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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)

TITLE: Cookies of Love
By T F


For weeks before Christmas our house would be filled with the amazing aromas of Christmas. Every year Mom would begin baking right after Thanksgiving. It became as much a part of the Christmas season for me as the tree or the advent wreath.

Over the years Mom collected recipes of the family favorites. Each Christmas season brought the old standbys and occasionally a new cookie that may or may not be added to the list of favorites. As she baked, the cookies would be stored in decorative tins and plastic containers. They would fill the counters and the cabinets.

Night after night Mom would mix up the cookie dough of the night and we would begin baking. Soon the house would be wrapped in warmth and the wonderful smells of Christmas. We all got to help with the cookies. Sometimes, though, the baking went on so long we would grow weary and wander off. Still Mom baked until everything was done.

The favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe was handed down to Mom by my Dadís grandmother. It is a well loved recipe. Mom passed it down to each of us kids and in turn it will be passed down to the next generation. These cookies are a perfect mix of chocolate, walnuts and sweetness. Despite being loved as a Christmas cookie they make their appearance often throughout the year.

One of my favorites was the Russian Teacakes. These tiny nutty cookies rolled in powdered sugar were just the right size to pop into my mouth whole. The outside is sweet and sticky while the inside is slightly crunchy and delicious.

While living in Germany we acquired a new family favorite, lebkuken. Lebkuken is a molasses cookie with nuts and fruits. It is often glazed to give it shiny appearance and added sweetness. There must be a secret to making lebkuken. I have not yet been able to duplicate Momís cookie. My Dad has tried also and though both of us have gotten close itís just not like Mom used to make them.

Over the years I have tried to make the variety of cookies Mom always did. It just doesnít seem like Christmas without them. I donít know whether itís just a matter of not making the time or if I just canít get organized, but I just never seem to get all the varieties made.

Mom passed away a year ago. Last Christmas the family was still reeling from her death and the holidays seemed to pass in a blur. This Christmas will be completely different than any in the past. The Christmas cookie tradition has been passed to Dad and the rest of us. We try, but itís just not the same. I think it was the love Mom put into everything she did for us that made those cookies different.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joshua Janoski10/26/08
I'm sorry to hear about the mother's passing, but I am happy to hear that her legacy lives on in her husband and children.

When I try to make things the same way that my mom makes them, it never seems to taste the same either. I guess it really is that extra love ingredient that makes her cooking and baking so special.

Thank you for sharing this with us. :)