Friday, October 25, 2013

Cornflake Wreaths for Christmas

These really are supposed to look like wreaths but we had to make them look more like holly bushes.  You can certainly spend the extra time forming them into wreaths, but we just have better luck dropping them by the spoonful onto wax paper.  These are so beautiful yet so easy and your guests will be impressed.  There's something very addicting about these.


1/2 c Butter
30 Large Marshmallows (you may just use a whole normal size bag)
1/2 tsp Vanilla
3 1/2 c Cornflakes
Green Food Coloring
Red Imperials (aka. those hot cinnamon candies called Red Hots)

Melt Butter and Marshmallows in a large pan on the stove.  Add food coloring to desired look (maybe about 1/4 tsp of the one in liquid form) and Vanilla.  Mix in cornflakes.  Drop by spoonfuls on wax paper ( I like to grease mine as these can get super sticky).  At this time you may shape into wreaths or however you'd like.  Decorate with the Red Imperials.  Let sit 8 hours at room temperature.  Store in air tight container.

This recipe comes from my Grandma.

Popcorn Balls for Christmas

Another thing my grandma made for Christmas was Popcorn Balls.  I could eat a gallon sized bag of these in one sitting if I wasn't careful!  These are a real challenge to make.  My grandma would make these with her hands.  She told me the way she did was to let the popcorn mix cool a bit and then added butter to her hands to form these. Warning: I highly suggest getting one of those cheap pop corn ball makers (they look like hallowed spheres) if you don't have hands that are desensitized to heat.  These can give you blisters if you do it by hand if you're not careful.  A good way to go around this is to maybe treat it like rice krispie treats and spread out in a pan to cool.  I personally prefer the ball shape and am willing to burn my hands.  Please be careful, especially if this is your first time!  Again, the popcorn ball maker is pretty cheap and probably still costs about $2-$5.


2 c Sugar
1 1/2 c Water
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 c Light Corn Syrup
1 tsp Vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla
5 quarts Popped Popcorn, dead kernels removed

Butter the sides of a sauce pan (medium size is good).  Combine Sugar, Water, Salt, Corn Syrup and Vinegar.  Cook on stove to hard ball stage (250 degrees f on a candy thermometer).  Add Vanilla.  Pour over popcorn and coat evenly by mixing (I like to shake into a paper bag).  Let cool a little bit and shape into balls.  This recipe makes about 15-20 balls.

This is my Grandma's recipe.

Classic Sugar Cookies for Christmas

Sugar Cookies are loved by just about everyone.  This recipe I have is much much older than myself and has been in my family forever.  I still haven't found a better sugar cookie recipe than this one.  These come out nice and soft just like everyone likes them.  They have a nice balance to them in terms of sweet and salty.  We always have to make several batches of these each year.  One batch is pretty big.  Let's just say I'm pretty lucky to have a 6 quart stand mixer to mix a double batch of these cookies.  I have an interesting way of making the icing as there is no recipe for it.  I will explain how to do that at the end.  These cookies are great with or without the icing.


1 c Butter
1 1/2 c Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
3 1/2 c Flour
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt

Cream Butter and Sugar.  Add Eggs and Vanilla, mix.  Add Flour, Cream of Tartar, Baking Soda and Salt, mix.  Chill dough for 3-4 hours (We've skipped this part before and they've turned out good but they expand more this way.  You can chill overnight if that's more convenient for you).  Roll out onto flour and sugar (I usually omit the sugar part).  Cut out into shapes and bake at 350 degrees f for 6-8 minutes or until done.


Mix a whole bag of powdered sugar with a little bit of butter (probably about a Tablespoon's worth).  The butter helps get the icing soft enough to bite through.  Add milk slowly and in small amounts to the consistency you would like.  I like to make mine a little runny but thick enough to stay on the cookie.  Don't worry if at first you make it too runny.  You can always add more powdered sugar.  Separate into different dishes and add the food coloring to your choice.  Decorate your cookies and allow to air dry a while until the icing is hardened all the way through (it may take about an hour. You can even let sit over night if needed).  There is no need to refrigerate these.

This recipe comes from my very own Mother.

Monster Cookies for Christmas

My husband and I love Monster Cookies.  His grandpa used to make monster cookies all the time.  The best was when grandpa would wake up at 2 am in the morning and start making monster cookies so he'd have some for when we visited for games.  I believe this to be a special recipe as it does take a bit of time to make.  With all the time and effort, these cookies turn out to be more than worth it!  These would be a wonderful addition to your Christmas Cookies.


3 Eggs
1 c Sugar
1 c Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Corn Syrup
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1/2 c Butter, melted
1 1/2 c Chunky Peanut Butter
4 1/2 c Rolled Oats
1/2 c Flour
3/4 c Chocolate Chips
3/4 c Reese's Pieces
3/4 c M and M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees f.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper (This is preferred but not required.  You can try greasing the pans).  

In a large mixing bowl, mix Eggs, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Corn Syrup, Baking Soda and Salt.  Stir in the Peanut Butter and Melted Butter.  Add the Flour and Oats and stir until well mixed.  Stir in the Chocolate Chips, Reese's Pieces and M and M's.  Let batter sit for 30 minutes.

Drop dough into about a 1/4 c size balls on cookie sheet and flatten out a little. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Place on cooling rack.  Store in an air tight container.

This recipe came from the Cooking with K website.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Snickerdoodle Cookies for Christmas

My grandma made the best Snickerdoodles!  She didn't put that weird lemon juice stuff in her cookies to make them taste funny. She used to make several gallon size bags full of Snickerdoodles for Christmas since we all hogged these.  I am excited that I keep seeing people posting Snickerdoodle recipes on pinterest.  I've seen some creative recipes using these cookies.  I think I will try one of those recipes in particular.  The ones with the caramel sounded really good.


1 c Shortening
1 1/2 c Sugar (for batter)
2 Eggs
2 3/4 c Flour
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar (for rolling)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Cloves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees f (may need to adjust oven to 400 degrees f if these don't bake in the time alotted).
Cream Shortening and  1 1/2 c Sugar.  Add Eggs.  In a separate bowl, sift Flour, Cream of Tartar, Baking Soda and Salt.  Add to wet mix.
In a separte bowl, mix 2 Tbsp Sugar, Cinnamon and Cloves.  Form dough into balls and roll in sugar mix.  Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

I believe this to be my grandma's recipe.  However I did get this from my Aunt.

Soft Molasses Cookies for Christmas

If someone were to ask me what was the most requested thing for me to make for others, I would have to say these Soft Molasses Cookies.  They are to die for!  I came across this recipe on a whim one day as a college student.  I had very few groceries back then, but for some reason I did have molasses in my cupboard.  I wanted molasses cookies so bad one night and didn't have the means to go out and buy some at the store.  I looked at a few recipes and noticed a lot of them called for shortening, an item I didn't have.  I almost gave up.  Luckily, I found this recipe online that used butter instead of the shortening.  Little did I know then that this was simply the best molasses cookie I have had or ever will have.  Most who've had this would agree.  If I were you, I would at least make this into a double batch because these run out faster than you could say yum.


3/4 c Butter
1 c Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1/4 c Molasses (not Blackstrap)
2 1/4 c Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
Granulated Sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees f.  Cream Butter and Brown Sugar together.  Add Egg and Molasses and mix.  Add Flour, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Ginger and Cloves.  Form dough into balls and roll in sugar.  Place on cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes.  Cool done cookies and store in air tight container.

My apologies I can not find the exact person who I got this from on  This was from so long ago. I've searched for a while but I give them credit for this recipe.  It's the best molasses cookie recipe and I thank them for sharing it with me!


If you've got extra icing leftover from those sugar cookies, you may want to try drizzling some on a few of those molasses cookies.  They look gorgeous and they still taste great!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Ranger Cookies for Christmas

Most of you are probably wondering what a ranger cookie is.  It is a well loved cookie in my family.  It takes some patience with the cooking time so you'll need to make them in small batches.  Maybe that is the reason why so many people have forgotten about this cookie.  It has wonderful flavors and textures with coconut, rice krispies and nuts.  If you want to impress someone with a cookie you made, this is definitely the one to serve.  These are delightfully crisp and chewy.


1 c Shortening or Margarine
1 c Sugar
1 c Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 c Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 c Coconut
1 tsp Vanilla
2 1/2 c Rice Krispies
Nuts to liking, chopped (I used chopped Pecans, about 1/2-1 cup)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees f.  In a large bowl, mix Shortening (or margarine), Sugar and Brown Sugar.  Add Eggs and Vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix Flour, Baking Soda and Baking Powder.  Add to wet mix.  Stir in the Coconut, Rice Krispies and Nuts of your choice.

This recipe calls for you to bake these at 250 degrees f for 30 minutes.  Some ovens are different and can really affect the cooking times on these.  You may have to increase your temperature and bake longer if these don't turn golden brown once the 30 minutes is up.  Bake until golden brown.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies for Christmas

It's that time of year again where people start thinking about Christmas.  I know it's October but you have to admit it's been in the back of your mind.  I have had the excitement for Christmas waaaay early this year.  I've been stoked for Christmas since July!  I want to share with you my favorite Christmas cookie recipe, the peanut butter kiss cookie.  My father in law and I fight over these cookies every year and they're the first ones gone!  I truly believe that chocolate and peanut butter were a match made in heaven!


1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup brown sugar1 egg1/2 tsp. vanilla1 1/4 cup flour3/4 tsp. baking soda1/4 tsp. saltextra granulated sugarchocolate kisses, unwrapped

Cream butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar together. Add in egg and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Roll into balls in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees f for 10-12 minutes. Immediately put one chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie while cookie is still hot. Let cool and then enjoy!

This peanut butter cookie recipe has been used in my family for many years. I believe it to be from the old school Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. I just added the kisses.