Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Baking - 6 Recipes!

I stood at the counter, cooking with my daughter Madison. Company was coming, and we had much cooking to do. While over-stirring a bowl, Maddy accidentally spilled a little sauce on the pages of my cookbook.

"Uh-oh," she said. "It spilt over top."

"Not to worry." Grabbing a damp cloth from the counter, I dabbed the corner of the book doing my best to keep the pages looking new.

Regardless of our efforts to keep the pages clean, stains have found a way of marking them up and time has found a way of wearing them out. The book was a gift from one husband to his young bride created by the work of his hands some twenty-two years ago. I’ve cherished that gift all this time, hoping that one day I’d pass it down to one of my children who would cherish it as much as I have.

What was once a hardcover book with blank pages is now filled with scribbles and scratches of days gone by. Every page holds a recipe, and every recipe a memory of people I’ve laughed with, cooked with, and broken bread with over the years.

Wiping away the sauce, I thought about the fact that this stain, like the others, would remain there a lifetime. The book will never be new again, the worn pages will never be white, but every stain and every scribble reminds us of moments spent cooking with family and friends.

Failing to remove it all, I looked over at Maddy to say, “One day this book will be yours, Hon. And when you look at these pages, you’ll be reminded of these times we shared in the kitchen together—just you and I.”

Those stains are precious to us, much like the passages I underline in God's Word. Every scratch and every scribble reminds me of days that I’ve spent with the Lord. Sifting through the pages I glean wisdom, measuring my life against the truth of His word, and pouring out my heart I come to Him seeking grace for the broken soul that I am. Wiping away the tears, I'm reminded that this stain on my soul is made new by the shedding of blood by His son. The book will never be new again, the worn pages will never be white, but every scratch and every scribble reminds me of moments I've supped with the Lord—just He and I.

As the holiday season approaches, I pray that you enjoy baking and breaking bread with the ones that you love.

Here are a few of our family favorites gleaned from my sister Bonnie, and jotted down in our cookbook over the years.

Almond Glazed Sugar Cookies


1 C butter      
 ¼ tsp salt
¾ C sugar      
1 tsp almond extract
2 C flour    
 ½ tsp baking powder


Mix butter, almond extract and sugar.  Add flour, salt and baking powder.  Roll dough and cut out cookies with cutter.  Bake.  Cool or freeze cookies before glazing.

Glaze cookies with a mixture of:

1 ½ C powdered sugar
1 tsp Almond extract
4 –5 tsp water


Decorate with shaved almonds or edible jewels.
Bake  400°F for 7 - 9 min.

Chocolate Balls (No Bake)


2C icing sugar
1 C peanut butter
3C cornflakes
1C chopped walnuts
10 tsp melted butter (1/3C)
¾ C coconut


12 oz chocolate
¼ C cake wax


Mix ingredients together.  Form into balls put in freezer until hard.Melt chocolate chips with cake wax. Dip frozen balls into chocolate dip. Optional - garnish with crushed walnuts.

Russian Toffee(Stove Top)


2 C white sugar½ lb. butter1 C walnuts (optional)1 C corn syrup1 tin condensed milk


Boil slowly on low heat approximately 20 minutes  (candy thermometer reading just beyond "softball" - 235°F)

Pour into buttered pan. Refrigerate for a short while before cutting into candy sized cubes. Wrap in wax paper.

For a special treat, serve with mini marshmellows, strawberries, chocolate sauce, and a cappuccino Biscotti.



2C flour
1C butter
½C Icing sugar


Combine butter and sugar together before adding flour.  Roll out to about 1/8” thickness.  Cut with favorite cookie cutter.  Bake on cookie sheet. Bake 350°F for 10 min.

Note: If the dough is too difficult to keep together, feel free to add a bit more butter.

Almond Crescents



2 ½ C flour
½ C ground almonds
½ tsp. salt
1 C butter
2 C sugar
1 tsp. vanilla


4 Squares Semi- Sweet Chocolate
Crushed Almonds
White Sugar

Blend sugar, vanilla and butter.  Mix Dry Ingredients together.  Add to butter mixture and blend well.  Form into crescent shaped cookies, approximately 2 1/2” long.

Bake at 350 until very slightly brown on the bottom--approximately 10 – 15 minutes.
When warm.  Roll in white sugar and dip ends in melted chocolate and then in crushed almonds.

Peanut Butter Kisses

These only take a few minutes to make, there are few ingredients, and they're an awesome treat to bring to a party and serve to your guests this Christmas. If you like Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, this recipe is for you!

But be forewarned, it's the easiest thing you've ever baked.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees


2 cups of crunchy peanut butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
48 Hershey's Kisses

Mix peanut butter, sugar and eggs until well blended. Roll into balls about the size of small meatballs, and then line them on cookies sheets about 2 inches apart (no need to grease the pan). Don't make them too big as they will expand a lot in the oven.

Meanwhile have your little helpers unwrap Hershey's kisses and place them in a bowl. Once all of the kisses are unwrapped, press one kiss into the center of each cookie. You want to press them about half way in.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Put on your pajamas and enjoy dipping them into a nice cold glass of milk.

You are loved by an almighty God,


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