Did you get everything done that you had planned for this month of December?
I'll go ahead and be honest and admit that I did not...
When the time approaches in November and December, I begin to look forward to all the things I plan to do this year. In fact I start to get excited while working on the articles for our Christmas issues in September and October.
There's no limit to how many Christmas crafts and how much candy and 10 different kinds of cookies the family and I are going to make. I'll also have friends and family over for both homemade gløgg – of course, made from good ingredients – and homemade æbleskiver, Christmas brunch and walks in the woods to gather supplies for decorations. We're also going to cozy up with Christmas movies and presents – they should be at least partly homemade and beautifully wrapped of course!
There's so much time and I frequently misjudge how much I can realistically accomplish.
Now Christmas is only about a week away and, well, there's a lot that I haven't gotten to... BUT – when I think about it, it doesn't really matter either. So far we've had an amazing November and December anyway.
Since we got snow here in Denmark a few weeks ago, we've made it a priority each day to take the kids out for an evening walk and a bit of sledding. Some days we've only been out for about 30 minutes, but at least we got out there – together! And back home with rosy cheeks and feeling wonderful because we were able to share laughs and enjoy each other's company.
I've participated in several cozy events with my lovely colleagues where we've made Christmas crafts and decorations together - although we did use STORE-BOUGHT greens this year because we didn't find the time to make it to the woods. But the decorations actually turned out great anyway, even though the greens and cones weren't gathered in the woods!
I've also managed to go shopping with my sisters, including a café break, without our husbands and children – something we've been wanting to do for a long time but never get around to. THAT has to become a tradition from now on!
So then this weekend I got to thinking about that whole thing about Christmas baking – it is really fun and cozy. Buying cookies from the baker's just isn't quite the same. The kids have baked pepper cookies with their grandmother as well as various other small cookies cut out with cookie cutters and decorated with green frosting. They're all made from the same dough... so maybe a bit boring in the long run.
My nephew is brilliant at making burnt sugar almonds, and my sister is great at making brown sugar cookies. One of my neighbors, who is also a good friend, makes the best crullers...
So it occurred to be that I'd be happy to give up some of our pepper cookies with green frosting in exchange for a small bag of each of their specialties.
Our cookie exchange is now a reality. It's all so much easier when you only have to make one kind.
Decorated Cinnamon Cookies
This recipe will make
about 40 cookies.
1 3/4 stick (200 g) Butter
1 3/4 C (350 g) Flour
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Sugar
• 1/3 C (85 g) Sugar
• 1 Egg
Crumble the butter with the flour and add cinnamon, vanilla sugar and the egg. Knead the dough until smooth. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C). Meanwhile, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into shapes using whatever cutters you have on hand. We used a star-shaped cookie cutter for this recipe, but you could use a glass or the like if you don’t have any cutters. Once the cookies are cut, transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 °F (200 °C) for 6-8 minutes. The cookies are done once the edges are golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, decorate with icing.
That's one more thing crossed off the list/ Vivian