What's a holiday without cookies? What's a Thursday without T3? And thanks to Susan, aka My Two Cents for the idea of combining the two.
Favorite Holiday Cookies (and a recipe or two)
#1. Shortbread. This recipe came from my friend Monique a long, long time ago, and it's still my favorite shortbread ever. Absolutely delicious. And easy. Did I mention easy?
Monique's Scotch Shortbread
5 oz. softened sweet butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
Mix. Press in pie pan. Prick top all over with a fork. Bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Cut warm. Sprinkle with sugar. Eat the whole pan. (Oh, alright. I added that last part).
#2. Pfefferneuse. Well, specifically Trader Joe's Pfefferneuse. For years, we would get care packages from my mom -either through the mail or in person. The Pfefferneuse season at TJ's usually runs from right before Thanksgiving to New Years. I don't know what it is that makes these so good, but for the entire month of December my family runs around with powdered sugar rings around our mouths. Not this year, though. In the great TJ's Pfefferneuse shortage of 2008 (why would I expect anything less this year, seriously?) they changed their packaging and ran out almost immediately. We have a recipe to try at the lake next week. Cross your fingers.
#3. Gingersnaps. We all love gingersnaps, and these are the best I've ever had. The fact that they're low-fat is a complete bonus. We don't normally dip them, but if you have the desire, it just makes them twice as good. We made a batch of these this week and Gumby and Surfer Dude took them in to class "just because". Surfer Dude was thrilled when his teacher threatened him with repeating sixth grade unless he brought in more cookies.
Funny aside about these cookies. I use a lot of spices in my cooking and have a pretty comprehensive spice cupboard. The turnover is pretty high, since I believe what I read about spices losing their flavor over time. But I had bought a restaurant supply size bottle of ground ginger which continued to smell and taste just fine. I used it rarely, because with most things needing ginger I used fresh. Well, we used the last three teaspoons of it in these cookies - and it was the end of an era. We had moved this bottle of ginger to Kansas with us...in the summer of 1999.
That's some seriously potent stuff.