Shannon here: Heather Greer shares her love for baking with 2 Christmas cookie recipes.Head’s up, this novella collection is one of my book babies. It’s up for preorder and releases Sept 27th. Comment or answer the question in any post dated Sept 23rd – Oct 4th to enter the drawing for a copy of Love in Any Season which includes her novella, Sugar and Spice. Also, follow the fun scavenger hunt for another chance to win (Ends Oct 4th). Deadline for my blog giveaway: Oct 15th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Heather:
If I’m writing the story, someone at some point will bake something or at the very least share a favorite sweet. Baking is right up there with writing in the list of my loves, behind God, my husband, and my family.
When Amy Anguish and I began brainstorming for the Love in Any Season novella collection, I didn’t have a clue I’d end up with winter. And while Christmas is my favorite part of the season, I knew winter provided the perfect opportunity to bring baking back into the story. One of my favorite ways to celebrate Christmas is baking dozens and dozens of cookies and candies to give away. I needed to write the story of a baker who loves to make Christmas cookies.
Then again, what if she had to bake cookies she didn’t like? That’s how Emmie Becker ended up in the Bavarian-inspired town of New Kuchenbrünn, Missouri during the 150th Gingerbread Festival. With a host of other cookies calling her name, Emmie is charged with baking all the gingerbread the town needs for the festival. This isn’t good news for Emmie, who despises gingerbread.
While I’ve rarely met a cookie I didn’t like, I have to admit, gingerbread is not my favorite. It is traditional, though. And I have been known to add it to my Christmas cookie platters. I’m including the recipe I use below. Try it and let me know what you think.
Gingerbread isn’t my husband’s favorite either. He prefers jam thumbprint cookies. Seedless blackberry or raspberry jam looks festive on a Christmas cookie plate, but those aren’t the flavors he prefers. Given his preference, Andy chooses peach jam to fill the cookies.
I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but peach jam is almost the same color as the cookie base. It doesn’t stand out well or look as pretty when mixed in with all the other Christmas cookies. It’s kind of blah, and I don’t like blah on my cookie trays.
But they’re my husband’s favorite. If making the cookies I think are less visually appealing is a way I can show him I love him and thought of him as I baked, I’ll be sure to add peach jam to my shopping list every Christmas. I’ve included that recipe too, and I’d love to know your favorite jam flavor to use.
What is your favorite Christmas cookie? Have you ever made a recipe because of one you read about in a book?
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar ½ cup butter, softened
½ cup light molasses 2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon, ground ½ tsp ginger, ground
½ tsp nutmeg, ground
Directions: Mix brown sugar, butter, and molasses in a large bowl on medium speed until well mixed. In small bowl mix flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add to butter mixture and beat on slow speed until well-mixed. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
Heat oven to 375°. Roll out half the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/16 inch thickness. Cut using 2-2 ½ inch cookie cutters and place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 5 to 7 minutes. Cool.
If desired, use royal icing and candies to decorate the cookies. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.
Holiday Thumbprint Cookies
2 eggs yolks 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla 1/8 teaspoon salt
Peach jam (or other seedless jam)
Heat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients in large bowl at low speed, until dough forms. Shape dough into one-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Using the back of a measuring spoon, make an indention in the center of each cookie. Bake for 8 minutes. Take cookies from oven and fill the centers with filling. You may need to use the measuring spoon to remake the indentations. Continue baking 6-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
Question for Readers: What is your favorite Christmas cookie? Do you enjoy baking? Or would you rather someone else do the baking?
About Heather: Heather Greer is a preacher’s kid and pastor’s wife who loves using her passion for reading and writing to encourage and challenge others in their faith. Whether writing or speaking, Heather’s desire to help believers grow spiritually shines through.
An avid reader of Christian fiction, Heather also reviews books on her website. Her love of God and story flow into the devotional videos she shares on her YouTube channel and the ones she shares with her writing buddies about all things reading and writing on the Once Upon A Page channel on YouTube. Learn more & connect:
About the Novella Collection – Love in Any Season:
Small-town main streets are the perfect place for seasonal festivals, cute mom and pop shops, and a feeling of family shared between locals. They’re a place for friends and family to come together to celebrate what makes their town unique and give everyone involved a feeling of belonging.
But sometimes the festivities don’t hold the same charm for shop owners involved in the events. Personal or professional issues can cause otherwise fun celebrations to symbolize seasons of added stress.
Can the hope of spring bring to life a love for the Dogwood Festival? Will the Watermelon Festival usher in a sense of carefree fun? Is there a possibility for fall’s Best Fest to provide direction? Or for the charm of winter’s Gingerbread Festival to sweeten hurtful memories from the past?
Come take a walk down Main Street, enjoy some fair food, and maybe even find romance in…Love in Any Season.
About Heather’s novella – Sugar and Spice:
Emeline Becker, owner of Sugar and Spice Bakery, loves New Kuchenbrünn, except for the gingerbread. As the only bakery, she supplies the annual Gingerbread Festival with the one treat she can’t stand. It’s gingerbread everywhere.
Things get worse when Ryker Lehmann is hired as the festival photographer. He was her secret teen crush, her sister’s boyfriend, and witness to her worst humiliation. Plus, he broke her sister’s heart and bruised hers when he left town after graduation. Now, he’s back in town, determined to fix their friendship before the festival ends.
With gingerbread and Ryker together, can Emmie make it through the festival with her mind and heart intact?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Worried you won’t win? Interested in Heather’s other titles?
Get your copy/copies now!
One last thing before I go! Join the Love in Any Season Social Media Scavenger Hunt. Collect all 15 clues to complete the phrase. Submit the phrase to enter the drawing. Clue #6 is “IS”. If you’ve missed a clue, check out my website at www.heathergreer.com where an updated list of clue links and the link to entry submission can be found. Contest ends at 11:59pm on October 4th. Open to US only.
Come back Sept 30th for Amy R. Anguish!