaches. A better idea would be to make homemade noodles, and attach the recipe. They would be less costly than store bought. But you would have to work a bit harder with all the rolling!!! (I always do them by hand, the noodle machines confuse me!)
Beverage bags can be great gifts, and ones I enjoy receiving myself. Hot cocoa packets, hot tea and coffee are always appreciated. Speaking of beverages, here’s one that’s rather unique. Make a large pot of wassail and pour it into decorated quart jars. Prepare a jar for each household. Don’t put in any alcohol or you may get arrested for making moonshine! It doesn’t mean it can’t be added later……….One of my recent guests suggested butterscotch schnapps in a spiced cider beverage.
More ideas for friends and neighbors? McDonald certificates, lottery tickets,
plants, a good book, a magazine subscription, complimentary babysitting. How’s that for starters?
Tell you what, since I mentioned the spiced cider I’ll also add my favorite recipe for Wassail too. This procrastinator needs to put the gear in full-speed ahead. Lots to get done and the month goes so dog gone fast! Enjoy the spirit of the season and be an active part in spreading the joy. No grumps or negative energies; it’s like you’re towing a ball & chain every moment of the day. Burst forth and leave your mark. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup room softened butter
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
3/4 cup dried cranberries
6 ounces white baking chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats, not instant
Cream sugars and butter; then begin incorporating remaining ingredients in the order presented. Combine cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour with a whisk before adding to the recipe. The cookie dough is a bit dry, but the cookie will not be, unless you overbake. Place dough on parchment covered baking sheets; bake for approximately 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies are a light golden brown in color when baked.
1 gallon apple cider or apple juice
25 whole cloves
7-9 cinnamon sticks
1 quart pineapple juice
1 can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate
Place all the ingredients on top of the stove or in a large crockpot and simmer until heated through. Consider placing the cloves and cinnamon inside a cheesecloth bag for heating. Serve with a stick of cinnamon and/or a slice of orange.
I found this recipe in 2008 and I’ve turned to it many times because of the positive comments I’ve received at previous events.