It’s almost Christmas: quilts aren’t the only things on our minds!
We aren’t going to exaggerate here: the end of December is just about the best time of year at the Quilting Company editorial offices. And it’s not just the plethora of Christmas quilts on our “to-do” lists or the vacation time we’ve all planned for the end of the month. We love the music drifting from our neighbors’ offices, the laughter of colleagues as they pass around their photo cards, and the ubiquitous red sweaters we all seem to wear.
We’re also particularly fond of . . . cookies. Christmas cookies, to be exact. Isn’t everyone?
This year, we’ve coordinated a virtual holiday cookie swap; complete with recipes to share with each other and with you, our readers. Read on for our personal family favorites, so you know they are good – and our taste testers agree!
“I feel the ‘bestest’ part of the holiday season is spending time in the kitchen with family and friends,” says Group Editorial Director, Tricia Patterson. “There’s always laughter, sharing, and catching up, especially when making gingerbread houses with my grandchildren.” Tricia shares a recipe she makes each year. She puts the ingredients in a crock-pot in the morning and lets them simmer through the day.
1 quart apple cider
2 18 oz cans pineapple juice
2 cups orange juice
3 lemons, sliced
2 cups sugar
1 tsp whole cloves
1-2 sticks cinnamon
Optional: peach schnapps to taste
1. Combine lemon juice, sliced lemons, cinnamon, and sugar in a stew pot. Bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Place the boiled mixture and remaining ingredients in a crock-pot to simmer.
3. Simmer at least 1-2 hours before serving. Add peach schnapps to the pot to taste, or to the individual serving cups.
Lori Baker is the Editor of Love of Quilting magazine. Her Cereal Candy recipe is delicious!
Lori loves the family, friends, and food part of the holiday season as well as the decorations and all the wonderful music. Her favorite recipe is from her childhood, one that has been a part of her family’s Christmas celebration for as long as she can remember. She says if all of her children and grandchildren are coming for a holiday party, she makes at least three batches to last through the day.
1 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup dark Karo syrup
2 cups Rice Krispies
5 cups cornflakes
2 cups cocktail peanuts
1. Boil the first three ingredients to soft ball stage.
2. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir together and press firmly into buttered 9″ x 13″ pan. Cut into squares when cool.
Next, meet Annette Falvo, Technical Editor for Love of Quilting, Easy Quilts, and Pre-cut Patchwork.
“My husband and I both come from families with strong cooking and entertaining traditions, so we love that our home is a gathering place for friends and family (especially during the holidays). Chances are, guests will be served something yummy made from the recipes we have collected from our frequent date-night cooking classes!”
Anissa Arnold, Editor of McCall’s Quick Quilts and Tracy Mooney, editor of Quiltmaker and McCall’s Quilting magazines, make very similar treats this time of year.
They both have a pretzel base, but Anissa uses Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses and Tracy makes hers with Rolos. Either way, they are delicious!
Pretzel M&M Hugs
red and green M&Ms
Candy Cane Hershey Kisses
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and layout pretzels. Place one Kiss on each pretzel.
2. Bake for 4-5 minutes, until Kiss is shiny and soft, but NOT melting. Remove from oven.
3. Place one M&M in the center of each Kiss and press down.
Allow to cool and enjoy!
Rolo Pretzel Turtles
pretzel “snaps” or mini pretzels
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with pretzels.
2. Remove wrapper and place one Rolo on top of each pretzel.
3. Bake for 3-5 minutes, until Rollo is shiny and soft, but NOT melting.
4. Place one pecan in the center of each Rolo and press down. (Act quickly and encourage helpers if possible.)
Allow to cool and enjoy!
Kristine Lundblad, Associate Editor of Quilting Arts magazine, loves holiday baking with her family.
But with all those cookie sheets going in and out of just one oven, it’s nice to have a bar recipe in the mix, too — one pan, 12 minutes, boom! — on to the next round of cookies. Warning: These tender, chocolate-y bars are addictive!
Chocolate Cream Cheese Bars
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1. Cream the cream cheese and butter together.
2. Add sugar and vanilla; mix to combine.
3. Sift flour and baking powder together. Add to mixture.
4. Spread mixture evenly in an ungreased 9″ x 13″ pan. (Suggestion: First line the pan with parchment paper–with extra paper folded out over the outer edges–for easy removal and cutting after cooling.)
5. Bake for 12 minutes at 375 degrees or until edges are barely brown.
6. Remove from oven and immediately spread chocolate chips over the warm surface; use an offset or rubber spatula to smooth the melting chips and cover the surface evenly.
7. Cool completely and cut into bars.
We hope you enjoy these recipes and that they become part of your holiday traditions. And if you are looking for any of us this time of year, if we aren’t making Christmas quilts, we’ll be baking!
Happy Holidays to you and yours,
The Quilting Company Team
Get great ideas for Christmas quilts and more in our holiday gift guide!