preservings

exploring, preserving: past, present


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Gift Making – and Giving

Flour, oatmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, chocolate chips, M&Ms … That’s all you need to make a quart jar cookie mix gift like this:

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Ten minutes of your time, and you can create a meaningful gift that tastes much better than store-bought cookies.

Gift instructions:
Add an egg, melted butter, and a bit of vanilla to the mix…drop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes at 350. Enjoy!

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Saturday Upside…Mom’s Christmas Baking

Growing up with a mother who is an excellent baker, the weeks leading up to holidays were always busy and special. November was always a month full of preparations for Christmas, with a long list of “must be baked” favourite cookie recipes and the obligatory Christmas fruit cake (which was not dry like the rhetorical/proverbial ones many people speak of, it was so very yummy and glazed with sherry…mmm. Wait, that’s for another blog post! Back to cookies….)

Mom had a list of special requests that had to be baked every Christmas: whipped shortbread, scottish shortbread, chocolate ladyfingers, soft white iced cookies, date cookies with corn flakes coating, sherry-soaked fruit cake, mincemeat tarts, butter tarts, and that’s not even half of the list.

My mother Margret, on the right. I love this picture of her!

My mother Margret, on the right. I love this picture of her!

From my elementary-aged years on, I always wanted to help out with the baking. I learned her cookie recipes and I’ve made them many times since then.
This year, I tried a brand new cookie recipe. I think it’s a keeper, one that will be added to our ever-growing list of “we have to bake this for Christmas!” list. The recipe for these “Everything Cookies” is created by me, with the Chipits Chocolate Cookie recipe as a starter/inspiration and what was in my cupboards at the time as the many additions and adjustments! Please try it out and let me know what you think!

"Everything" Cookies cooling on the rack.

“Everything” Cookies cooling on the rack.

Everything Cookies
1 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup craisins
1 cup toffee bits
1/2 cup whole flax seeds
2/3 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add vanilla and eggs to this, whipping the mixture until fluffy. Gradually stir in flour, baking soda, salt, and oatmeal. Add remaining ingredients gradually (chocolate chips, craisins, toffee bits, flax seeds, coconut).

Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool slightly on pan, then remove to cooling racks while still warm. Do not let cookies cool on the pan or they will become hard and stick to the pan!

Recipe makes about 6 dozen cookies.