Countdown to Christmas.....MEMORIES, RECIPES & WRITING

 With a week before Christmas I'm sure everyone is scrambling to finish last minute shopping, baking, preparation for family and friends, gift wrapping, singing Christmas songs throughout the house. For some it might be a time of mixed emotions if you live far from family, have strained relationships or even have lost a loved one. Maybe finances are extremely tight this year. We can easily begin to forget what Christmas is all about. I don't want to do that.

It's been such a week for me. We returned from vacation on Monday, picked up a tree that night, unpacked and got ready for a busy week. Tuesday the girls and I spent the day decorating. We will not be doing Christmas cards this year (not enough time). I still have not finished shopping (going to some today and Monday hopefully the rest Monday). Wednesday night was our youth group Christmas party. I was on to bring salad (we had a dinner), Kat was supposed to bring Christmas Cookies (which because Wednesday is usually so busy for her equated to SUPER MOM coming to the rescue and baking). Everyone was also supposed to bring a "homemade" gift, can you guess what THAT equated to? I'll share what I made further down. Thursday was spent at the church mailing over 100 packages of our pastors new book to A LOT of people. Friday I finally was able to go grocery shopping (we came home from vacation to really not much food in the house). WOW, what a week and technically there are two more days left.

I have come to the conclusion that going on vacation two weeks before Christmas, while fun, can also be hectic.  

I have a few more things I'd like to share, but I'll just stick with Wednesday for now and leave those for other posts in the next few days (I hope)

I have always loved baking, but it seems that in the last few years, things have gotten so busy, I just haven't had as much time, and, well, baking can be expensive. When you think of all the ingredients needed for all the cookies and candies, not to mention ingredients for any meals being prepared. I would say busyness plays a big part in my not baking, but probably more-so is the expense of purchasing the ingredients. 

Back to Wednesday. Kat needed to bake some Christmas cookies. I had planned on doing Frosted Cut-Out Cookies, but realized there just wasn't time for that. I was browsing through my "Holiday Planning Notebook" (which I haven't really used for planning in a long time..I just get the recipes out of it) and found a recipe for Candy Cane cookies. This brought back a whirlwind of memories. My mom used to make these all the time (though hers looked prettier than mine). They weren't quite as easy as I had thought they'd be. They gave me problems while trying to roll them out, but in the end, tasted good and were devoured by everyone at youth group. I also made Kat some Easy Peanut Butter Fudge to bring as her homemade gift. This is Nan's favorite so when it was her time to pick a gift, she picked the fudge. For hubby I made extra Candy Cane cookies and some mini chocolate marshmallow cups (another of my mom's recipes). All were a hit and I had fun making them and thinking of my mom. Nan chose to make a "button Tree". She purchased a styrofoam "tree" at The Dollar Tree and she hot glued buttons all over it. I attached some cute paper clips to the base so it could be used as a note holder. I didn't take any pictures because I was in such a hurry.

Today I'll share the recipe for Candy Cane Cookies. I'll be sharing recipes throughout the week (I hope)

Candy Cane Cookies

Printable Recipe 


3/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/3 c. flaked coconut (I left this out)
1 tsp. red food coloring

In bowl cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla, peppermint extract. Stir together flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Stir coconut into one portion; blend food coloring into the second portion. Cover each one and chill for 30-60 minutes. 

Divide each dough into 30 balls; keep half of each dough chilled till ready to use. Roll each ball into a 5-inch rope. For each cookie, pinch together one end of a red rope and one end of a white rope; twist ropes together. Pinch together remaining ends. Place on an un-greased cookie sheet. Curve to form a cane. Repeat with remaining balls. Bake in a 375 degree oven about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Cool. Makes 30.

The ropes seemed to want to stick to the board I was rolling them on and a few kept breaking. They almost seemed too wet but still worked.


With Joy UNquenchable,


  1. I love candy cane cookies. A wonderful memory for me. Great post! Merry Christmas!


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