Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Cookie fun with kids # Giveaway #recipe #Christmas #mystery


Around here, we're all in the mood for Christmas and we hope you are too.

We love Christmas cookies! It gives us an excuse to break out the festive cookie cutters and to get flour all over ourselves and the kitchen.  This year, MJ was lucky enough to have a young relative helping out.  You can see that Teagan did all the heavy lifting!

MJ here:  I picked the sugar cookies I remember from my own childhood.   I remember sugar sparkles on those cookies and so a quick trip yielded just what I needed.   I know red and green are favorite Christmas colors but Teagan and I decided that blue, white and silver were just right. 

Why don't you join us in the kitchen when we make these very easy Christmas sugar cookies?  We’d offer you one, but they were gone in a twinkle!

Christmas Sugar Cookies

 You will need:
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature, well beaten in a small bowl
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp good quality vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional - but we always do it!)

All you have to do:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy in stand mixer (or whatever works for you).  Add beaten eggs and vanilla and continue to beat until well blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, soda, and cream of tartar, mixing to blend.

Add dry mixture to wet and mix just until blended. Don’t overbeat.

If you have time, roll the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill the dough for 20 minutes before rolling out.  It is very soft.

Roll out on floured surface and roll with floured rolling pin until about ¼ inch think.  They will puff up slightly, so don’t roll too thick. 

Cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters.   

Teagan liked the trees best. MJ just couldn’t decide between stars and snowflakes.   

Transfer to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. They spread quite a bit so keep it to six per sheet, or they will run into each other.  I learned this the hard way and had to eat quite a few and then start again. Ahem. Dust each cookie with a bit of colored course sugar.

Bake 10 minutes. Remove and cool.  Makes about two dozen. Guard them well, because they have a tendency to disappear.

Of course you know that Victoria Abbott is a dangerous combo of Mary Jane Maffini and her daughter, Victoria.  When not busy being elves, they write the book collector mysteries, with a bit of help from Peachy the Pug. 

We all hope you all have a wonderful December full of sweet tastes and warm moments and entertaining books.  So from our family to yours, have the best of festive seasons, whatever you celebrate. 

Speaking of, why not tell us about how, what or if you celebrate and your name may be drawn to receive a copy of the book collector mystery of your choice!  If you have them all, we'll still find a deal for you.   Because it's that season!


  1. We buy fewer gifts than we used to, but still enjoy Christmas shopping. We enjoy making the once-a-year sweets, bourbon balls, peanut butter roll, rum cake. It is a special time of year with all the lights too

  2. Sugar cookies are my favorite during the Christmas season! I celebrate Christmas with cookie-baking, for sure; but also with lots of quality family time in front of the giant Christmas tree and roaring fireplace.

  3. We do not buy any gifts or celebrate Christmas in a big way.

    I do make some homemade goodies to give out to friends: almond stollen (since many do not like fruitcake and this is my alternative treat) and chocolate truffles.
    grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

  4. I haven't made cut out sugar cookies in several years. I found that baking them one day and decorating another day is an easier way to deal with so many cookies. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

  5. We don’t do much. We usually go to my boyfriend’s daughter’s house for lunch and she sends us home with a plate of cookies.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  6. We celebrate all month......Christmas movies, homemade ginger cake, Gluhwein, mince pies...then on the actual day we have getvto early, light a fire and have breakfast before opening gifts. After a full turkey dinner mid afternoon its time to either nap or watch movies and drink a little wine.

  7. We enjoying baking almond biscotti which are a great favorite to enjoy. Light, delectable and perfect with tea. We have a celebration lunch with the entire family. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. We celebrate Chanukah with latkes, a variety of salads, cold cuts, apple cake and then we light the candles surrounded by family. Perfect. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    1. Latkes!!! Oh, how I love them! I grew up with what I now know is a wonderful mixture of both Christian and Jewish holiday traditions. That reminds me...I need to go buy some gelt to give my grandchildren for Christmas! Blessings to you!

  9. I love family get-togethers anytime but especially at Christmas. We are blessed to have a close loving family.

  10. I confess that receiving & eating Christmas goodies is what I now enjoy the most. Watching little ones open gifts or talking to Santa is a lot of fun. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  11. Christmas for us has changed so much over the years! As a child I was enthralled with what Santa would bring me. As a parent I was always excited about what Santa was bringing our daughters! Now as a grandmother I'm looking forward to going to our daughter's house for Christmas Day where we always celebrate with friends & family with our daughter's Christmas tree in full splendor (she LOVES a big tree with lots of ornaments that our son-in-law puts exactly where she & their daughter tell him to hang them) & a traditional Christmas dinner.

  12. My family & I, celebrate Christmas, by decorating the house, inside and out. We also do lots of baking. We watch lots of Christmas movies.We usually go to Christmas eve mass or Christmas morning mass.

  13. My family celebrates Christmas in the Danish tradition, on the 24th with a lovely meal of roast goose or roast pork with crispy skin with roasted apple and prunes, red cabbage, caramelized potatoes (was a revelation to me the first time I tasted them), and ris a l'amande (a rice porridge lightened with sweetened whipped cream, chopped almonds sprinkled through, one whole almond hidden in the dessert for someone to win a prize, and the servings topped with preserved cherries boozed up with cherry liquerur). There are various cookies baked for the season, but it is the meal that really makes me feel like it is Christmas.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  14. We spend Christmas Eve day making treats for Santa. This includes sugar cookies. turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com

  15. We celebrate Christmas, and I love the holidays! I don't tend to do a lot of baking or cooking, but we are having some friends over tonight for appetizers and sweet treats. It's the first time we've hosted more than one person at a time in our townhouse since we moved last winter. I'm pretty jazzed about it!

  16. I am always looking for delicious sugar cookie recipes. Thank you. Wishing you very happy holidays!
    As the weather drops I just want to hibernate and read.

  17. The almond extract in your recipe put a big smile on my face! It's very much like the recipe I have used since my "pushing 50" kids were very young. I have always "lived" for all aspects of Christmas. Now, with Social Security cramping my style and the complications of sharing our grand daughters with the families of their AWESOME "keeper" honeys I am adjusting... slowly but surely. It's not always easy, but I treasure the memories and traditions I passed down...gelt, the pickle ornament hidden in the tree, putting up my Christmas village representing the tiny town in Wisconsin where my dad was born...complete with houses for specific family members, businesses appropriate for my children and grandchildren's interest...and, oh, yes... the "nekkid Santa" hidden somewhere in the village. (He hold his hat over his "jewels. I sometimes think the pickle and the "nekkid Santa" were always the thing everyone loved most! MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you reading this...and may whatever holiday you celebrate be filled with joy, love, and peace.. dianne710@ comcast(dot)net

  18. Christmas begins for us the day after Halloween! Decorations slowly begin going up and we are in full swing by Thanksgiving. All kinds of Christmas goodies are created but everyone begs for my rum balls lol. Merry
    Christmas and blessed New Year.

  19. This year is going to be low key. My husband's mother died in August and it has left our family a little out of the holiday spirit. In addition my husband is having surgery on the 18th and we won't know until tomorrow if he will come home same day or when. He has made out most of our greeting cards. We've gotten gifts for our kids but nothing for each other, which is okay for me as long as hubby is okay. I hope you and yours have a delightful holiday. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  20. Low key Christmas this year.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  21. We celebrate Christmas with both my family and my hubby's on different days so we can spend the whole day with each family. Leading up to that we like to decorate, make cookies (yours look amazing) and watch Hallmark Christmas movies. And whose adorable dachsies are those? They're soooooo cute! barbie17(at)gmail(dot)com

  22. We celebrate with a Christmas tree and going to a dear friends' house (about a week before Christmas) to participate in a reading of A Christmas Carol and singing carols. Then dinner with my mother on Christmas Day. Thank you for the opportunity to win and a very Merry Christmas to you both! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  23. It's just my husband and I this year so I'll fix a few snacks mostly for him and some eggnog and watch a movie most likely. Thank you for this chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

  24. Oh yes we celebrate. Couldnt stand it if we didnt. Nowadays though since we are all adults, we draw names for presents. The four of us siblings switch up who buys for mom and dad. Me and my older brother are paired up and my older sister and younger brother are paired up. We always have our tree up and have a wonderful meal. This year we are going to have schnitzel, rouladen, ham and turkey for our meats. I just love Christmas. Thanks for the recipe! They look great. kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net

  25. I enjoy spending Christmas with family and friends. We open gifts on Christmas Eve and stockings on Christmas Day and make a nice Christmas dinner. Merry Christmas!

  26. The best Christmas tradition is being with family. The exact day doesn’t matter if you’re sharing grandkids with multiple families. It can get complicated in our current society. These cookies do look like fun and bring back memories of cutout cookies with my grown with their own families. Gingerbread houses are another yummy holiday activity. Thanks for the giveaway. Happy Holidays! Lldawnjm (at) gmail (dot) com.

  27. This year it will be just hubby and I but that's ok. We are celebrating being in our new home in the Ozark Mountains. They are forecasting (so far) a white Christmas which would be my first. Where we lived before we usually just got ICE. :( We are planning a great meal, time by the fireplace watching it snow out the large front window whick faces the mountains.

    To celebrate Christmas, both of us love to bake. So we bake up tons of goodies and make little gift boxes to take to the elderly and shut-ins when we visit to brighten their holiday. However, the smiles and hugs we get make it definitely the best present we will get and definitely better than a wrapped present under the tree.

    Thank you so much for this opportunity to win a copy of a book collector mystery! Merry Christmas!
    2clowns at arkanas dot net

  28. Yes we do I cook a big meal and family comes over. This year two new granddaughters.

  29. Hi, Marlene Ezell here. When my parents and Aunt and Uncle were alive, we used to celebrate Xmas in a big way. Now that they are gone, I will probably just stay at home and celebrate with my dogs.

  30. Love to bake. Just don't do it as much. I have made some treats for our deployed airman. Enjoying Christmas on the down low. kckendler at gmail dot com

  31. This year our granddaughter is 16 months old. So far she's kind of ignoring the Christmas tree. "What, that odd thing? Hm...Oh look! There's the cat!"
    It will be interesting to see what she thinks once presents appear under the tree.
    The cookies look great. They puff up? Do they end up soft or crispy?
    Very best wishes for the seasons (might as well get the best of all the celebrations, right?) to you and yours.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  32. Yes I celebrate with old friends staying and then over to my Sisters on Dec. 25...the whole family gathers for food and a catchup...meanwhile I am gift wrapping and decorating...

  33. I go to my brothers house because that’s where the children are. They make Christmas for me. Fortunately we have a new generation of children. I just finished all the wrapping and am now cleaning before I began cooking. I’m behind as usual.