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Christmas recipes

by Ada Roelke

One of my favorite memories of childhood is watching my grandmother and mother bake Christmas cookies in our big old-fashioned kitchen. Several different types were prepared, cut with holiday cutters and decorated. They were stored between wax paper in big cookie tins and stored in the unheated enclosed back porch, which always stayed cold in December. I got to nibble the broken ones, or “mistakes.” Later I joined in the decorating, and still later in the preparations.

Gingerbread Boys and Girls

This recipe came to my mother in 1940 from our friend, Ada Green. Try as she might, my mother was never able to get the same soft texture. Years later, after many months of trying, I managed to produce them for my children. They remain their favorite to this day.

1 cup butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup molasses

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

4 to 5 cups flour

Cream butter, add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add water to molasses in a two cup measure and blend. Add soda, salt and ginger, stirring. It will foam up. Add alternately with flour, beginning and ending with flour. Add enough flour for a medium soft dough. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes. Make a test cookie, and add more flour if it does not rise and bake properly. Roll dough about three eighths inch thick on a well-floured board or pastry cloth with a stocking cover pin for best results. Cut with either a gingerbread boy or girl cutter. Decorate with raisins or appropriate candies to make a face and buttons. Bake in a preheated 375F oven about 11 to 12 minutes, or until the center doesn’t dent when touched. Do not over bake or they will loose their soft texture. Remove to wire racks to cool. I cover with a dish towel before decorating to hold in the moisture. When nicely detailed and outlined with white frosting the luscious brown cookie shows through. This also makes a good drop cookie if one is in a hurry.

Cherry Winks

These tasty little cookies can be varied by using dried cranberries, blueberries, or chocolate chips, giving one a pretty selection. Remember to bake a test cookie first.

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 cup chopped dates or raisins

3 cups corn flakes or frosted flakes, crushed

30 maraschino cherries, halved and blotted dry

Cream butter and add sugar beating until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in dry ingredients, nuts, and dates, mixing well. Shape into small balls. Roll balls in crumbs.

Place on greased baking sheets. Partially imbed half a cherry in the top of each cookie. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10-12 minutes. Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies.

Need a recipe? Have a cooking question? E-mail NVAda2@aol.com or write Ada Roelke, The Record-Courier, 1503 Highway 395 “G,” Gardnerville 89410.