Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Caroling...

On Tuesday night, a big group from our church went Christmas caroling!! We've been doing it for several years now and it is just so much fun!! We all bundle up, squish into vans and off we go!! We sing at several different homes and share about 5 Christmas hymns at each home.

When we are done, we return to our church for homemade cookies and hot cider!! I made Gingerbread Men Cookies, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and Cranberry Orange Cookies. To drink, I served Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider. Yum! Two sweet young ladies in our church volunteered to make cookies, too!! They showed up with chocolate peanut butter cookies, brownies, German shortbread and MORE!! We had a feast of cookies!! Wish all of y'all could have been here for the fun evening.

Gingerbread Men
½ cup shortening
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ cup molasses
1 egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
Royal Icing (optional)

In a mixing bowl, beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add next 6 ingredients and beat till combined, scraping bowl. Beat in molasses, egg, and vinegar till combined. Carefully beat in most of the flour with the mixer. By hand, stir in the rest of the flour. When mixed thoroughly, cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough mixture until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and place 1 inch apart on cookie sheet. Baked at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes or until the edges of the cookie turn golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet 1 minute and then transfer to wire cooling rack.

Cool completely before decorating.

This is the recipe for royal icing, but PLEASE decorate however your family wants!! Any kind of icing is good as long as you and your family like it!!

Royal Icing
3 eggs whites
1 pound powdered sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add in powdered sugar. Beat 5 to 7 minutes.

Put icing mixture into a piping bag and decorate your cookies!!!

This dries VERY fast!!! Work quickly.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

3 eggs
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup PLUS 4 tablespoons cooking oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
Sifted powdered sugar

Stir all the ingredients together (except for powdered sugar) and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Shape into 1 inch balls and roll into powdered sugar. Place balls 1 inch apart on cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or till the edges are set and tops are crackled.

Also, I stuck Hershey's Kisses in the middle of each cookie just as they came out of the oven. I LOVE chocoalte, but these Kisses are FILLED WITH CARAMEL!! I LOVE caramel!!!!


Cherish the Home said...

Caroling...How FUN!!

I wanted to stop by and wish you and Mr. U a very Merry Christmas!


Nancy said...

Our Sunday school class carols each year and it is such a blessing to share with the homebound members of our church. Thanks for sharing.

Kelley said...

Sounds like a wonderful time!
Wishing you a very blessed and Merry Christmas!

Kelli said...

What a fun evening you all had!! Your gingerbread boys are so cute and those crinkle cookies look delicious!! I never thought to put caramel kisses (my personal favorite!!!) in the middle! YUM!!!
Wishing you and your family a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Heather Anne said...

Everything looks wonderful - thank you so much for sharing your recipes! The chocolate crinkles looked so yummy with the addition of a 'kiss' that I used a mini kiss on each of our crinkles yesterday! I used my nanny's recipe which is almost the same as yours but uses butter and melted bakers semi-sweet squares.

I love carolling too, but think that the tradition is sort of in need of revival! We have missed so many of our church family's get togethers this year because of the illness that has lingered so in out home - I pray we will not miss Christmas Eve, or I shall feel truely blue!

May the Lord bless your family this Christmastide!
Good News! Great Joy!

Tammy said...

Sounds like so much fun!!!


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