|CHRISTMAS GOODIES TO SHARE
My mom, Angie, taught me to share what we make. For this month’s COOK, I’m sharing my family’s favourite cookie- the SNOWBALL! But that’s not all. I’m throwing in the Monday Chefs’ OATMEAL COOKIES recipe of the most requested cookies by our friends. You’re welcome to make the best cookies from my recipe and…..continue the cycles of sharing!
Christmas always brings me back to those long awaited pleasures. It is time we can slow down and recall the goodies of past years—goodies both discovered and then shared. When I got this cookie recipe, it has become our yearly treat—worth waiting a year for!
I don’t remember the first time I ever baked cookies, I do know that by the time I was 12, I was experienced enough to bake my Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. My first food memory is baking cookies with my mom, in particular, our family Christmas Cookies. I can’t remember a childhood Christmas when I wasn’t in the kitchen with her. At first she would only let my sister Camille and I sift flour and sugar. Then we graduated from sifting to creaming the butter and sugar. I would delicately scoop the raw mixture, making sure each was exactly the same. Imagine my delight when I could use the mixer and actually make the batter!
At age 14, I was possessive of the kitchen. My mother and siblings laughed at my meticulous ways of “managing” the kitchen—they simply ignored my bossy behavior. Whenever my sisters came to help, I barked orders at them and gave them tasks. Hhmm..no wonder they don’t come into the kitchen to help, even now.
As I got older Mom let me take on more of the cooking responsibilities, and even let me add new recipes. We gave-away and sold cookies to friends and family, at first, then to friend’s friends, making, giving away and selling more and more each year. Friends requested cookies as soon as Halloween was over. Each year we would bake hundreds! The kitchen was not only filled with the sweet scents of cinnamon, chocolate, toasted nuts and sugar, but there was a cacophony of laughter, song and good-natured heckling that filled the room. More than anything else, Christmas meant family bonding, friendship, caring and sharing disguised as the cookie-session.
1 ½ c Butter, unsalted (room temperature)
1 c Sugar, granulated
2 pcs Eggs (large)
3 tsp Vanilla extract
4 c All-purpose flour
1 tsp Salt
3 c Cashew nuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silicone mat.
Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer. Once the mixture is creamy, add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla with the last egg.
Sift together the flour and salt, and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together on low just until the flour is combined. Add the chopped cashews and mix just until incorporated. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and roll about a tablespoon of dough into a ball ( Each ball should be about one inch in diameter). Bake for 20-22 mins, until lightly golden brown on the bottom. After you remove them from the oven, let them cool slightly for about 5 mins, then roll in powdered sugar. After they cool completely, give them another dusting of powder sugar.
Makes about 48 snowballs.
3/4 cup Butter, unsalted (room temperature)
1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 pc Egg, large
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon powder
3 cups Old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup Dried Fruits (raisin, cranberries, or dates)
1 cup Nuts (walnut, cashew, almonds etc), toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and the sugar in a stand mixer. Once the mixture is creamy, add the egg and mix until incorporated. Then add vanilla extract.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon powder and salt, and add to the creamed mixture. Mix together on low just until the flour is combined. Add the dates, walnuts and oats ,mix just until incorporated.
For large cookies, use 1/4 cup of batter (I like to use an ice cream scoop) and space the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the baking sheet. Then wet your hand and flatten the cookies slightly with your fingers so they are about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick. Bake the cookies for about 12 – 15 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges but still soft and a little wet in the centers. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
Makes about 20 – 24 large cookies