Christmas is a time for giving. Christmas is about spending time with loved ones. Christmas is also about cookies! Christmas cookies that is.. The big Christmas Cooke Exchange happens every year in my family. And boy is it fun. My daughter-in-law and family used to bake dozens of thumbprint cookies and then give them away. These pictures are the end result.  Two dozen stayed in the house and all the tweedles ate them. Not me. I’m watching the waistline.

That was last Christmas. This Christmas our two grandsons, Ben and Stephen, have moved out of the Paul and Joanne Ingis household. Ben is married to Stephanie and living in New Hampshire. Ben is working as an engineer inventing stuff and Stephanie is a nurse at a local hospital making the patients happy and well. Stephen is away at college in Cedarville, Ohio. He’ll be home the weekend coming up. I’m hoping he’ll do the Christmas cookie big bake. Even if he does give  most of them away, there’ll always be a few for the family. As I’m writing this, thoughts of baking them are floating in my head. I was always the baker, then the boys took over. I know, my toe surgery will keep me off my feet, but do I have to stand to bake? I can sit, and delegate, right? I’m going to try tomorrow. If no one hollers at me.

Family favorite Thumbprint Cookies

Family favorite Thumbprint Cookies (Recipe below)

Nothing like a cookie to make life joyous, especially at Christmas time.img_5259

Cookie tray Thumbprint cookies & Meringue

Cookie tray Thumbprint cookies & Meringue cookies

Thumbprint Cookies: Gail Ingis’s recipe
½ pound butter (2 sticks) or 1 cup Crisco
2 egg yolks
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1teaspoon vanilla
1 bag of walnut meal (at Trader Joe’s) or ground walnuts
Mix ingredients (EXCEPT THE EGG WHITE)

Roll into approximately ½” balls then roll into the walnuts, place on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 2 minutes, depress center with thumb, then finish baking approximately 12 minutes for larger cookie or 5-8 minutes for smaller cookie. If you like crispy, bake until edges are slightly browned. When cool, fill depressed center with the icing mixture: a combination of slightly warm water, vegetable food coloring and confectioners sugar to an almost pasty consistency. (Color for holidays if desired).

Enjoy! And Merry Christmas Cooking Eating!

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in the spring 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

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