December 14, 2016

My Christmas Kitchen

Or how my books and tea blog turned into a food blog for a day

Anybody hungry? At my house, every week of Advent has a purpose:
  • Week 1: Decorate
  • Week 2: Christmas Cards
  • Week 3: BAKE!
  • Week 4: Wrap Presents
Anyway, as you can see, it's baking week at the ol' homestead; almost every day, a new kind of cookie comes out of the oven. And today you'll get some of my favorite recipes, the ones we make every year!

Raspberry Meringue Cookies:

Pink Puffs (Raspberry-Chocolate Chip Meringues
I was actually too excited to share this with you that I didn't follow the "best for last" rule. Because these are the best. Ever.
3 egg whites, room temperature                  3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt                                                   1 tsp vinegar
3+1/2 Tbsp raspberry gelatin powder         1 cup mini chocolate chips
Beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Add raspberry gelatin and sugar gradually, beat until stiff and sugar is dissolved. Mix in vinegar; fold in chocolate chips. Drop from teaspoon (we don't make ours this tiny!) onto ungreased cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Bake at 250 degrees for 25 minutes. Turn oven off, leave in oven for 20 more minutes. Devour.

Chocolate Chip Snowballs:

Snowballs (Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies)
Huh, chocolate chips seem to be a theme here...I wonder why? ;)
1+1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened              3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar                                         2 cups semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1 Tbsp vanilla extract                                             powdered sugar (for dusting)
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour, stir in chocolate chips. Shape level tablespoons into 1(ish) inch balls. (I think we make ours a little bigger at my house). Place on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned. Remove from oven. Sift powdered sugar over hot cookies on baking sheets. Cool for 10 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely. Sprinkle more powdered sugar, if you want. :P Store in airtight container eat everything right away.

Soft Molasses Cookies:

Molasses-Raisin Cookies
In my opinion, neither molasses or raisins are very good on their own, but together (+spices and sugar!), they make an excellent cookie!
3/4 cup shortening              1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar                         1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 cup molasses                 1/2 tsp ginger
1 egg                                   1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp. baking soda               1 cup raisins
2 cups flour                         sugar (for sprinkling on top)
Beat shortening and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg, beat well. Combine flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt. Add to molasses mixture; mix well.
Stir in raisins. Cover: refrigerate until chilled. Shape into 1 inch balls, roll each in sugar. place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake in upper third of 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool 1 minute and transfer to wire racks. Savor in candlelight. 

Well, that ought to keep your kitchens warm for a while, right? Sorry for not putting metric measurements in, European readers! 
And just as a reminder, tomorrow I will post the answers to my Carol Conundrums game, so now's the time to play! :)


  1. Yum! You reminded me that we need to get baking...

    1. Hehe, yeah, we have a few more days anyway!

  2. Mmmm! They all look so delicious!
    By the way, your new header is very pretty, Abby!!

  3. Ooh, these all sound soo yummy! I've been looking for a dessert that I could make for my family's Christmas Eve party, so maybe I'll try one of these. :)

    1. Ooh, please do! The pink puffs have my special recommendation! ;)

  4. Our church has Wednesday night potlucks all through Advent (and Lent), and so I bake/make one sweet thing a week to take there and share -- I get the fun of baking, I get to eat some of what I've made, but I don't have a couple dozen treats sitting around tempting me. Plus, I usually host "fellowship time" once a month or so (fifteen minutes between first service and Sunday school for people to hang out and drink coffee and eat snacks), so I can make something festive for that every year too. So far this year, I've made cut-out gingerbread cookies, porter bread (what fruitcake *ought* to be), fudge, and crazy stuff I've christened "Chocolate Mint Crack(le)" :-9

    1. That sounds like a great way to bake without guilt about sweets! We have Lent potlucks but not Advent; I wish we did. And that Chocolate Mint Crackle sounds really yummy!

    2. Our congregation is really scattered over a long distance -- some people drive for over an hour to get to church. And there also aren't a lot of other WELS churches nearby for the pastors to do a pulpit exchange for Lenten/Advent midweek services like they can in other areas. So our congregation does what we call Midweek Family Nights during Advent and Lent, a potluck supper followed by Pastor leading us in a devotion and then singing a few hymns together. That way people don't have to try to eat on the way to church in their cars, and also don't get home too late to put kids to bed. But we are able to get some extra fellowship and a bit of a homily from Pastor during the devotion, some hymns -- it works nicely.

      My home church in NC, where my dad is pastor, also does Lenten suppers, but not Advent. But they do have Advent services onn Wednesday nights. Wonder what's up with that?

    3. Wow, we really are blessed in the Midwest to have so many WELS churches around compared to other areas! That sounds like a really good idea to have those suppers, especially for the families.

    4. Wow, we really are blessed in the Midwest to have so many WELS churches around compared to other areas! That sounds like a really good idea to have those suppers, especially for the families.