Foodie: Dec 15th Christmas

The Foodie Column for December 15th 2014

By T. Myers

Ho, Ho, Ho! ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house the children were thinking of sugar plums and cookie treats and, true to our traditions, it is up to us to make sure that all of their dreams come true with our homemade versions of the perfect Christmas cookie!

Going up to the Gingerbread display at Sunriver Lodger for the season, you can see your gingerbread dreams become realities and get all kinds of ideas for what you can do for your own family. (The event is spectacular and free and it runs until January 5th every day!)

Let’s talk about how to make your season brighter! With a few candles, a few Christmas decorations and some clean white table linens; you can make any gathering look special for family and friends. Think about creating a reusable small wreath with a center candle that sits in the center of your table to start. Add some colorful napkins and you will be able to perk up your table setting to be a wonderful and attractive way to start a party! Think about serving sparkling wines with desserts for a fun get together. Add Champagne to any occasion and it is like the adage of everything is better with butter/champagne. Cheese plates and finger foods are always great and don’t forget a batch of Chex Mix to get the party nibblers to a state of Nirvana.

On my family traditional Christmases, we always served an abundance of Christmas cookies, coffee, milk and without a doubt by the time Santa showed up there would be a plate just for him along with a bunch or reindeer carrots.

Here is a Cookie Basic Recipe that can be converted into many different interpretations:

#3 cups flour, 1 teas soda, 1 teas salt and you add the spices by the teaspoonful. Mix and set aside.

In a separate bowl beat three eggs, 2 cups of white, brown or a combo of ½ of each type of sugar and add two softened sticks of butter and cream the ingredients until light and fluffy. (You can add ¼ cup of molasses for spicy cookies or 1 Teas good vanilla for most other cookie recipes.

Substitute ¼ cup flour with cocoa powder for chocolate favorites.

Combine the ingredients and scoop out into 2 oz. balls and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees for a soft chewy cookie.

Now, let’s talk about what you can add to make these special and unique.

  1.  ½ to 1 cup of nuts for crunch
  2. 6-12 oz. chocolate or other baking chips
  3. Cut up pieces of dried fruits or raisins ½ cup at a time
  4. 1 more egg with a cup of oats
  5. Candied fruit, raisins and oats for a fruitcake like cookie.

Play a little and this basic recipe will let you do everything you need to do to create a good chocolate chip cookie, a snicker doodle (rolled in cinnamon and sugar) or soft Vanilla drops that you sprinkle with colorful sprinkles.

If you add one more cup of flour, you can roll out dough for cutting shapes.  This makes a good recipe for many kinds of cookies.

Enjoy your Christmas and have fun developing your own touches for the family cookie platter. Bon Appetit!

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