It’s holiday time! This week our Playgroup Captains wanted to share some of their favorite holiday traditions, new and old.
Some favorite Christmas traditions that I had growing up were going to our Christmas Candlelight service at our church and opening new pajamas on Christmas Eve. I’ve enjoyed carrying on the same traditions with my husband and our two daughters the past few years, but I also look forward to making new memories and traditions as our girls get older.
I love decorating for Christmas. Opening the boxes is almost like Christmas early with all the decorations and ornaments you haven’t seen for a year. I also love all the baking and food that comes with the season. Growing up I would help my mom and grandparents in the kitchen making cookies and cooking Christmas dinner, and now I love using some of those recipes with my own family! Also, my grandma gave us Advent calendars every year which was the only time we could have chocolate before breakfast! She sent one to Lilyanna who still doesn’t quite get it, but mom and dad are happy to help her with the chocolate.
Favorite Christmas tradition we have is decorating the tree & listening to Christmas music. Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, which we used to do growing up. Some new family traditions we’ve started with the girls are matching family pajamas, driving around to see Christmas lights, and baking cookies together.
Speaking of cookies, this week seems like a good week for baking! Here’s a delicious recipe to get you started. Make dough early and then after it refrigerates, get the kids involved in rolling out the candy canes like playdough and embrace their creativity.
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Red food coloring gel
2 tablespoons finely crushed peppermint candies
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
In a large bowl, beat together butter, both sugars, both extracts, and egg on low, just until combined. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.
Divide dough in half, making sure you have 2 equal portions. Add red food coloring gel to half of the dough until the desired color is reached. Wrap each portion of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 3-4 hours.
In a small bowl, combine peppermint candy and 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make a candy cane cookie, take 1 level teaspoon of each dough. Roll each teaspoon into a 5″ rope (use a ruler, if necessary). Place one red and one white rope next to each other and begin twisting the two colors together, while pressing ends together so that they won’t unravel.
Place on an ungreased baking sheet, curving the top to one side to form the look of a candy cane. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately sprinkle cookies with the sugar/peppermint mixture. Movie cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
This recipe adapted from the Betty Crocker Original Candy Cane Cookie recipe