Christmas is tomorrow. Tomorrow! Lights are strung, meals are planned, decorations are out, and Christmas cookies are baked!
I grew up in a family full of Christmas Tradition. It started each year with a trip into the mountains to bring home a tree. We’d trek through the snow to find the perfect tree – one that had more character then branches so that the artfully placed tinsel could steal the show. Inevitably the tree would be taller then the ceiling. Even when we brought a tape measure, out in the forest it never seemed that big! Next came my Mom’s Santas that overflowed the staircase. When Christmas Eve finally came, my sisters and I would get fabulously overdressed for a curry dinner and a candlelight church service. We’d get home, watch It’s A Wonderful Life and head to bed anxiously awaiting Santa’s visit.
Did I mention the cookies? In our house, it wasn’t Christmas without boxes full of Christmas cookies. We always had more cookie varieties than people. And at least 2 dozen of each variety.
Even with only two of us, I find myself feeling it isn’t truly Christmas time until I bake the cookies. I tried to pick only a few of the best, but somehow still ended up with making five different types. I’m not sorry. “I have too many cookies,” said no one ever.
So without further ado, let’s talk Christmas cookies! Or, if you are like me and periodically get the urge to make cookies throughout the year, then let’s just talk cookies!
This year I tried a few recipes that I grew up with, slightly altered, and a few cookies with limited sugar, grains, and dairy.
First up we have Goodie Goodie Nut Bars from my Grandma. I’m sure they came from one of her hundreds of recipe books, but I who could tell which one! Since I was a little girl these have been one of my favorites. This year I added in small caramel chunks, but traditionally they are just salted almonds and marshmallows coated in warm almond butter mixed with chocolate* and butterscotch chips. It’s impossible to only eat one.
Next up are Special K Bars. Another long time favorite from my Grandma! I remember my mom and grandma both making them and always being so excited to see them on the dessert plate. Few things can beat Special K cereal mixed with almond butter and sugar then topped with melted chocolate* and butterscotch!
Ginger snaps. Oh, ginger snaps! I would argue that these may be the most Christmas of all cookies. (Is that even a thing? The Most Christmas of all the Christmas Cookies?) They warm the belly and make your heart smile all in one small bite. I had intentions of trying a grain-free version, but after stumbling across my grandma’s recipe for Molasses Krinkles all hope was lost. I fell into childhood memories of enjoying crunchy gingersnaps with warm apple cider while playing games at my grandparent’s house. They were everything I remembered!
Better-Than-Scout Cookies from A Clean Bake are the real deal. These were in a tie with Goodie Goodie Nut Bars for my favorite cookie this year and I ate more than my fair share of them! They taste like a Samoa, but without all of the extra additives that the Girl Scouts add. They are grain-free, dairy-free, and knock-your-socks-off good! Another one where you can’t eat just one. (I made up a batch of Primal Palate’s Dairy-free Caramel to drizzle on top. Ah-Maze-Ing!)
N’Oatmeal Cookies from Primal Palate also made it into this year’s Christmas cookie round up. Or, as I like to call them, Everything But The ‘Oat’meal Cookies. Tyson requested oatmeal cookies and these were perfect! Grain-free, dairy-free and full of good wholesome ingredients.
I hope all of you have a plate full of fresh baked cookies to share with those you love this holiday season. Merry Christmas!
(*Enjoy Life Foods makes a variety of foods, snacks, and baking supplies that are free from all of the 8 major allergens. Trying to limit dairy wherever and whenever possible.)