May 21, 2013
Written by Robin Glowa
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 00:00
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
— Buddy the Elf
I was actually contemplating not making Christmas cookies this year! Seriously, it just seemed like too much trouble. Another chore to fit into an already overloaded schedule.
As a health professional who is acutely aware of my own personal dietary downfalls, I have a weakness for far too many types of cookies. I thought if I avoided the issue all together, perhaps that annual Christmas cookie belly bulge could once and for all be avoided.
But it suddenly came to me with startling clarity that no Christmas cookies at all would be like no Christmas at all. None, not one single crumb? Bah, humbug!
What would Santa say? Besides, as one wise woman once said, “A balanced diet is a Christmas cookie in each hand.”
The answer doesn’t lie in no cookies, it lies in cookie control. So this year I will scale back, choose three fabulous favorites and sing the praises of those sweet little indulgences. After all, cooking is all about love and making cookies must surely be one of the sweetest ways to send out glad tidings of joy.
The earliest examples of Christmas cookies in the United States were brought by the Dutch in the early 17th century. Cookie cutters became available between 1871 and ,1906 and baking cookies has been a hallmark of the holidays ever since.
In the 1930s the tradition of leaving cookies and milk for Santa was established, and is one of the most beloved rituals in many American households to this day.
Whether it’s gingerbread, sugar cookie cutouts, snickerdoodles, Mexican tea cakes or scrumptious shortbread, Christmas cookies are a wonderful melting pot of ethnic influence and time honored tradition. Many a grandmother has experienced rapture, watching their little grandchild decorate their first batch of cookies. This is where some of our most treasured memories are born, in the warmth and light and glory of a cinnamon scented kitchen.
It is something to savor, the making of Christmas cookies. I’m grateful I realized what a special and cherished tradition it should be, not a have to, but a want to do. It’s all about baking up some happiness and sharing the delectable pleasures of preparing a delicious life.
Makes 3-4 dozen
(plenty for a cookie swap)
1 cup butter softened
1 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup peanut butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
1 6 ounce package semi sweet chocolate bits
1. Mix butter, graham crackers, peanut butter and sugar by hand.
2. Press mixture into a greased 9x13 pan. Refrigerate for two hours.
3. Melt chocolate bits.
4. Frost peanut butter mixture with melted chocolate.
5. Immediately cut into small squares with a heavy chopping knife and share!
Robin Glowa, HHC, AADP, is a food and wellness enthusiast who earned her certification in holistic health counseling from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University Teachers College. She specializes in teaching healthy cooking classes for children and adults, as well as cooking presentations and wellness workshops for many local organizations. For more information go to theconsciouscook.net, call 203-393-1037, or http://confessionsofaconsciouscook.blogspot.com/
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