Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Egg Nog Cookies, Christmas baking, Charlie Brown trees...

I love the week before Christmas, even more than the day, I think.  When my kids were little I liked the feeling in the room after everything was opened and it was quiet.  That's an awesome memory.  Now I enjoy the festivities of the time leading up to that day.  I've been baking in the early hours of the morning before I leave for the office.  Cookies, candy, cinnamon almonds, cheesecakes.  Fun things to go in fun bakery boxes with Tiny Prints labels and bakers' twine. 

The Las Vegas Review Journal has a cookie contest every year around Christmas.  I credit them with that fabulous recipe for Snickers Cookies, so when the results were announced this year I decided to give one cookie a try.  One in particular.  I'm glad I did.  I am officially adding this to my Christmas cookie repertoire.

Eggnog Thumbprints

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 t. salt

Filling (I doubled this recipe):

1/4 cup butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 T. rum
1 pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make cookies, cream together butter and white and brown sugars until smooth.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine flour and salt and stir into creamed mixture by hand to form a soft dough.  Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Make an indentation in the center of each cookie using your finger or your thumb.  Bake 12 minutes and cool completely.

For filling, mix butter, sugar and rum.  Spoon rounded teaspoonfuls of filling into cookies and sprinkle with nutmeg.

I put the filling in a ziploc bag and snipped off the corner, then piped the filling into the indentation.  These cookies are good. 

A few other random things: 
  • My Christmas tree is a little sad this year.  I think it has cured me of my break from extra large Christmas trees in my living room.  I think.
  • There is no reason for dieting this week.
  • I loved all the Christmas ideas on Pinterest - collecting all my Christmas cards and punching a  hole in the corner, threading them onto a silver ring and tying a Christmas ribbon on the ring.  I have a fun 2012 stack.  Or the Christmas lights in an extra large vase . . . tying Christmas stockings to the back of the kitchen chairs.  Fun.
  • We took some grandchildren to our Ward Christmas party.  I feel the need to share the hilarity.  Ready?
"My mom wants another baby."
"We had donuts this morning and my Dad hid them from my Mom."
"A lot of people in our family are dying."
"Did you KNOW some people think it's almost the end of the world?"
"I've heard of a dog who died of depressment."
And overheard (one sibling to another whispering):  "Remember not to talk about that around them."

We are still laughing and my car smells like maple syrup.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas.  Slainte', Marian. 

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