Christmas Cookies!

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Happy New Year fellow eaters!
Welcome to 2011!
It has been much too busy lately and I have missed writing. I’ve been home with the parents for about two weeks visiting with family and friends for the Christmas season. Along with the Christmas season, there has been much Christmas food, many, many Christmas cookies, and yummy Christmas drinks (mmm….Egg Nog and, of course, my Mom’s Sorrel). So I have probably gained about 100 pounds which I have resolved to lose in the new year. In all of this I have not actually had to cook much for myself. I do miss it, but at the same time, I have to fill up on Mom’s and Lucy’s (my best friend’s wonderful Step-mom is an amazing chef and always manages to feed me when I come over) food while I have time, but I’m sure once I get back to my little apartment kitchen I will be ready to feed the masses again!

Since I haven’t cooked much since being here I will rewind to a Friday right before the “Holiday Rush” began.

So many of us get wrapped up in the rush, and how we’re going to get this and that, how will we get where we are going, and how soon will we get there (which was my big worry). Yes, these things may be forefront in our minds, but take a moment to shut it off and think. Unfortunately, some who read this may be jaded enough to write this off as being cliche, but it is good to be reminded that the Christmas season should not be one big commercial about what we can get out of it, but what we can give, and who we can give to. It is even better to realize that not everyone gets to gather with family, in a warm home. Some people don’t have a “Merry Little Christmas” or any kind of warm holiday. Those of us who are in more fortunate situations (even if we only have a little more ourselves) should not only be thankful, but we should try to ease the burden, or even bring a little cheer to those who don’t have any.

On the Friday before I left:  My amazing friend, Crystal, (from The Mum Life) had invited me over to bake cookies with her (and a few others) for the parents and staff of the Pediatric Acute Care Department of UVA. We also made cards for the children who are patients there.  These people who spent Christmas in the hospital, staff members working through Christmas, children who are ill, and parents who are worried, were alone for the most wonderful time of the year. Nothing quite takes the chill out of spending Christmas in the hospital, but we could at least try! Crystal came up with the idea and got us (well me anyway, I may have been the only one hustling and bustling) to stop our hustle and bustle for a few hours and work on the cookies and the cards. We ended up with about 16 dozen cookies and 37 cards; a small token of our love and our wishes for their well being. We hope to have brought these people a bit of warmth and cheer in their circumstances and we wish each precious patient a quick recovery.

On to the cookies: Crystal  surprised me. She said that she was going to bake Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies with no sugar added applesauce.
The applesauce took the place of a lot of the sugar that would have been used in the cookie. It also took the place of any kind of butter or shortening. I must admit that I was skeptical about these cookies, but they turned out SO good. They tasted great without being too sweet, and stayed rich and moist in texture. These cookies are great for anyone who likes chocolate chip cookies, anyone who has diabetes, and they are good for you. Yes, I said it, these cookies taste good AND are good for you!
I am posting pictures here but you can find the recipe here on Crystal’s blog!

I made Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies. These are delicious and I love the way the cookies look especially around Christmas time, but, they are great for any time of the year! I adapted a recipe that I found online for my own personal use. I like to use 1.5 sticks unsalted butter and 0.5 sticks salted butter.
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 Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
You’ll need:
2 Sticks of butter
1 Cup of packed brown sugar
1 Cup white sugar
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
3 Cups all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1.5 Cups White Chocolate Chips
12 Ounces Dried Cranberries
Method:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F  (190 degrees C). Prepare cookie sheets. In a large bowl cream together the butter, the brown sugar, and the white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla extract.
Combine the flour and baking soda and stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Roll into walnut sized balls and place onto prepared cookie sheets. Flatten top of cookies slightly. Bake for 8- 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
Allow to cool on racks.
Share and Enjoy!
Although I am late, I wish each person reading this a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday, and a Happy New Year!!!!
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Comments
3 Responses to “Christmas Cookies!”
  1. Shar Tegral says:

    >I am officially hungry now!

  2. Rizzomoo1 says:

    >These all sound delicious! I love the idea of the combination of the white and brown sugar– I'm in love with brown sugar! Although, I'd have to swap the cranberries for something else as mom and I are both allergic… I'm really intrigued by the combo of the salted and unsalted butter, though! What made you try that? 🙂

  3. >@RizzoMoo1- They are delicious! Perhaps you can add dried cherries, or dried apricots? If not, just take the fruit out completely and add 1.5 cups of a different type of chocolate chip (milk, dark, etc) and you will have a double and decadent chocolate chip cookie! The batter for this recipe is pretty versatile. As for the butter combo: The very first time I made these cookies I used two sticks of unsalted butter. After tasting them, I felt that they were too bland, and, I decided that adding a bit of salted butter was the way to go!

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