It just isn’t the holidays without cookies. I love to bake up a bunch of holiday cookies — but let’s be honest, sometimes we can get carried away, and what is supposed to be delicious fun can turn into a stress fit of flour, butter and sugar. My solution to this is to host a cookie party. Invite a bunch of friends and family over, select a few cookie recipes and put everyone to work! This way you can share the work, the expense and the delicious outcome. Just remember to double or even triple your recipes to be sure everyone gets enough. I’d recommend at least 6 dozen cookies per person to take home.
And for lots of great cutters, sprinkles and cookie accouterments check out Cookies – they have a store in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood and lots of supplies available on line, too.
What holiday cookies to make? I have my favorites, the sugar cookies with icing and sparkles, my mother-in-law makes the best “trees” with light green icing and red sugar. I also adore thumbprint cookies, peppermint chocolate bark, and of course a good bar cookie.
Here I’ve included a recipe for My Mom’s Oatmeal Gumdrop Cookies. My mom made these cookies for years and I used to have the job of cutting up the gumdrops. To make this task a bit easier, try snipping them into pieces with clean, wet scissors.
My Mom’s Oatmeal Gumdrop Cookies
Makes approximately 6 dozen cookies
2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups oatmeal (rolled oats)
1 pound spiced gumdrops, cut into approximately 1/4-inch pieces
(I had trouble finding a 16-ounce bag, so if you can find only a 13-ounce bag that is okay.)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
In a mixer, cream together butter, shortening and sugars until fluffy. Then add the eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk, and mix until smooth. Sift together dry ingredients and blend in. Mix in oatmeal, gumdrops, walnuts and raisins. Chill, covered, 2 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake about 10–12 minutes, or until golden.
© 2003 by Kathy Casey Food Studios®