Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Twelve Days of Goodies: Part I

Okay, so this year I decided I'm taking back Christmas for myself. For years, I've gotten really disillusioned with the holiday season. You know, the stores opening at 4 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving. People fighting over parking spaces and material items. Call me a Scrooge, but how is any of that in the spirit of Christmas? (Or any other holiday that holds spiritual meaning to people.) The consumerism and over-consumption is sickening to me. So, this year Sleek and I are going easy on the gifts for the kids and family. We're doing practically all of our shopping online. The thought of a department store or mall at this time of year nearly sends me into a state of panic.

So, here's the deal: I'm doing things I like this year. I'm going to be happy and make it a special time for the kids. (I've actually been listening to Christmas music with them for two weeks already. And I enjoy it!) I'm doing lots and lots of baking. I'm not getting stressed out. I decided it would be fun to blog about my holiday baking. I started last night by making my snowflake sugar-cookies. Unfortunately, my snowflake cookie-cutters didn't really make cookies that look much like snowflakes. However, they really, really taste good! I use a recipe given to me by a family friend. It makes the best sugar cookies, and the dough is very easy to work with. Here goes:

1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of sifted flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 TBS Brandy
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream butter and sugar. Sift dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture and blend well. Add egg, brandy and vanilla. Beat until well-mixed. Shape dough into two flattened rounds, wrap and chill for at least an hour. Roll and cut into shapes. Bake at 350 degrees on parchment-lined sheets for 10 minutes. Do not allow them to brown!

I like to just use coarse sugar on them, which I put on before baking. They could be baked plain and iced when cool. I also usually double the recipe.


Rebecca Burch said...

We have simplified our Christmas thing this year. Instead of getting a bazillion gifts for the kids (and each other) we got one big gift for the entire family -- and spent about $200 less than we usually do! We are giving homemade gifts to most everyone else, except for the few "had to get it" perfect gifts.

I actually have time to bake this year! :)

The Dalai Mama said...

Isn't it awesome? Homemade gifts are the best. Especially ones that come from an artist. ;)

Rebecca Burch said...

The sad part is that I really love to make homemade gifts but never have time. I have great ideas for them, but when it comes around to getting it done, it never happens. Not this year!

I think next year we should plan a family weekend trip as a gift. Skiing, or something. The family gift is definitely the way to go... at least until the kids start whining for that new gadget. (So far, we've been pretty darn lucky.)

carrie said...

Wow, it seems like everyone has the same idea this year.....we've cut back on our Christmas hoopla too. Well, the shopping and gift giving hoopla that is. We still went overboard in the decorating department, but my kids love that, and we already have to stuff so why not use it, right. We've cut in half our spending budget for the kids, and agreed with the rest of our friends and family that there will be no gift giving, just time spent together enjoying one another's company. And, like you DM, I've bought every single gift for my kids either online or from local mall, no big box stores, nada!!

Anyway, the cookies look yummy, maybe I'll try them out, I'm sure the kiddos will love them, and with the little one's peanut allergy, she can only eat baked goods made at home.

Bad Billy said...

DM: Off the subject, but I just ran across this website and figured you may be interested. Hell, you probably already have it bookmarked. Anyhoo, it's

The Dalai Mama said...

bad billy: You rock! You're so thoughtful; always sending me food-related links.