Category Archives: Christmas

Recipes that get hauled out annually for the Festive season.

Caramel Corn

So sometimes you are just craving something sweet but don’t want to feel horribly guilty after consuming said sweet, right? What about Caramel Corn? You convince yourself that Popcorn is good for you….never mind all the sugar and butter required to make it. Caramel Corn, made in your own kitchen is still heaps better than, say, a family size chocolate bar, a bag of chips and perhaps a soft drink, right?
Anyway, everything in moderation, I say. I was actually craving Caramel Corn for ages (since Christmas when I meant to make it but ran out of time) and then along came Valentine’s Day; the perfect excuse to make Caramel Corn to give as a gift while having the opportunity to do a taste test! Perfect, right? Right!

I used to have a great recipe in some random cookbook but I have moved so many times that it is now lost. I turned to my trusty friends over at Canadian Living to find a replacement recipe for Caramel Corn.

caramel corn
Caramel Corn all wrapped up to give away as Valentine’s Day gifts.

8 cups popped Popcorn
3/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Butter
3 Tablespoons Corn  Syrup
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups blanched Peanuts

Pop popcorn according to package directions or using your favourite method.
Sift through popped corn and remove any un-popped kernels.

In small saucepan, combine sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt over high heat.
Bring to a boil.
Let cool, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Stir in baking soda and vanilla.

Preheat oven to 325F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In large mixing bowl, toss coating with popcorn.
Transfer to prepared  baking sheet, arranging popcorn in a single layer.
Bake in 325F. oven for 10 – 12 minutes.
Let cool slightly; transfer to mixing bowl and stir in peanuts.
Cool completely.
Divide into a few gift bags,  secure then tie adorn each package with a bit of pretty ribbon and a gift tag.
Or turn out into a storage container with a tight fitting lid; store in a cool, dry location for up to 3 days.

caramel corn
Caramel Corn; the perfect gift for yourself and your friends.

Raspberry Pinwheels

I can’t remember how many years ago I started making these Raspberry Pinwheels? It has been a while. The page has long since fallen out of the Robin Hood Christmas Baking booklet I got a gazillion years ago along with one of my Christmas Canadian Living magazines.
I don’t know why I make these…I recall many a baking days where I would be cursing under my breath because I couldn’t get the dough to roll out. I can happily say I got it sorted out and can whip these up with no problems what so ever now…really, listen to the directions and roll the dough out between to sheets of parchment paper…I give the bottom piece a super light dusting of flour before I begin. Another thing to remember, this is NOT the time to flex your muscles…use even, light rolling…if you use too much pressure, yea, you will be cursing like a sailor! Trust me on this one.
My family does not like nuts in cookies so I have only made these with the Walnuts once but man, were they good! Oh, but they DO like nuts in Date Nut Pinwheels…go figure? If your family will allow it, definitely add the chopped walnuts.

Raspberry Pinwheels
Raspberry Pinwheels

2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Raspberry Jam
1/2 cup Fine Coconut
1/4 cup Walnuts, finely chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F.
Line 4 baking trays with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
Cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla thoroughly.
Mix dry ingredients into creamed mixture.
Roll dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to a 12″x9″ rectangle.
In a small bowl, combine raspberry jam, coconut and walnuts, if using; spread evenly over dough to within 1/2″ of edges.
Roll up tightly, jelly-roll fashion, starting from long side.
Gently press edge to seal.
Wrap in parchment paper and chill overnight. (Or for at least 4 hours)
Cut into 1/4″ thick slices and places on prepared baking sheets.
Bake at 375F for 8 – 10 minutes, or until golden.

Makes about 40 cookies

Ginger Crinkles

Now, you know that I like to give credit where credit is due but I really do NOT know where I got this recipe from. Every Christmas I hauled the faded old recipe card out of the recipe box and made these Ginger Crinkles. In fact, last year I had to rewrite the recipe onto a new card because I simply could not read the old one anymore!
Wherever I got the recipe from, I am sure glad I did! It is one of my favourites.

ginger crinkles
Ginger Crinkles

3/4 cup Butter, room temperature
1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 Egg
1/4 cup Fancy Molasses
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
2 teaspoons ground Ginger
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground Allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Sugar for Rolling Cookie Dough in

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line 4 baking trays with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and spices; set aside.
In large bowl, beat butter with brown sugar until well blended.
Add egg, molasses and vanilla; beat until smooth.
Stir half the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, until well incorporated.
Stir in remaining flour mixture and stir until no flour is visible.
Gather into a ball, place in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. Or you can speed things up a bit by placing in the freezer compartment for 30 minutes.
Roll about 1 1/2 teaspoons of dough into a ball; roll in sugar and place about 2″ apart on prepared baking tray.
Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake in preheated 350F oven for about 12 minutes, rotating trays at 6 minutes; cookies will flatten slightly, have cracked tops and bottoms are lightly browned.
Let cool on baking trays on wire racks for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 4 Dozen Cookies

Date Nut Drop Cookies

I make these every year at Christmas just for my Mother. They were one of her favourite O-Mommy Cookie recipes…not that Mother made them all that often, but she sure liked to have them made for her. Here I will share with you the recipe exactly the way O-Mommy passed it along to me. Yes, the recipe now resides on this page but I still have the battered, faded recipe index card that I transcribed the recipe onto 30 years ago!

Although Mother passed away I made these cookies in quiet remembrance of her and probably will until I am unable to make them anymore. I think Mother liked them so much because they were gently spiced and contained yummy bits of dates.

For Mother

One of my Mother's Faves; Date Nut Drop Cookies
One of my Mother’s Faves; Date Nut Drop Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream together,
1 cup Shortening (sometimes I don’t have enough or none at all and will sub in some or all Butter)
1 1/2 cups Sugar
3 Eggs
2 cups Chopped Dates
1 cup Chopped Walnuts
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Blend together [in a separate bowl]
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Add to date mixture, combine thoroughly.
Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.

I use a #2 Pampered Chef Scoop.

I let the cookies rest on the cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cookie rack to cool completely.






Peanut Blossoms

My sister in law gave me Company’s Coming Cookies about 20 years ago. Of course I already had a Peanut Butter Cookie recipe but I tried this Peanut Blossom one and it has become a regular Christmas Cookie in our family.

Peanut Blossoms
Peanut Blossoms

3 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Peanut Butter
4 Tablespoons Milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla

1/2 cup sugar
Chocolate Kisses or other similar chocolates

Preheat oven to 375F.
Ungreased Cookie sheets.

In medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In large mixing bowl cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar.
Stir in vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in milk and mix well.

Stir in flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.

Using a 2 ounce scoop, scoop out dough, roll each portion into a small ball; roll in sugar then place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for  10 – 12 minutes or until slightly browned.

Remove from oven and immediately top with a chocolate kiss. Press down until cookie cracks around the edges.

Makes about 5 dozen.

Note: I doubled the original recipe because I could never make enough of these!