Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Spirit of Christmas

I've been trying to get in the spirit of Christmas. I mean, I set up my (mini) tree and wrapped presents to put under, but I still felt something was missing. It wasn't until our previous snow day that I realized what it was.


Yes, the comforting activity that ends with yummy smells that fill the house, and some sort of delightful treat, still hot from the oven. There's something about baking that completes the holiday tradition. For me, it's the cozy feeling I get when I'm mixing, and pouring, and stirring in our little pink kitchen, and the smells fill the air, and the final product that comes out of the oven.  Last time, I baked banana bread and I'll say, it didn't hang around for long. But a few days later, the night before my secret santa party at lunch, I made gingerbread cookies.

I'm sorry to say that these aren't from scratch. No, they are from a box--er, pouch. But don't go around thinking that they turned out flavorless and stale, because they were far from that. So follow me through my journey of holiday baking.

To start off, you will need:

1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, margarine, or spread; softened (not melted)
1 tablespoon of water
1 egg
1 pouch of gingerbread cookie mix by Better Crocker

Step 1: Heat the oven to 375ºF. Stir cookie mix, softened butter, water, and egg in medium bowl until soft dough forms.

Step 2: Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten them slightly with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.

Step 3: Bake for approximately 8-11 minutes or until edges are set. Cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet. Cool completely and store in airtight container.

My entry for HorseFeathers's winter challenge.
"I thought maybe we could make gingerbread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating,  and maybe even hold hands!" Buddy from 'Elf'

My entry for Pastor's Girl's Ponderings photochallenge

See how easy that was? Just three simple steps. But I must warn you, the package says prep and bake time is 17 minutes--but that's only if you're some superspeedy chef who's got everything laid out and a supernatural blender. Seriously, it took me like half an hour to get my cookies perfectly perfect and spread out on the cookie sheet. I'm tellin' you--never trust the estimated time on, well, anything. :D

So, after all this mixing, and pouring, and stirring, I was all ready for Christmas--full with joy, and cookies. 

What gets you into the spirit of Christmas?


  1. You pictures are amazing. Truly amazing! I love this!

  2. i love all of these pictures! you are so talented pal...the last picture is my personal fave. i love the dusting of sugar on the cookie.

  3. Beautiful shots! Those cookies look delish :)

  4. Great photos! what kind of camera do you use?
    Decorating the tree, baking, and wrapping gifts is what gets me in the Christmas spirit.

  5. Thanks to all! I use a Canon Rebel XS.

  6. All of these photos are beautiful... and making me hungry! And your scarf is ADORABLE.

    I know what you mean about estimated time--I take at least twice as long as I'm "supposed" to all the time. :P