Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sugar Rush!

Forgive me for interrupting this wonderful month of food-related blogs with something which may not seem like a big deal to anyone else but for which I am extremely thankful.

The Sourcebooks Spring 2011 Calendar is out and my book, WHAT A GODDESS WANTS, is on page 153.

Thank you for your time.

Now, back to the holidays. For me, the main course is not the best part of the meal. Dessert is. The meal is just something you have to forge through to get to dessert.

For Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law made pumpkin and apple pies and my new sister-in-law brought cheesecake. Ah, it's lovely to have choices.

But now that Thanksgiving is a memory, it's time for Christmas cookies. And those are even better than than all the cakes and pies combines.

Cutouts, chocolate chip, peanut butter, Russian tea, snickerdoodles, oatmeal raisin... These are the classics in my mom's repertoire. My fondest Christmas memories are not what gifts I received but helping my mom bake dozens and dozens of cookies. And then spending the next month eating them at every possible moment.

My personal favorites are peanut butter and Russian teas. When done right, they melt in your mouth. And my mom's are always delicious.

When my guys were younger, I made batches of cookies that we ate in about a week and for which I felt guilty for the next month. Last year, I made chocolate chips. Maybe two dozen. And it just didn't seem like Christmas.

This year, watch out. I'm making cutouts, chocolate chips, peanut butter and I'm planning to attempt my mom's Russian teas. I'm even going to make saltine candy, peppermint bark and chocolate macadamia nut bark.

I will not feel guilty about eating any of it. I will run more miles. Yes, I will.

My Mom's Russian Tea Cookie Recipe
1 cup softened butter & 1 tsp vanilla, creamed together. Sift together 1/2 cup 10x sugar, 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour and 1/4 tsp salt add to butter & vanilla and stir in 3/4 cups finely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts). Roll into 1 inch balls and bake 14 to 17 minutes at 400 degrees. Roll in sifted 10x sugar while still hot.

Happy Seasonal Eating!


  1. My mother is a very bright woman. She had nine people to cook for at each meal, and that didn't count shirt tail cousins, friends-over-for-dinner, stray graduate students, and visiting relatives. When I showed an inclination at the age of seven to start baking, she made one rule: Clean up when you're done. I think she had a ten-year-sabbatical from holiday baking from that moment forward.

    My favorite: Good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie dough. Yes, raw eggs are bad, bad, bad for you, but I get pleasantly sick to my stomach just thinking about all the cookie dough I consumed.

    And then my brothers would start circling the kitchen...

  2. Hmm, it sounds great, Stephanie, but I'm still back with the turkey, potatoes and gravy and ran out several days ago. :( Bring on Christmas dinner!!!

  3. Yum! I've never had Russian tea cookies. They sound delicious. Thanks for sharing the link to the catalog. I hadn't seen it yet. Your book looks like it's going to be awesome!

  4. I'd never heard of Russian tea cookies. I couldn't wait to get to the recipe, because if there's anything I associate with a Christmas party from my childhood, it would be Russian tea--I just couldn't imagine how it could be made into a cookie.

    Then I read the recipe. It's what we always called nutty fingers. And they are soooooo good.

    The name Russian tea cookies is apt though. In those Christmas parties of my childhood, the Russian tea was always served with these cookies. Always.

    The two perfectly complement the other. Even to this day, I can't eat one of the cookies without wishing for a cup of spicy Russian tea.

    Thanks for the memories. Enjoy your cookie-making and and enjoy having a book coming out.

  5. Oh boy, that recipe looks great. Even better is a package of cookies coming in the mail. I'll send you may address Steph.

  6. I'm making these cookies! We love Christmas cookies and it's about that time! I'm reminded of that big doofus dog in "Homeward Bound" named Chance who's hopping around saying "Turkey, turkey, turkey" at the end, only with me it's "cookies, cookies, cookies". Still have the same doofus grin on my face as the dog, though! Thanks for sharing and congrat's on the book! It looks awesome. And LOVE DRUNK COWBOY is in that catalog, too, folks! YAY ... let's celebrate ... cookies, cookies, cookies!

  7. I hadn't run across the new catalog yet. Thanks for the link! Your page looks marvelous.

    Snickerdoodles are my specialty. My extended family have come to expect them every year. I might have to try those Russian tea cookies. Cookies are about the only thing I bake.

  8. Your recipe sounds wonderful! There was a time when I made several different kinds of Christmas cookies and gave them as gifts, but no more. *sob*

  9. The Russian Tea cookies sound great. I love to drink something called Russian Tea. It's a concotion of lemonaid, tang, cloves, instant tea, and other stuff that you drink hot. I have no idea why it's called Russian but I love it. Your post made me think of it.

  10. I hope you all get to try my mom's recipe. it really is yummy.

    and thanks for letting me squee about my book. it's a real milestone.

  11. Those sound good!

    I do a lot of baking over the holidays and share. Safer that way.

    My orange/vanilla fudge is always requested by my husband's office and it's gone in no time.

  12. That looks like a yummy and easy recipe. Right up my alley. Congrats on your upcoming release :)

  13. Hi Stephanie! I love that you couldn't resist showing your book in the catalogue. Very cool, isn't it? :}