Xmas Cookies (Memories of Christmas Past)

Good morning Peter.  This post is for you, and any others interested in food in general, and our Christmas cookies in particular.  You can’t pull them off the screen, so get your own breakfast before we begin.

I apologise for blurry photos.  This post is a learning experience in publishing pictures.  It runs down a long way.  I wanted large pictures for detail, but there’s not much text.

1

Cookie Nests 2These are cookie nests – chocolate drops pushed into balls of dough.  Our chiropractor and his family prefer milk chocolate, while we like the darker.  I took the picture below first, before I realized we had one light one left.  We also made a batch with mint chocolate drops, but apparently the last of them followed the daughter home.

2

Cookie NestsMore dark chocolate cookie nests.  Even with a fast digital camera, I manage to get fuzzy photos.

3Maple Sugar Shortbreads

These are the Maple Sugar flavored shortbreads.  The wife found a correctly-sized maple leaf cookie cutter, and I used a small steel cookie spatula to lightly carve in fake veining.

 

4

Meringues

These are some of the hard meringues, two of each flavor.  Grated dark chocolate and hazelnut ones on the bottom left, almonds and Skor Bits at the top, and chopped cherry and coconut at bottom right.

 

 

5Oat Delights

These are the Oat Delights.  No-bake cookies, they’re easy to make and yummy.  Put grated chocolate in a glass bowl in a pot with a bit of boiling water in the bottom, to melt the chocolate.  Mix in the other ingredients, dollop out in spoonfuls on waxed paper, and let set.  These, and the meringues above, are the no-flour cookies the grandson can have without allergy problems.

6

ShortbreadsTrue Scottish shortbreads, just like Grandma used to make.  After much practice, Granma Ladybug makes them just as good.  Five different basic shapes – winter mitt, holly leaf, Christmas tree, star and plain circle.  The pictures don’t show as much detail as I’d hoped.  Again, I used the cookie spatula to cut in a cuff line on the mitts, a center vein on the holly, a Chrysler star out to the vertices of the star, and just an X on the discs.  It makes them easy to break into four mouth-sized pieces.  I used the end of a chop-stick to indent small holes in the Christmas trees, to simulate decorative balls.

 

7Spritz

These are some of the spritz cookie shapes I pushed out of the cookie press.  You may notice that some of them were from the first batch, and got a little too brown.  They’re not burnt, but are not cosmetically acceptable as gifts, so we get to keep and enjoy them.  As you can see, different sized and colored decorative balls (dragees), mini M&M candy, as well as slivers of red and green glazed cherries are used to brighten them up.

8

Sugar Cookies 1

A few of the shapes of iced and decorated sugar cookies we made.  Making and baking is quick and easy.  The icing and decorating takes far longer, but we use the time for some family togetherness, silliness and stress relief.  Note the results my steady hands produce on the candy canes.  The wife sprinkled a little of the Maple Sugar on the reindeer to produce a fur effect.

9Sugar Cookies 2

Some more of the iced sugar cookie shapes.  I can slather red, green or white on wreaths or snowflakes.  The son helps his mom dress up the wreaths, bells and Christmas trees after she’s done with reindeer.  She puts names on all the stockings.  The dressing of the boy- and girl-cookies falls mostly to LadyRyl.  These are just the extra ones we bake in case one of the ones intended for gifts might break, so these are the plain ones.  If I’m still around next Christmas, perhaps I could slip a couple of pictures of the more ornate ones in with a post about motorcycles or sewage disposal.

10

Thumbprints

These are called thumbprint cookies, glazed cherry halves pushed down into walnut coated dough balls.  Of all the cookies we make, by a narrow margin, these are my favorite.  I could, but don’t, eat these by the dozen.  There is absolutely no taste difference between red and green cherries, and my mouth can’t see….but I like the red ones. Granma Ladybug is partial to the green ones.

11

Yule Logs

Last, but not least, we have what we call Yule Logs.  The dough is similar to the spritz, cookie nests and thumbprint.  (They are all shortbread types.) Form small cylinders and bake, next day, someone with a steadier hand than mine (see The Wife, above) dips them in more melted chocolate, and puts them aside to cool and set.

 

Granma Ladybug said that my contribution to this industry is my ability to put the cookies in the oven, take them out to cool and then pack them into the containers.  Wife says without this assistance, she would be very hard pressed to do this.

We feel we can do this for at least one more year, and hopefully beyond.  Friends and family enjoy these, but our caring Chiropractor and his family receive the single largest donation.  They are overly generous in return.  Half a fruitcake goes along to ride shotgun.  No photos were available because it’s shy and wishes to remain anonymous.

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20 thoughts on “Xmas Cookies (Memories of Christmas Past)

  1. Daniel Digby says:

    I couldn’t eat many, and now there are unsightly holes in my screen. I wasn’t expecting them to be so crunchy.

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  2. whiteladyinthehood says:

    I am so impressed, Archon! You and your family do an outstanding job! I’m not a big sweet eater, but these look absolutely scrumptious (I would try one of each)…and home-made…just wow! (can you tell I’m impressed with folks that have cooking skills? I’m just gushing here…) Round of wild applause!!
    And – kudos to you on the photos. Whenever I post a picture – I can’t really do it the way I want – sometimes the pic ends up in the middle of the page with the writing on the side of it – which drives me nuts.
    Great post – thanks for sharing…how do I get on the mailing list for these for next Christmas? 😉

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Everybody loves pictures of food….and kittens. Did the aroma of the cookies bring everybody here? The wife had problems with picture/text placement. We had it formatted in a Word draft file, but the wife found that the WordPress platform won’t do what Word will. When she feels a little better, after this flu attack, maybe she can help with an email tutorial. You’re already on my Naughty – and Nice list. We’ll see what the next Yule season brings.

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  3. A dear friend of the family used to make the oat delights when we kids were small, right up until she died in 1990. I had forgotten about those darling cookies until now…thanks for the reminder and I think I’ll make a batch of those for my kiddies. All those cookies look awesome!

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    • Archon's Den says:

      The wife sized the pictures down from the draft size. I fretted that they didn’t show enough detail, then realized you can click on them for an enlarged view. I feel bad that I didn’t get to send off a fruitcake, or at least half of one to you. The son’s already in slavery to a minimum-wage job. Maybe if I sold him outright, I could afford Canada Post’s exorbitant fees next Christmas.

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  4. ladyryl says:

    Wow… Photos in the blog!
    These cookies are all much better looking and yummier in person.
    *wanders off to grab one of the mint nest cookies to nibble with her coffee*

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  5. Abso-freakin’-lutely amazing! I’d say you two should be doing this professionally. but even though this is FAR beyond my culinary abilities, I can still recognise a labour of love. Well done!

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    • Archon's Den says:

      If we’d had the ability, years ago, that we have now, maybe. Nowadays the strength and stamina is gone. In addition, we sound like two bowls of Kellogg’s Rice Crispies – Snap, Crackle, Pop! Thanx for the praise!

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  6. benzeknees says:

    Having an English & Scottish background I was raised on shortbread & love it to bits! We also used to make the cookies you call Oat Delights but we called them something different & for the life of me I can’t remember what it was at the moment. There is nothing as great as frozen shortbread – I found this out as a kid when my mother would bake a bunch of shortbread early on in December & freeze it till Christmas. I would sneak into the freezer & slip a cookie out almost every day. I loved it!

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    • Archon's Den says:

      The son got two small packages of shortbreads in his company Christmas hamper, meh, they’re commercial, and simply don’t compare to the wife’s. The recipe is simple. It’s the extra time and body heat she expends that make them as good as they are, as a tribute to my Mom, who took her in, and taught her. In all humbility, no-one has ever said they’ve had better.

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    • Archon's Den says:

      I think I’ve heard another name for oat delights too, but neither the wife or I can remember it. She says she got the recipe from an OLD cookbook, and you know when we say old, it’s probably a chiseled, stone tablet – with a copy of the Ten Commandments on the back.

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  7. Pictures!! Yay for you! All those cookies look delicious. Of course, most cookies are delicious. I haven’t made cookies in so very long…it’s sad really. But it’s not as much fun for me to make cookies by myself. Maybe I should invite my niece for the weekend and we should bake some cookies! You’re inspiring me 🙂

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    • Archon's Den says:

      Good food and good company = good idea! MOST cookies are tasty, but I have to put together a post about an ex-neighbor who burned cookies, and almost burned water. Had Pizza Hut and Chinese take-out on speed-dial.

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  8. Sightsnbytes says:

    they look great, now how about recipes? Proud of you for showing your picture posting knowhow…great job

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  9. Archon's Den says:

    Wifey says you can have the shortbread recipe, that’s simple, and good results are all in learned technique. As for the rest, the world-class chef says she’s spent 45 years finding and perfecting, they go to her grave ’cause LadyRyl don’t bake. You can, however, have half the kudos for the pictures back, for your great tutorial on linking.

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  10. […] am I gonna do??!  Lady asked if we had made some more of the yummy Christmas cookies, as we had last year, especially the decorated, look-alike sugar cookies we provide for our chiropractors adult […]

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