The true meaning of Christmas

Sweet treats to make for Christmas, nostalgia over Christmases past, keep Christ in Christmas

The hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations is well upon us now, and if you’re like me, there’s still plenty to do before the holiday.

Sometimes I wish things could still be more like the “olden days.” It was a time when the Sears and Eatons Christmas catalogues came out and kids everywhere spent hours pouring over the pages until they were worn thin from small fingers and dreamy imaginations; when people still celebrated the true meaning of Christmas by setting up a nativity scene, or at the very least saying, “Merry Christmas,” instead of “Happy Holiday,” when our children could still celebrate Christmas with a “Christmas” concert at school, or sing “Christmas” carols in their music classes; when their break was still called “Christmas” holidays, instead of the Winter Break; when we baked “Christmas” cookies, squares, cakes, and tarts, and especially when Christians were secure in celebrating “Christmas” as it should be. How have we allowed Christmas to be removed of its true meaning, the coming of the Christ child? Something to think about.

Double-Drizzle Pecan Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1-1/4 cups chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup icing sugar

1 square (1-ounce) semisweet chocolate

1 tbsp. butter

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, roll in pecans. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets; flatten slightly. Bake at 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar and cream to a boil. Remove from heat; whisk in icing sugar. Immediately drizzle over cookies.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.

Raspberry Coconut

Bars

1-2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup melted butter

2-2/3 cups flaked coconut

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 cup seedless raspberry preserves (jam)

1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup white chips

In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and butter. Press into 13 by 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with coconut; drizzle with milk. Bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire rack.

Spread jam over crust. Sprinkle with walnuts. In microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Drizzle over walnuts. Repeat with vanilla chips. Cut into bars. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist.

 

 

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