Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Christmas Cookie Recipe Hop by Paty Jager

On Behalf of National Cookie Day, this post is part of a Cookie blog hop that is running today where you can find a dozen cookie recipes to help you find gems to add to your Christmas list of goodies. 

There is nothing better than walking into a kitchen in December. The smells bring back so many memories. My grandmother lived in a two story farm house with us until I was twelve, making Christmas at our house a mixture of my grandmother’s favorite goodies and my mom’s.  Grandma’s specialties were cookies, cinnamon brittle, peanut brittle, and divinity. My mom’s specialties were sugared nuts, popcorn balls, fudge, toffee, and liquor laced fruitcake.

As you can see our house was full of wonderful smells the whole month of December. My brother’s and I loved the failed batches. The batches my mom and grandma deemed not good enough to give to friends, but good enough to make the kids happy.
My favorite cookie my grandma made at Christmas was the spritz cookie. They are the ones that are put through a cookie press and make designs, like trees and stars. There was one disc that I think was a dog but we called it a reindeer at Christmas time. The cookies melted in your mouth and were just the right touch of sweet and almond.

Here’s the recipe:

Spritz Cookies
Photo by: mominml from allrecipes.com 
2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½  cup powdered sugar
1 egg
½ tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract

      1)  Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Sift together the flour and salt; set aside.
       2) In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Gradually, blend in the sifted ingredients. Fill a cookie press with dough and shoot cookies about 1 ½ inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If you like, decorate with sugar or sprinkles before baking. 3) Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven. 
Makes 3 dozen.

In my Christmas novella, Christmas Redemption, the hero returns home after being in prison and walks into his mother’s kitchen while she’s baking.
The leafless cottonwood trees appeared stark and ominous hovering around the farm house. The two-story structure held pleasant memories. His mother’s cooking and laughter. Would she welcome him back or follow her husband’s lead? His stomach knotted, and he once again wished Tessa were by his side.
A multi-colored mutt ran out of the barn barking. Half-way to the wagon he stopped and looked back toward the barn. A girl of about eight strolled out of the building wrapped in a heavy coat, scarf, and mittens.
“Button. Stop barking,” she said when he stopped the wagon in front of the house. His mother’s eyes stared at him from the child’s face. This was his sister Grace.
“Is your ma or pa home?” he asked uncertain what to do. He wanted to pick her up and hug her, but reasoned she wouldn’t care for a stranger grabbing her.
“Ma’s in the kitchen. Christmas is coming.” She put a hand on the dog’s head.
“It sure is. How about you take me to the house then rustle your ma out of the kitchen so I can talk with her?” He started walking to the familiar front door.
Grace grabbed his hand. “We can’t go in that door. Ma doesn’t like snow on her wool rug.” She tugged him to the back of the house.
Van smiled and allowed his sister to haul him around to the back of the house. The garden patch looked larger. And the cellar which he’d help dig was grown over sprouting pale weeds through the six inches of snow.
Grace pulled the screen door open, then shoved the door into the kitchen. Familiar aromas wafted around Van’s head. He sniffed and savored each spicy nuance.
His ma turned. “Grace, shut the door, I have bread ris—”
Ma was the same other than gray wisps in her dark brown hair. She blinked, and her hands clasped in front of her chest.
“Hello, Ma.”
“Van?” She took a step toward him. He smiled and nodded, and she lunged into his arms, crying.
He hugged her tight as tears burned his eye sockets. His heart, that had been torn in two when he never heard from her, slowly melded back together. “I’ve missed you,” he said, holding on, wishing he had all those years back.
She drew out of his arms and studied him. “My, you turned into one handsome man.” She wiped at the tears on her face with her apron. Then motioned to Grace. “Come say hello to your big brother.” His mother’s smile warmed him like a toasty fire on a cold day.
“My brother? I thought pa said—” Grace stared up at him quizzically.

BUY LINKS:              Amazon            Nook             Smashwords

This is the list of other authors where you can find more cookie recipes.


Cat said...

Spritz cookies are so good! The old days you'd get so tired pressing the things out but what a reward when they were baked!! Yummy!!!

Autumn Jordon said...

These do sound yummy--as much as your story.

I have a question, if you don't have a cookie press, what do you do? Can you roll and cut out?

Paty Jager said...

Cat, they are yummy. Mouthwateringly so!

Autumn. I've rolled them in a ball and then flattened them with the bottom of a cup when my cookie press broke. If you use a glass with a design in the bottom you get a pretty looking cookie.

Jane Wakely said...

Oh my gosh, Paty! I can imagine the yumminess at your house while growing up!

I love spritz cookies! Using a glass with a design on the end is also a great idea!

Happy Cookie Day! :)


Heather Redmond said...

Wow, what a delicious house you must have grown up in!

Laurie London said...

I love spritz cookies! I may need to break out my cookie press and try this. And I love cookies with a hint of almond. Yum!

Linda Andrews said...

I love spritz cookies but can never get the blamed press to work. Of course, the blobs still taste good.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Jane, I also use the glass method on peanut butter cookies and a sawdust cookie I make.

Heather, My weight proved the goodies that were always in my house. I was the chubbiest girl in my class.

Laurie, Have fun making the cookies.

Linda, use a glass, it makes them just as pretty if you sprinkle with different colors of sugar.

Jessa Slade said...

The smells of the holiday season are the best, especially the spices and evergreens. Makes me breathe deep.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I've never heard of Spritz cookies until your blog and Jessa's. They do sound quick and easy.

Paty Jager said...

Jessa, I agree. The smells of the season are so memorable and comforting.

Oh, Maggie! How have you gone through life and not had a spritz cookie! they are quick ad easy. Thanks for stopping in.

Tawny Weber said...


Spritz cookies are as much fun to make as they are to eat.

Beckey said...

I have seen cookies like this but the person that brought them to cookie swap party last year called them "Tree Tube Cookies", IDK ...

Yes I agree they are yummy..

Thanks for the clarification what they are...

Paty Jager said...

Tawny, they are Yummm and funnn. LOL

Beckey, I've only heard my kids call them that! LOL Because when they were little I had the old aluminum tube press to make them. I was glad when it broke. ;0) That way I could get the new-fangled ones that are easier to use.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Paty, I'd forgotten about spritz cookies. I'll dig my spritz cookie press out of the cupboard over the fridge and make some this year.

Paty Jager said...

Caroline, They are my favorite Christmas cookie. And they are really easy. Enjoy!

Shelley Munro said...

I'm being introduced to all sorts of cookies today. These sound yummy!

Paty Jager said...

Thanks, Shelley!

Judith Ashley said...

Glad I scrolled down, Paty. We always made Spritz cookies as well as sugar cookies that we decorated with colored icing, sprinkles, etc. And another cookie we called 'linoleum cookies'. They were really good too - a flat, chewy spicy cookie. However, when my mom or aunt made shortbread - now that was the all time best. But, the Box went to my Dad with each of us getting just a few.

I think not having as many of those shortbread cookies as I wanted is why they are one of my all time favorites today.

Paty Jager said...

Judith, I'm glad you scrolled down too. ;0) I have a really good soft sugar cookie that was given to my oldest daughter by her third grade teacher that is the best sugar cookie I've ever had. I've never heard of linoleum cookies. Interesting. I love shortbread but have never made them.
Thanks for stopping in!