Are there any candies, cookies or treats that epitomize the holidays for you? There are obvious ones like gingerbread cookies, mincemeat pies, and candy canes of course, but how about some of the not-so-common traditions of candy, cookies, or desserts that you may only enjoy during Christmas?
Growing up, my mom only made cookies at Christmas, so every cookie when I was a kid, meant Christmas. When I got married and had kids of my own, cookie baking became a staple. I never gave the fact that my mom never baked cookies except at Christmas a second thought until I had kids of my own and realized how much joy it brought them and gave me in return. Nearly every cookie recipe my mom handed down to me became “Everyday Holiday Cookies” rather than “Christmas Cookies.”
Did this make them less special? Did this mean my kids would have no “Christmas Cookies” to look forward to in December? Absolutely not! There are so many cookie recipes out there, that I could probably make a different cookie every week, if not every day, and there would still be more recipes than I could possibly make for the entire month of December. The lesson I learned was:
The joy and love a homemade cookie brings can be shared all year and spreads the spirit of Christmas every day not just Christmas day.
You see, the fact that my mom only made cookies at Christmas filled me with joy and excitement each and every time she made cookies. This same lesson of joy and excitement was passed down to my children, but I made the lesson my own and expanded on it. Now, the joy and excitement of Christmas cookies are shared all year long and believe me, it never gets old.
With so many cookie recipes out there, deciding which ones I wanted to keep as “Christmas Only” cookies was challenging. It seems like every time I make a cookie, the family can’t wait until I make it again. How could I deprive them of any cookie for an entire year? Well, the answer was in the dilemma. With so many cookies…being that there are so many types of cookies out there, setting aside a handful or two of them for “Christmas Only” shouldn’t really be an issue. The trouble was deciding on which ones.
While debating on which cookies to put in my Christmas file, I began to think about other tastes that screamed Christmas for me. One of those was chocolate covered cherries. I love chocolate covered cherries, especially cherries covered in dark chocolate and filled with brandy infused cherries. My parents introduced these to me when they returned from a vacation to Las Vegas one year and brought me a box of Ethel M Dark Chocolate Cherry Cordials. It wasn’t Christmas, but it sure felt like it. I ate them sparingly, trying to make them last as long as I could.
After Hubby and I married, I mentioned in passing one time to my mother-outlaw that I really liked cherry cordials. For Christmas that year and many years after that, she would buy me boxes of these and give them to me. In fact, she would buy many boxes during the holidays when they are easily found, and give them to me throughout the year. A very thoughtful and kind gift, one I truly appreciated.
Although I have received chocolate covered cherries at times other than Christmas, each and every time I receive them, it fills me with the same excitement and joy that epitomizes the holidays. This gave me the idea of making a cookie with all the flavors of a chocolate covered cherry one of our “Christmas Cookies.”
Cherry Cordial Oatmeal Cookies
- ½ Cup Butter
- ¾ Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Large Egg
- ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
- ¾ Flour
- ¼ tsp. Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp. Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- 1 Cup Old-Fashioned Oats
- ½ Cup Dried Tart Cherries
- ½ Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
- In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; slowly add this to creamed mixture.
- Stir in oats, cherries and chocolate chips.
- Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake 9 – 11 minutes, turning sheet halfway through baking, until edges are golden brown.
- Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes.
- Remove to wire racks to cool.
These cookies have a chewy texture and taste quite similar to chocolate covered cherries, just in cookie form.
Recipe by: Tilly Frueh – Simply Grateful Cooking 2019
Confession time. When I really need a chocolate covered cherry fix and there are no chocolate covered cherries in my secret hiding spot, I have made these “Christmas Cookies” even if it’s in May, June, July or even all three. That’s the great thing about being the baker in my house…I made the rules, so I can break them! And for this I am — Simply Grateful.