And So It Begins ... Baking Season

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's recipe.

Our baking began this year with some almost-free refrigerated cookie dough from the grocery store, the kind that comes in a tray of little squares and involves absolutely no work but to toss them in the oven. I hate to admit it, but they were quite good.

Anyway, that little cookie treat seems to be the opener on cookie baking season.

Next up were these Cowboy Cookies, toted by my friend Lizzie Norris as "Our family's Christmas Must Have". The recipe can be found in Lizzie's wonderful cookbook, Visions of Sugarplums, A collection of Christmas Cookery, available at for $.99 as a Kindle e-book.

The cookies are peanut butter, chocolate chip, and oatmeal drop cookies. I omitted the chocolate chips because I didn't have any on hand. That change went unnoticed. Kaden called these "the best cookies ever" (this is the first time I've made them, what has he thought of my baking the last 10 years???). The cookies were super simple to make and are very, very good.

Visions of Sugarplums contains a variety of holiday recipes presented in a very traditional, classic feel, everything from drinks and appetizers to entrees and desserts. Many of the recipes are traditional European recipes. Sprinkled throughout the book are wonderful little quotes and personal stories, as well as cooking tips and hints - such as substitutions, measurements, and turkey cooking tips.

In addition to Cowboy Cookies we tried Bruna Bonor, Swedish Brown Beans. The beans are a very different twist on kidney beans, which the children welcomed (we eat a lot of beans and rice, or rice and beans). Half the kids really liked Bruna Bonor, which was about what I expected; the two who didn't love them don't really care for beans at all.

Next on the cooking agenda are Bon-Bon cookies, an almond flavored cookie covered with a sugar glaze and melted chocolate, and Cream Cheese cut-outs.

Please keep Visions of Sugarplums in mind as you plan your holiday menus, it's a sweet cookbook with some very good recipes (and it's only $.99!).

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