Cookie Traditions

Neesha Meminger, author of Jazz in Love and Shine Coconut Moon is sharing today’s recipe. She’s also featured on The Book Smugglers today where she shares a rather unusual recent experience as well as an opportunity to win a copy of her new book, Into the Wise Dark. Reading that book and munching on some of these delicious cookies, that’s what I’m looking forward to in 2012!

My favorite cookies, ever, are chocolate chip. I’m not a fan of chocolate chunk, white chocolate, peanut butter, or oatmeal. But give me some moist, warm chocolate chip cookies any time of the day and I am a happy, happy gal!
Here is the recipe I’ve used for years, and it’s the same one we use at our home for the night that Santa visits:
1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper
3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
4. beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each egg
5. Add vanilla and beat well
6. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl
7. Add to egg mixture and beat
8. Add chocolate chips!
9. If dough is very soft, cover and refrigerate about 30 minutes
10. Drop, using a tablespoon, onto cookie sheets and bake 12-14 minutes until golden brown around the edges.
11. ENJOY!!
These cookies always feel like home and comfort to me. They add a really special touch on Christmas eve when anticipation and excitement are high. Usually, the kitchen is warm from the oven being on all day and the house is full of yummy smells. We have lights up and lots of pine decorations, so the food smells are mixed with the smells of pine and candles. H and I have the gifts all hidden throughout the house, or loaded up in the trunk of the car and we know we’re going to be up ’til late, wrapping. Last year, we got parakeets — you can imagine the challenge in keeping those hidden from a 9-year-old and a 6-year-old!
I love *all* Holiday music. We play holiday CDs from Thanksgiving right through to the first few weeks of January. My favorite Christmas carol ever is “The Little Drummer Boy” sung by Whitney Huston. A close second is “Do You See What I See?” (don’t know who sings the version of that one that I love). I’m also quite partial to Celine Dion’s holiday songs — I love the way she belts out some of those notes.
The holidays are really magical to me. I moved to Canada from India when I was about five and I don’t think I ever got over the trauma of Winter, LOL. But three years or so later, when I was about eight-years-old (around the age I am in the pic, above), I started going to school early so I could sit in the gym and sing Christmas carols. Sitting there, in a gym full of kids, singing at the top of my lungs while outside snow blew in little tornadoes in the school yard, is one of my most cherished memories. That was when I connected with the magic of this time of year. It really felt like Hope, and I wished so fervently that my family celebrated Christmas like “everyone else.”
Maybe now I go a bit overboard now with my own kids as a result. But I truly believe this is a magical time of year — a time when hopes and dreams are sown deep into the sleeping earth, and are nurtured there until they wake and rise, and bloom, in the Spring. I love making magic happen for my kids. Maybe it’s another way to keep the magic that I discovered when I was eight, alive and vibrant.
Happy holidays, all, and may your most cherished wishes come true.

3 thoughts on “Cookie Traditions

  1. I’m the same way about Christmas. It’s the only holiday I decorate for, and I listen to Christmas music all year round, whenever the mood strikes (which is a lot). And once it gets even a little cold, I then play it pretty much all the time.

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