Well, December is finally here, and that can only mean one thing:
COOKIES! (Please scroll down to the wreath to see all the recipes.)
This just might be the best part of the holidays for me. You can take all the gross materialism and office parties and stress and noise and pressure to be “happy.” Just leave me alone with my cookies!
I’m not bragging here. But cookies are what I do best. I like baking in general, but I’m always on the lookout for more cookie recipes. That’s because the cookie is probably the most egalitarian of all foods. Whether you like your cookies rolled, dropped, frosted, sugared, cut into bars, or shot out of a press, there is a cookie just for you. Eat an old fashioned oatmeal with a cold glass of milk, or nibble on some rich shortbread in your kilts. We’re talking endless variety, comfort, and a direct line to childhood.
To put it simply, when a man is tired of cookies, he is tired of life.
December is Cookie Month here at alphabet soup, and you’re invited to the party! I’ll be posting my favorite tested cookie recipes each week, but I want to know what kind of cookies you bake. Is there a favorite recipe you make with your children every Christmas or Chanukah? Or a special cookie you usually take to a party, or wrap up as a wonderful homebaked gift? What about a beloved cookie from your childhood, a family recipe? Bring it on!
You can either post your cookie recipe on your blog, then leave me the URL/link in a comment at any of my upcoming cookie posts, OR, you can send me the recipe via email, and I will post it. I’ll then round up all the recipes so everyone can access them anytime by clicking on the COOKIE PARTY link in my sidebar. My email address is readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot com). We’ll be partying all month long, so feel free to post at your convenience.
To start things off, here is my all-time favorite recipe. It makes a lot of cookies, guaranteed to get lips smackin’ and people hollerin’ for more. I’ve been making these for over 30 years, and have never met anyone who didn’t like them. It’s my brother’s favorite recipe, too. When I left Hawaii to seek fame and fortune overseas, he didn’t miss me all that much, but he did miss these cookies.
WALNUT ICEBOX COOKIES
(feeds an army)
3 blocks butter
2 cups sugar
4 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla
1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add vanilla, then stir in dry ingredients which have been sifted together. Add nuts and mix well.
2. Shape into 3 logs, wrap well in waxed paper or saran wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
3. Slice thin and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 7-1/2 minutes or until brown.
4. Store in a tightly covered container or tin to maintain crispness.
Tips: Creaming the butter and sugar well is crucial for a beautiful texture. You can make this ahead and refrigerate up to a week, then bake as needed. Logs can also be frozen.
Here are the Cookies who’ve come to the party so far:
1. Walnut Icebox Cookies (behind the cut). My all-time favorite.
2. Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies (from Becky’s Book Reviews). She includes a holiday soundtrack to go along with the cookie bakin’!
3. Molasses Cookies (from Barbara O’Connor). Arf Arf!!
9. Dreamy date bars. A favorite recipe from Hawaii that will help you make friends and influence people.
10. Oatmeal Coconut Crisps (from Sara Lewis Holmes). Totally captivating!
11. Chocolate Crinkles (from Sylvia). A red carpet cookie!
12. Thumbprint Cookies (from Sylvia). On your way to stardom.
13. Gingerbread Men. Chase your cookies and work off some calories.
14. Peanut Clusters (from Mary Lee Hahn). Invokes squeals of delight!
15. Graham Cracker Crisps (from Mary Lee Hahn). These yummies are in the bag!
16. Pecan Cookies (from Candice Ransom). A treasured memory enhances the flavor of these gems.
18. Stained Glass Cookies (from Wendy Betts). For the artistically inclined.
19. Flying Spaghetti Gingerbread Monsters (from Wendy). Strictly for those with an extraterrestrial palate and a penchant for FUN!!
20. Time out! Enjoy some photos of Mary Lee Hahn’s cookie decorating activity in her classroom!
23. Andrea’s Fudge (from Kris Bordessa). Rich, creamy chocolate at its best!
25. Chocolate Bark and Chocolate-covered Pretzels (from Vivian, aka HipWriterMama). Two decadent, yet simple recipes celebrating the joy of chocolate — white, dark, and semi-sweet. Great gift idea.
26. Christmas Cookie Recipes From Around the World. A great link for any time of year!
Leave me the link to your favorite cookie recipe in the comments, or email the recipe to me at readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot com)!
Cookie ‘on down!!