Dec 23, 2012

Holiday Cheer…and Cookies, of Course!

It has been TOOOO long since I have found the time to get back on the blog! I have a few draft posts that never seemed to get finished but remained in limbo and I have quite the backup of images and recipes I really had the best intentions of sharing sooner! However, this first semester of juggling PhD work, a GRA and full time work was even more than I first anticipated. There were some challenging days and weeks to say the least but it was also one of the most rewarding semesters yet! For the most part, I could put most classes in the interesting and worthwhile bucket and then I can’t forget one of the most exciting bits of news this semester: my very first paper as first author was accepted and published! I giant check on the PhD to-do list! So one paper down and another in the works, you can now see that I was doing lots of writing and by the time I had just a few minutes to share a recipe I had no words left!

With the end of another semester and the start of the holiday season, there was no better way to celebrate than with our family’s annual cookie baking extravaganza! This year it was just my mom, sister and myself and we spent an entire Saturday in mom’s kitchen going through an unbelievable amount of butter and sugar only to fill the dining room table with enough cookies and treats to last us well into mid January! It’s one of my favorite days of the year! I thought it fitting to make this my first post back, as it marked the first real day when I could come out from under the books and paper writing! Here are some of our favorite holiday cookies (with links to recipes for most; others to come soon!).

There is of course always chocolate chip cookies in the cookie tins! This is such a staple they are usually always made first!

Pecan tassies are my step-dad’s weak spot!

We have to make snow ball cookies, as it is a pretty good bet that it’s the closest we will come to any sort of snow ball down in the south!

Peaks for the coconut lovers! My aunts couldn’t join us this year and with this being their recipe we figured it was only appropriate to make this in spirit of them.

No one ever turns their nose to a peanut blossom with the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Plus whoever has to undo the hershey kiss wrappers gets to sneak a chocolate kiss, or two!

Oatmeal raisin give a little reprieve from the chocolate overload. That actually sounds silly; can you really have chocolate overload?!

Scrumptious chocolate layer bars (aka swoozie bars) were added to the mix a few years ago when we decided they were just too scrumptious not to add!

These little jam thumb print cookies are buttery with a bit of sweetness from both the jam and the coconut added on the edges.

A classic: a moist, soft, chocolate brownie!

Last year I made these gingerbread white chocolate chip blondies and they became my mom’s favorite!

Last but not least, we always end our day with sugar cut out cookies!

Here’s a view of the dining room table full of almost all of the cookies. That’s right; that’s not even all of them! This is why I have to keep up my running especially during the holidays! How can you say no to any one of those cookies. If you can, you have much more will power than me! I crumble into temptation at the site of our homemade cookies!

I also had to share our amazing musical entertainment for the day! We were introduced to the “Bandas”, the newest band in town that is currently comprised of my nephew Ethan on the drums and my step-dad Joel on the guitar! They can definitely get down and groovy! And I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until you hear them jamming on the radio!

I hope that each of you has had a wonderful start to the holiday season and are able to spend the remainder with close friends and family! Ending another busy semester always has me loving these special family holiday traditions that much more! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!


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