Food makes a great present and if chocolate’s involved, all the better.
Enjoy this fun video!
This week, Big Soft Ginger Cookies
Ever wondered how a red-nosed reindeer ever came to be part of the Christmas scene? Me too!
There are a couple of accounts of how it happened, including a story started in 2001. In that version, Rudolph’s creator, Bob May, related the tale in order to comfort his daughter when he learned his wife would die of cancer just before Christmas.
Although this heart-tugging version contains many elements told later by Bob himself, the truth of how Rudolph got his start is not quite so dramatic. According to May, in 1938 he was called into his supervisor’s office at Montgomery Ward and asked to come up with a Christmas promotion aimed at children. His boss requested that it have something to do with animals.
Inspired by his daughter’s fascination with the deer at the zoo, Bob got to work. After several rejected versions, he finalized the now famous account of the red-nosed reindeer. In August of 1939, a month after his loosing his wife to cancer, he presented the story to his employer. Montgomery Ward printed and distributed the resulting pop-up book to children who came to the store to see Santa Claus, and the brave misfit deer has been with us ever since.
Source: Urban Legends – The True Story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
My favorite song from the NBC 1964 version of the story:
And the most adorable and delicious cookies ever:
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add egg; beat until just blended.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.
Form dough into 1-inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, then gently flatten with your hand. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until set or just beginning to brown.
Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer’s antlers. Press two mini brown M&Ms in for the eyes and one red M&M for the nose (or any other color… some of mine ended up with green noses. They might be South Pole reindeer.).
Allow to cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel to cool completely.
Makes about 40 reindeer cookies.
It’s hard to believe there are only a few short weeks until Christmas…deep breath. I’m almost half-way through Shifty Magic, the first book in my new series, my office is piled up with delivery boxes of gifts that need to be unpacked and wrapped, I have Christmas cards to fill out for my dad (he’s 86) to give to the grandkids plus the money that will go in them, some Christmas parties to bake for and go to, and I need to organize for the upcoming travel…all on top of the usual activities of homework, meals, cleaning (this weekend–ugh), and spending time with the family.
Just writing it down makes me feel tired! 🙂
So I did the only smart thing. I pretended none of it existed and focused on finding yummy recipes to share with you. Boy, did I hit the jackpot: Gingerbread Pancakes! Nothing says Christmas morning like the smell of pancakes, and having gingerbread ones would be just about perfect in my book. The suggested toppings are an especially nice touch.
Pair these with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for a wonderful holiday treat.
In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the egg, milk, molasses and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until the second side is golden brown.
To serve, place two pancakes on each plate; drizzle with 2 tablespoons syrup. Top with 1/4 cup apple pie filling; sprinkle with cranberries. Yield: 3 servings.
After stuffing yourself you can settled down by the fire with another hot cup of coffee or tea and read something fun. Nice!