Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2012

Thanksgiving is behind us, Black Friday has passed, and Christmas is less than a month away.  It’s time to start thinking about baking Christmas cookies for family and friends.  As always, I’m interested in whether our Webner House readers have any recipes they would be willing to share.  I always try to add a few new cookies to the tried-and-true favorites that I enjoy baking year after year.

I got this recipe from the Martha Stewart website.  Last year I made gingerbread stars dipped in white chocolate, and they were a big hit.  This year, I think more gingerbread cookies may be in order, and the combination of gingerbread and lemon flavoring in this cookie sounds pretty tasty.

Gingerbread Trees with Lemon Icing

Ingredients for the cookies 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled); 1 teaspoon baking soda; 1 teaspoon ground ginger; 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves; 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; 1 teaspoon coarse salt; 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature; 3/4 cup granulated sugar; 1 large egg; 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses

Ingredients for the icing:  2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice; 1 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar; Sanding or coarse sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar on medium-high until creamy, 3 minutes. Add egg and beat to combine. Add molasses and beat to combine, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. With a sharp knife or cookie cutter, cut dough into small 2-inch-wide triangles. Arrange triangles, 1 inch apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are firm and golden at edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

To make icing, combine lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle icing over cooled cookies and sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Calling for Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2011

Calling for Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2010

Calling for Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2009

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Stalking Time

 

What to do with a field full of dried cornstalks on the eve of winter, after the ears of corn have been harvested?  This Ohio farmer piled the stalks together in the shape of Mercury capsules and left them in the field — where they looked a bit like shambling swamp creatures in slow pursuit of a victim.  You might say they looked like they were stalking someone.

Honoring Coach Tressel

During the break between the first and second quarters of Saturday’s Ohio State-Michigan game, the University recognized the 2002 National Championship team and its head coach, Jim Tressel.  Tressel was hoisted onto the shoulders of his former players as the crowd at Ohio Stadium roared.

After the game, I was surprised to read some very harsh comments about this simple gesture.  Fans of Michigan, Wisconsin, and other schools — many of whom think Ohio State’s domination of the Big Ten conference is the product of a dirty program that skirts the NCAA rules and cheats — depicted the ceremony as Ohio State thumbing its nose at the NCAA and displaying its contempt for the rules and sanctions that ultimately resulted in Jim Tressel’s resignation.  I think that is a small, mean-spirited reaction to a desire to honor a storied Ohio State team on the 10th anniversary of its greatest achievement.

No one at Ohio State will forget how the Jim Tressel era ended — and I’m confident Coach Tressel won’t, either.  That reality shouldn’t mean that we can’t remember the good moments of the Tressel era, too.  There were many, and the 2002 National Championship is one of them.  I’m glad the members of that team, and Coach Tressel as well, were saluted for their accomplishment.