Cookies · family · Holiday

Wreathed in holiday tradition

When I was young we would receive a 5# coffee can from my grandparents each Christmas.  The top of the can held toffee, always a favorite because it had lots of sugar and chocolate on top.  Then came the layer of waxed paper and at the bottom, stark white wreaths of shortbready cookies, which my father loved, but which the kids pretty much ignored.

In my high school years, I figured out I liked the bottom of the can better.  The toffee was a little too crunchy, but the cookies were really actually very good! A post on my new favorite toffee can be found here.
Newly married, I began making them myself for our Christmas cookie plate.  I made them the way they had been received – plain white.

Fast forward to “almost Matt.”  I was extremely pregnant, my husband was away with a musical obligation and it was snowing.  I had made arrangements with my friend Fran to do these cookies together, but as the snow continued to fall, I became more than a tad bit concerned with driving.  Lovely Fran sent her husband to pick me up so we could bake together anyway.

As we were putting the cookies together, she suggested we roll some in green sugar and some in red.  It seemed blasphemous, but they came out lovely and the tradition stuck.  They are a lovely nod to family and friends, each with their own contribution.It is also now a tradition that every year Fran and I wonder that it seems only yesterday we were making these right before Matt was born.

Matt was over briefly last night, I had the dough ready and asked if he wanted to roll some out.  “Hecks yes!” was the immediate answer.  When the plastic wrap came off the bowl where the dough had chilled, he remarked that the smell should be bottled; it was the smell of Christmas.

Chicago Kisses

from Wilma Ohlsen
  • 1 pound unsalted butter – no substitutions
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 hardboiled egg yolks
  • 4 additional eggs
  • 8 cups flour

Cream butter, sugar and egg yolks.

Add eggs, one at a time, creaming well in between.  Add flour and mix well.  Chill

Form “worms” with a small amount of dough, overlapping ends to form wreaths.  Dredge in granulated sugar.  Bake about 10 min at 400º.

The original was dredged in granulated sugar only, but our holiday tradition is to mix red sugar into one bowl and green into another so the wreaths are more holiday color themed.

Strange as it may seem, being basically a shortbread, I like to freeze these and eat them frozen.

The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the pine, the fir and the cypress together to adorn the place of my sanctuary; and I will glorify the place of my feet.  ~ Isaiah 60:13
Centuries ago, long before the birth of Christ, the use of evergreen branches were always a part of festive processions. The evergreen wreath has always been an emblem of eternal life and God’s faithfulness to all humanity. Although cold winter kills most plants, the evergreen remains, through it all, the symbol of life. For us, today, it becomes the joyous, happy symbol of life eternal in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The wreaths that are hung on the front doors and inside our sanctuary also have symbolic significance, Their endless circle reminds us of the endless love of God, and their green color, which is evergreen, reminds us of the new life that God gives to us will never die. ~ Courtesy of Moore’s Chapel


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