11th Day: Christmas Cookies

  The eleventh day we spent doing a classic the world over: making Christmas cookies!
  Since Brad had to work, the cooking fun couldn’t start until late afternoon.  And that’s only after we went shopping quick for ingredients.  Bless his soul, Brad went to four different grocery stores looking for lingonberry jam for our linzer cookies.  See, lingonberry isn’t usually carried in grocery stores in the majority of the country, but it is up here due to the large Scandinavian population.  In fact, it’s so popular here that it’s sold out at most of the stores!

  Once we got home we got the majority of the goods situated.  Homemade Christmas delicacies are on their way!
Let the cookie craze commence!


  We had a special surprise in store for the kids though: a Melissa & Doug cookie baking set!  We love M&D cooking play sets for how great they hold up and how interactive they are with being able to slice and stack.  Great quality for a reasonable price!  Hopefully after the holidays we can find the Christmas cookie set on clearance to add to our collection too (we’re pretty addicted, obviously).
“For me?!”


Slicing the dough to put on the tray (I love how neatly it puts away in the tube too!)


He was so proud of his cookie creations- after he popped it in his play oven for a bit, of course


  I had another craft in store for Marshall. Betty Crocker has some great holiday treats on their website right now.  So I printed off their free cookie coloring sheet for Mads.
Coloring the free cookie printables.  Click here to get them!
  While big brother was distracted with these fun little crafts, little sister was attacking our poor nisse.
“Who’s on the naughty list now, nisse?!”


  They weren’t just on the sidelines though.  Brad taught the kids how to make his favorite Christmas treat: chocolate covered pretzels!


His first time trying chocolate covered pretzels!


  It took hours of baking into the night but we got it done- and when I say “we”, I mean Brad & I.  The kids were in bed for a good portion of the cookie baking.  What did we decide to include in our 2015 tins?  Take a look:
Lumps of coal (oreo truffles)


Chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered peppermint sticks


Thin mints


Chocolate snowballs


  The linzer cookies were pretty fun to make and I’m so happy with how they turned out for being my first time trying out Scandinavian baking.  The cookies are crisp and light and the lingonberry jam is the perfect amount of sweet and tart.  
Lingonberry Linzer cookies
  And of course, I had to make pizzelles.  Remember a week ago when I said how much I love sharing and receiving recipes?  How they make me think of the people who gifted me the recipe, or the tradition and love that go into them?  Well, pizzelles are one of those major recipes.  The last time I made these were for my large extended family when my grandma was in hospice last January.  While alone in the kitchen making these the memories flooded over me.  I spent about 15 hours in her room with her.  I talked to her, held her hand, she was the first extended family member I told about the pregnancy and even was able to show her a very early ultrasound (9wks).  I told her that if the baby is a girl- which I suspected she was- I was going to name her Violet in honor of her.  I got to tell her that I was due in the same birth month as her.  I got to see grandma light up as she saw little Marshall play at the base of her bed, smiling and saying “oh look! I love him!” Those were the only words I heard her say that day.  And I treasure them, oh how I treasure them.  Alone in the kitchen I cried while making these.  I cried with grief of losing the closest thing to motherly love I had.  I cried at happiness that while I lost Constance Violet, I gained Violet Angeline and I was able to share that before she left.  I cried remembering how understanding and loving grandma was when giving me advice when Marshall was a baby, and wishing so badly she was here to do the same with Violet.  This recipe is very special indeed, I put my heart and love into these and will every time forward.  I remember having them with grandma and now I can’t wait to teach my own kids how to make them.
Vanilla & Chocolate Pizzelles


The treats of our labor
  Our lots were split into fours this year.  One for us and the rest for our neighbors around us.  Hopefully this will ring in a great new year with them and win them over on us new kids on the block.  Can’t wait to deliver these yums!  For the free Betty Crocker cookie tag printables click here.
I love how cute the tags are


Ready for delivery!
  The eleventh day was the epitome of a sweet day.  It was great to make some of our old favorites as well as new treats.  Marshall & Violet got a fun new set.  We were able to teach the kids that hard work pays off- and when it does it’s always best to share a bit with others.  Best of all, I was able to get a moment in the kitchen where I could really reflect on the losses and gains of this past year- and really, not feel so alone in that kitchen after all.  She was there, she always is.
  Now, get the milk and cookies ready for tomorrow!  We have some special visits in store.

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