Have you got some good Christmas recipes? I do!! This week is the recipe bazaar at Internet Cafe Devotions...so buzz on over there for lots more recipes!
I've been posting the actual recipes on my cooking blog, but I'll post the stories here, and link to the individual recipes...
Great Grandma's Sugar Cookies
We had been making this recipe for years. It was extremely rich and we loved eating the cookies, but the dough was soft and could be difficult to work with if not chilled well enough (we had to put it back in the fridge between batches). When I was in my late teens, my mother came across another sugar cookie recipe and said "hey, this is almost the same as great-grandmas, except that instead of 1 cup of butter, it has 1 cube..."
...and then the light came on. Somewhere along the line someone had written "1c" instead of 1 cube, and ever since then we'd been doing a double portion of butter in the cookies. ☺
Since then I have opted to use 3/4 cup of butter--halfway in between the two. It maintains the rich flavor of our old recipe, but is much easier to work with.
A Christmas tradition from Scandinavia, braided cardamom bread is not only sweet, but has a unique taste that only cardamom can give. (I've heard some Americans refer to it as cardamin, but as a good Scandinavian, I call it cardamom, or even "kardemomme" which is what it says on my spice jar!)
I grew up with this from my Danish ancestors...imagine my delight to learn that my husband had grown up with an almost identical recipe--from his Finnish ancestors! While our recipes are the same, our methods of eating are different: the Danes frost it and put on maraschino cherries (as pictured) and then tear off chunks from the braid, while the Finns slice it, toast it, and eat it with butter. We all eat it strictly at Christmas--my family saves it for Christmas morning, but my husband's family enjoys it throughout the holiday season. It's a treat I look forward too all year long.
My mother had been making these for years, and told me that she liked them as a Christmas cookie. With sugar cookie snowmen in competition, I could never understand why she felt this was a holiday treat... After I was married I made them one day and my husband said "this is what they make at Christmas in Norway!" Aha!
A lot of us get those tins of danish butter cookies or scottish shortbread...my husband's family gets both. Well, this recipe tastes better than either one, and is much cheaper (and still pretty darn easy to make!)
We also make 'wreaths' (like rice krispy treats, but made with corn flakes and green food coloring and decorated with little red cinnamon candies), homemade fudge, gingerbread men, and occasionally hand-dipped chocolates... But the above few are my favorite.