Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Visions of Sugarplums

Before writing for the challenge, I wanted to share that my new blogging friend is Michelle, a young homeschooling mother, and one of the Compassion sponsors. Michelle works so hard finding sponsors for children and her family has sponsored many children. Her favorite is Precious, in Ghana. Through Precious, Michelle has developed such a love of the country and of the children there. She was recently able to send a package with another Compassion sponsor to her Precious and then came the opportunity to travel herself to Ghana with a group next year. Because finances are a problem for her, she decided to ask if people would be willing to help her make her dream come true. I encourage you to read her story and decide if this is something you might be willing to help, with a donation of any small amount.

HolidayBlogChallenge.jpg (13005 bytes)

Topic #7
Christmas Dessert / Treat Recipe

So many choices, so little time!

In my house when I was growing up, I remember my mother making lots of cookies at Christmas time. One of the ones I remember the most was a cookie which had an orange flavor to it, the dough was rolled into a ball and coated with chopped walnuts and then a candied cherry (or it may have been a bit of jam) was put in an indent in the center before baking. I loved those cookies.

Years later, when I thought to go to my mother for all of my favorite recipes that she made while I was growing up, I learned that she decided that she never cooked "like that" any more, she just threw the book away. This is the pain of being an Aquarian born to a Virgo! All of her special recipes, the ones that she hand wrote in there so she wouldn't forget them, just tossed in the garbage without a word to me. I have never been able to recreate the bittersweet chocolate frosting she made to go on the chocolate cream roll that I loved--and believe me I've tried (and I no longer cook "like that" either so don't bother sending me recipes!)

When I had my own apartment and my own office, I made a big deal out of Christmas and made lots and lots of cookies for a week-long open house. I made drop cookies, cut-out cookies, molded cookies...if it had "cookie" in the name, I probably made it at some time or other. My office was the most popular place in the building, and I probably gained 5 lbs myself, what with both baking the cookies and then eating them when nobody was around!

But the cookie that will always say "Christmas" to me, no matter what time of year it is served, are what my mother called "Goodness Sake Cookies" (because everyone who tasted them for the first time loved them so much they would say something like "goodness sakes, these are good!"). She had gone to a party one year and had these cookies and just loved them, got the recipe and came home to bake them. We all loved them.

Years later, when I went looking for a recipe, I discovered that they were really Mexican Wedding Cakes, but I still think of them as Goodness Sake Cookies. The recipe calls for pecans and you can substitute walnuts, but really they aren't the real deal without pecans.

Goodness Sake Cookies

* 1 cup butter, softened
* 8 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups chopped pecans
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
2. Mix all the ingredients together with a mixer until well blended. Roll dough into round small balls (you can place close together on a cookie sheet, because they won't spread)
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
4. Roll in additional confectioners' sugar while still warm (use two forks to roll the cookies so you don't burn your fingers) and put on rack to cool completely.

If you've never had these before, you will find yourself saying, "goodness sakes! these are so good!"


Harriet said...

I never did Christmas cookies -- the bake sales made more money from my brownies. But my friend A's mother made Mexican wedding cake. I loved them, never could find others as good, never found a recipe that came close...

If your recipe is not the same as hers, it's awfully close. But in the usual irony of such things, I couldn't eat those now.

Kwizgiver said...

These sound amazing! Pecans wouldn't be the same as walnuts, I agree.