Carol, of Just Let Me Quilt is our gracious hostess, and she's made the rules for this exchange simple and easy, which is just up my alley.
I have seven grandchildren who all love to work in the kitchen. When they spend the night, they go to sleep having discussed the breakfast plan. It's usually pancakes made with grandpa or scrambled eggs made with me. Either way, they all love to help and unless we are in a hurry, I love to work with them.
They all like oreo cookies and just love the ones covered in chocolate. So what's a grandma to do? Let the kids make them, of course.
They like the traditional style where the classic oreo is dipped in chocolate; but they also like the vanilla cookie dipped in chocolate.
Since there are two different kinds, they differentiate between them by topping one of them with sprinkles. The flavor that is decorated changes each year, of course. It just makes life fun and interesting.
While I like the oreo cookies, one of my all time favorite cookies is a wonderful buttery shortbread-type sugar cookie. There are minimal ingredients which makes them quick and easy to make. The kids can help with these too, but I typically make the cookies and let them do the decorating.
Just like so many cookies, it all stars with butter! You can substitute margarine, but I really do prefer butter. (I use salted butter, but you can use unsalted and then add a pinch of salt when mixing everything together.
Here are the ingredients:
2 cups butter
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond)
food coloring (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees
2) Cream butter and vanilla in bowl until fluffy
3) Add flour, powdered sugar, and cornstarch a little at a time, mixing after each addition. (You may find it necessary to knead the dough a bit to get a nice smooth consistency.)
4) If you are opting to use food coloring, divide the dough into however many different colors you are using, and knead in a few drops of coloring.
5) Roll into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet (I don't like to use a non-stick cookie sheet.), and flatten with a fork or the bottom of a pretty glass. (If the dough sticks, dip the glass bottom in sugar before flattening the dough.)
6) Top with sprinkles, if desired.
7) Bake for 20 minutes, or until cookies are firm, but not hard.
8) Cool completely and let sit at least 24 hours before serving. (This is the hard part because I like them warm!)
9) Once cooled, you can add frosting or glaze, if desired.
Besides making cookies each year, my kids and grandkids get together one day the week before Christmas (depending on work schedules), and enjoy a day of games and other activities as well as a special meal.
We typically enjoy shrimp cocktail and crab legs, along with some veggies. Last year, Lynn and Ty also made sushi, and that was fun. The grandkids all love the feast and enjoy being in the kitchen during the food prep. It's chaotic, but fun!
After we eat, we have our gift exchange and then relax and enjoy the rest of the day. Ok, it's usually not easy to relax with seven kids there, but we do have fun. We play with their gifts, play games, watch birds, etc.
Every year, I try to make something new to celebrate Christmas; so this year, I made some napkins.
I also made place mats using the scraps from the napkins. (This is a really bad picture, but I just couldn't get a picture to show that the background is a very light green batik.
Whatever you do to celebrate, I hope that it involves family, good food, and lots of fun.
Be sure to check all of the blogs and see what traditions, creations, and yummy recipes they share.