Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Homemade Gift Ideas Part 4 & Giveaway!

Another great idea for your Christmas gift basket is cookies! Baking cookies is a Christmas tradition in most homes. Some of my favorites are...

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies...these are a favorite around here! They taste like a Girl Scout Thin Mint to me! Some how I don't feel as guilty when I eat 10 of mine! Here's how to make them!

2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup softened butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I use a 50/50 mix of fresh milled hard and soft wheat to give me an all purpose flour)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped Andes mints

1. Cream first 3 ingredients.
2. Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl then add to wet ingredients and mix well.
3. Spoon on to a greased (I use parchment paper) cookie sheet. Bake 7-12 minutes at 350*, until cookies are just done, but not well-done. Over cooking will make them dry and hard. Cookies will flatten as they cool. Leave on pan for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

Another one of my favorites is Fruit Cake Cookies. I don't know about you, but I think fruit cake gets a bad wrap. All the terrible stories I'd heard about fruit cake kept me from ever trying it...that is until I tasted my mother-n-law's fruit cake cookies! The first time I tried them, my thought was I'd give it a try since it was bite sized and easy to throw out if I didn't like it! Now, I make them every year and they are a hit everywhere I take them.

1 cup softened butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3 cups sifted flour (I don't sift because my flour is fresh milled. I use 3 1/2 cups of a 50/50 mixture of soft and hard wheat to give me an all purpose flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs well beaten
1/4 cup sherry wine
1/4 evaporated milk
1 lb. of each, white raisins and dates
8 oz. of each, chopped green and red candied cherries
16 oz. chopped candied pineapple
5 cups of nuts (I use a mixture of walnuts and pecans)

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Stir in eggs.
3. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to cream mixture.
4. In a cup, mix sherry and milk and add alternately with fruit and nut mixture.
5. Drop cookies in balls on a parchment paper lined pan and bake at 300* for 20 minutes.

This next one is a new favorite around our house! I made this recipe for the first time the other day with the help of my niece Hannah...Thank you, Hannah! I always called these Snowballs when I was growing up, but they are also know as Pecan Sandies. Again, I went to my mother-n-law who has an indefinite stash of recipes and this one is an old recipe she clipped out of the paper many years ago!

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (Again, I used the 50/50 soft and hard wheat mixture, but add an extra 1/2 cup to any recipe you are converting)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
Confectioners' sugar to roll warm balls in after baking.

1. Cream butter; add sugar and continue; add egg and vanilla and continue mixing.
2. Mix dry ingredients and gradually add to wet mixture.
3. Add pecans and mix.
4. Shape dough into balls and bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes or lightly browned.
5. Roll in confectioners' sugar while still warm and then again when cool.

Since Christmas is the season of giving, I thought this would be the perfect time to do my first giveaway! Did you see the cards I posted yesterday? Well, I'm giving those 5 plus 7 more away...that equals 12 cards for Christmas! Below is a photo of the additional 7 you'll receive! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post (please make sure your email or blog link is in the post so I can contact the winner). Giveaway will close this Friday, December 16th at midnight! Check back on Saturday to find out who the winner is! Merry Christmas and Thank you for visiting my blog!

This post is linked to the Raising Homemaker's Wednesday Homemaking Link-up!


  1. Oooooo - I want some of your cards! :o) Those that you posted yesterday were beautiful! Thanks for all those great ideas by the way. I can't let myself bake those chocolate cookies around here anymore unless we're having company or taking most of them somewhere. I can't stay out of them. I'm attributing the extra 10 lbs I've been carrying around to those stinkin' (REALLY GOOD) cookies!

  2. Hello,

    I found your blog on Raising Homemakers; I posted a link, too.

    What a nice giveaway. I also am having my first ever giveaway…Merry Christmas Giveaway…in case you care so enter – all you need to do is comment.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Found you via holyspirit led homeschooling! Your cards are gorgeous!

  4. Opps forgot to leave email so I could win;)