Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Favorite Christmas Cookies to Give as Gifts



Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chocolate Bohemian Cookies


I discovered these a number of years ago.  I just love the way the chocolate and cookie dough melts in your mouth.  These are way up there on the Star Scale for me.  They are very easy to make too.

Here's the recipe:

CHOCOLATE BOHEMIAN CHRISTMAS COOKIES 

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup walnuts (chopped fine in a food processor)
6 oz. German sweet chocolate (chopped fine in a food processor)
1 tsp. vanilla

Grind nuts and chocolate together.
Cream shortenings and sugar and mix well.
Add flour and salt alternately with nuts and chocolate. Mix. Add vanilla.
Pour scant teaspoons of dough on lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 225 degrees for about 40 minutes or until firm to the touch.
When partially cool you may sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. 







Monday, December 15, 2014

How to Decorate for a Whimsical Christmas Gathering


Welcome to my home! Here is how I have decorated for Christmas gatherings this year.

Above is our family room where we spend the most time.  I love the tranquil feeling the cream colored walls provide us.  We had the color custom-made at Dunn Edwards Paints.  It is called "Chez Bolduc".  It means "House of Bolduc" in French.

Each year I change up the mantle a bit.  This is a picture before I received the wonderful Luminara candles I did for my birthday from five of my best friends.  I'll show you those later.



This whimsical snowman always reminds me of my sister, Ann, who passed away in 2008.  She had a massive Snowperson collection.   She was so cheerful like they all are.  In fact, many people likened her and her best friend to the two Foster Farms chickens.  Just makes me laugh thinking about them!



I found the adorable gift-wrap pillow at Michael's this year and got two of them 50% off. :-)  The burgundy velveteen pillows were a purchase from World Market for 25% off. :-)
 I love the look for Christmas.


Another angle. The beautiful flowers that Chad and family gave me for my birthday made it to the coffee table.  They are pretty, aren't they? ;-)  Many people don't like matchy-matchy, but I LOVE it.  I like balance in my life and view.



Many people comment on our octagonal windows in the family room.  They really like them...and so do we!  I found a picture of a window like these in a Sears 30 years ago and had our contractor design these for us.  I love their uniqueness.


Here is a small buffet table readied to serve sweets, treats and beverages.



I am going to have a Hot Chocolate Station this year.  I found these fun chocolate and marshmallow, and peppermint candy stir sticks at World Market.  Tucked inside the box are also grated chocolate and cinnamon for the top of the whipped cream.  I'm getting thirsty!  Do any of you want to stop by and join me?


These tin men snowman grace a long sofa table and will soon be joined with cookies. You can see here the LUMINARA candles.  They are so life-like!  They have a little flame that flickers back and forth with the help of two "D" batteries.  The best price I've found for them is on Amazon.  You can purchase cream and white ones at Pottery Barn, but they cost a lot more there.





I love Mr. and Mrs. Snowpeople, found at Pier 1 a couple of years ago. 

 

This beautiful arrangement adorns my entry way table that is usually nestled into the rounded part of the stairs bottom.  We moved it right into the entry to host the Christmas tree.



I have decorated my tree this way for a few years now.  I LOVE it!  The small oval frames that have red jewels and gold filigree framing host all the different names of the Lord that I could think of.  I also have a variety of nativity ornaments, crowns and musical instruments that celebrate the birth of my Savior.  


 

My very large Nativity set rests in the living room.  I have two sets, this one, and one my precious daughter-in-law and family gave me.  I alternate them every other year.




This is one of two wreaths that decorate my husband's office doors.



Of course, you have to embellish the shower too!


I hope you have enjoyed browsing and this post has inspired you in some way to make your home delightfully Christmassy for not only you and your family, but for any guests you may have over to visit.  The best part of Christmas is the people you share it with and celebrating the incredible gift we have of Jesus Christ.  

Come on back tomorrow for some more ways to make your Christmas DELIGHTFUL.  :-)




My MOST FAVORITE Christmas Cookies





My Favorite Christmas Cookie :-)

Orange Frosted Carrot Cookies

This recipe was shared with me about 25 years ago from my neighbor, Anita, who made some for us.  They were delicious then and they are delicious now.  With the orange frosting, they are a soft, Christmas tasting treat.  I believe they should be included in any assortment of cookies that is set out for your family or guests.  They truly are delightful!
 


10 oz. carrots, peeled and sliced

(After cooking these, you won't even taste them in the cookie.  They are for color.)

3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten to blend

1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup chopped walnuts



Frosting:

1 cup confectioners' sugar

2 Tbsp. orange juice

1/4 tsp. grated orange peel





Cook carrots in boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well. Purée in processor or blender; you should then have 1 cup purée carrots.


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking sheets.


Beat shortening with sugar. Mix in egg. Stir in vanilla.


Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients into shortening mixture alternately with carrot puree. Mix in walnuts, and cranberries if you wish for Christmas.


Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until light brown and springy to touch, about 20 minutes. 


Stir together confectioners' sugar, orange juice and grated orange peel until smooth.

Spread on warm cookies. Yield: about 30.




Without Cranberries


With Cranberries & Nuts

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.  Tomorrow, I will share with you some of my other favorite Christmas cookies.   Hope you are close to having all your Christmas shopping done!  These would be a great treat when you get home!