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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Blog Cookie Exchange ~ Come On In!

Welcome to the Blog Cookie Exchange! I hope you brought something good. Oh, look how festive you are! I'm wearing the sweatshirt that only sees the light of day once a year or so, usually at the children's Christmas pageant at church. Here it is:

Christmas sweatshirt

You can probably make your own with a white sweatshirt and a Sharpie!


I like to cook and bake, but at Christmas time, I'm pretty stressed and try to keep it simple. These recipes are not complicated or sophisticated, but they are the ones about which people always ask, "Did you make your ... this year?" Many of my recipes originate with Southern Living Magazine, but then I tweak them. I'm not sure, but I expect that's how these came to be in my repertoire.

Crumbly Cheese Cookies
These probably should not even be called cookies, because they're not sweet, not for dessert. They're more of snack or appetizer.

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (more if you dare)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Beat first six ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended; knead in cereal (it's OK that it gets crushed in this process). Shape into 1" balls and arrange on baking sheets. Press/flatten with a fork.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

Makes 4 dozen.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
I like these because the cookie part is not all that sweet, in contrast to the kiss in the center.


1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups Bisquick
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 13-oz. package Hershey's kisses

Beat condensed milk and peanut butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add Bisquick and vanilla, beating at low speed just until blended.

Shape dough into 1" balls; roll each in sugar. Place on lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 for 11 minutes. Remove from oven, and immediately press a Kiss into the center of each cookie. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.

Makes 3 dozen.


One of our favorite traditions is that of forcing letting LG draw our Christmas card. Here's her first one, done when she was 5.

LG's Christmas Card

I take her drawing to a little copy shop where they reproduce it and supply the envelopes. Of course, most of you are savvy enough to do this all on your computers without involving the copy shop.

Another tradition is the Jesus Cake. It is important to us that LG always know what the holiday is really about, in terms of our faith. On Christmas Eve, we have a birthday cake for Jesus. I bake it in a star-shaped pan (available at craft stores usually) to represent the Star of Bethlehem, and to remind us to keep following Jesus, and to let our lights shine. The cake is chocolate, to represent the darkness of the world that Jesus entered, and the darkness in our hearts. The frosting is white, to represent the light of Jesus, of God's love, bright enough to cover all the darkness. We put red candles in the cake, the red to remind us of Jesus' sacrifice for us, and the candle flame to represent the Holy Spirit. There are three candles on our cake, one for each person in the family.

Favorite Gift this Year

My favorite gift to give this year is this little compact purse mirror, from Red Envelope (www.redenvelope.com).

purse mirror

I like girly gifts, and I like silly little pretty things that people would probably not buy for themselves. I got one of these for a SIL, one for a friend, and three for three of LG's teachers. They are $30 each, engraved with the first name of each recipient. Red Envelope has a free shipping offer right now, and I can't promise anything, but the two times this season I placed an order for these, I had them within three days, even with the engraving!

I could use some advice in this area, too. The three teachers I bought these for are special, above-and-beyond, with extra-curricular stuff, too. I can't really spend that much on all of LG's teachers. I still have four more to buy for. I have heard from teacher friends that they get tons of picture frames, candles and mugs. Personally, I love me some picture frames, candles and mugs, but I guess if you're a teacher you have enough. SO. Any good teacher gift ideas to share?

What Not to Give

A few weeks ago, one of our little friends was selling candy for her school. We ordered 3 boxes of various kinds, planning to include them in our Christmas gift-giving. Well, on Sunday, little friend brought our 3 boxes of candy to church, along with a statement of the monies due her. The candy boxes were stacked in ascending size order, and tied together with a festive ribbon. They looked very appealing, except:

Sh!t ain't right!

This one had a BIG OL' HOLE in it!!!! Some varmint had apparently trespassed against our candy. How do you not see this before you deliver it to your customer? Think we could get away with giving it as a gift and pretending we didn't see? I thought not.

Thank you kindly for coming to the Cookie Exchange. If you're having people in today for holiday partying, let us know, we'll come see you, too! If you want to play, show us or tell us:

Favorite holiday recipes
Special traditions
Favorite gift to give
What you wear when you don your gay apparel :)

39 heads are better than one . . .

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sure that the VBD wasn't the trespassing varmint? Sounds like something he might do after he knocks back a few cups of stolen tea.

I love your tradition of the birthday cake and what each part represents. I'll have to remember that one. And the Sharpie shirt is great too.

I joined the "dorky" party too--stop by for an English toffee bar recipe and traditions in Sharkeyville.

Merry Christmas!

Blogger eclectic said...

I'm going to play in the morning, but I haven't yet. I LOVE your card artist's rendition!! At age 5??? Wowza -- get that girl some art lessons and let her support you in the manner to which you'd like to become accustomed!

Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

LG is very crayon-talented! Watch out or everyone at church will want her to make their cards.
And the Jesus cake sounds good, but could you use, like, french vanilla to represent the darkness of the world instead of chocolate? Chocolate gives me headaches.

I admit, I did my dorky traditions, too - here.

Blogger August95 said...

I love LGs Christmas card. I was moved by your Jesus Cake, wonderful.

I played along. Thanks for the great idea.

Blogger Squirl said...

LG is really talented, that's a great card. You have some wonderful Christmas traditions. I was intrigued by that cheesey cookie recipe. I saw Worcestershire Sauce and thought COOKIES???? Then I went back and properly read that they're not supposed to be sweet or a dessert.

Thanks for getting this going. It's already been fun and I've only been to a few sites.

Blogger Susie said...

sharkey, actually, it turned out the candy seller has her own trespassing varmint at home, a VBD called Copper. I can't wait for some toffee, I'll be over! Thanks for playing!

eclectic, you know, taking that old drawing out (this isn't a photo of the card, it's of the original drawing), I was very impressed, too. But 2001 would have meant age 5. I love the smiles on the critters, and that there's a rabbit in the stable. Who knew?

bucky, that's OK, the darkness of the world is supposed to give you a headache! You're going to offend what's left of my evangelical contingent with the festivities at your place. You know that, don't you? Ah, who am I kidding? They all deserted me when I wrote a post about my ass :(

august95, thanks. I've heard of other ways that people do that cake, too. I'll be over to party with you!

squirl, thank you for playing along and getting the parties started last night :)

Blogger WILLIAM said...

I did not play, but I wanted to say I think this wa a great Idea. I love the shirt.

Blogger _Summer_ said...

I played! IDB, too! I'm late for work!

Blogger Unknown said...

I love the drawing LG did! That's terrific, and the cake, sounds like a yummyful splendid idea.

Tell me, if you drew that saying on a white sweatshirt with a Sharpie, mightn't it make you look a little less stable? I dunno...

Thanks for hosting, Susie! :)

Blogger LadyBug said...

Hmmm...did the candy seller have a little brother or sister? That's an awfully big hole for a varmint. It looks more like something a younger sibling might've done on the way to church.

Having LG do the Christmas card drawing is SUCH a neat idea! You guys are so cool.

I haven't done a cookie exchange post yet, but I'll try to get something up.

Love and hugs to you and yours, Miss Susie Fairchild.

Blogger Nina said...

I so love the Christmas card . . .
I played, and since I drove back straight through to Colorado yesterday . . . 14 1/2 hours. It is a simple post ~ but the best I could do today.

Blogger Nina said...

P.S. I like the shirt . . .

My word verification is :

agnick ~ now if it would have been
stnick that would have been scary.

Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

I'm still waiting to see everyone's gay apparel.

Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

You surely want to know where to send me a dozen chocolate kiss cookies, don't you? You' don't? Rats. How cruel.

Blogger dashababy said...

I played too!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Idea for the teachers - Personalized tree ornaments. Mom used to buy the little picture frame ornaments then put the class picture in there then we'd come up with three funny memories about the teacher and paint them on the back.

Lame, I know, but I was a suck up.

Blogger Candy said...

I played. And I love her card, I always make those peanut butter kiss cookies, I actually made some just a few weeks ago, they rock.

That compact is so shiny and nice it caught Nicks eye instantly, he thought it was some type of chrome car part hah.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing this Susie. I love your blog, but have never posted.
You lg is one special girl! But I'm sure you know that. ;)

I'm commenting to let you know my "rule" on giving gifts to teachers. I had one tell me this one time and I try to stick by it. I only give them gifts that "go away". That way my child isn't adding to the clutter and stuff of the 20 + others she gets every year. This year it's a gift card with some other parents, one year it was a Blockbuster gc, plus some drinks and popcorn. You get the idea....

Merry Christmas to you! It looks like you have some wonderful traditions.

Blogger Susie said...

william, well, thank you for the compliment, but you get no cookies if you didn't play. No one give William any cookies! :P

summer, I saw you hammin' it up over there! You're terrific :)

ck, yea, I probably need to take precautions against looking less stable than I already do :0

ladybug, they say it was a dog. Funny thing is, Jif got it in his head it was a rat. Of course we won't give the candy to anyone, but it's one of Jif's favorite kinds. He's still trying to decide whether to eat it. If it were a rat, he doesn't want to. If it were a dog, he's willing to risk it. ????

nina, I came to your party. No one would ever guess you hadn't spent HOURS preparing for your guests ;)

bucky, I guess Jess has donned some gay apparel; at least on one nipple; although gayness may be in the eye of the beholder. I'll shut up now.

hoss, I'm not cruel. I'll hook you up.

dashababymama, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to your home :)

chchchchia, I like the idea of the funny memories, you little suck-up!

anon, thanks for commenting and for your kind words. Things that go away; I hadn't heard it put that way before. I'll keep that in mind; that's actually easier for the giver. Merry Christmas to you, too!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE that LG draws your Christmas cards. Very cool. And I make those Hershey kiss cookies, too!

Here's my contribution to the exchange!

Blogger MrsDoF said...

This is a great post! LG's picture is so cute, a true artist for so young.

Okay, I have recipe up, with a bit more. A busy day here, and snowy-rainy made it worse.
I'll be writing up some more holiday real cheer later, I promise.

Blogger WILLIAM said...

Hey! I did not do the cookie exchange but I tried to ask Santa for gifts for fellow bloggers.

please can I have a cookie?

Blogger momo said...

Love the idea, Susie! I will be playing along...I'll probally be posting mine closer to the weekend.

Blogger eviluncledave said...

Thanks for the peek into the Fairchild household Christmas. It sounds like your house is very warm that time of year... what with all that baking and all. ;)

As for mine:

It's probably cheating, but I make a mean no-bake cheesecake. I'd give you the recipe, but it's always on the box....

We don't have any special traditions yet... we're never "home" during Christmas. I think we're going to change that next year and stay home and start a few. Hopefully you'll run this again so I can report back.

I think the best present I've given anyone since I stopped making presents (I can't remember when that was, actually) was the Father's Day present we made for my Dad this year. We picked out about 50 pictures I'd taken of my little girl (some of which I'd already sent him by e-mail) and put together a photo album. Putting pictures to the stories I'd tell him helped make up a little for him not being able to see her very often. I mention that because Grandma on my wife's side of the family is getting an album for Christmas for the same reason. Those are the kind of things that I'd like to give (and feel like giving) every year.

On the apparel, well, I'd post a picture but nobody wants to see my Christmas pajamas. Or my Christmas morning hair. We're all safer with the not posting of the pictures. Trust me.

Blogger Unknown said...

Wow! Neat. I want a dozen t-shirts like that one.

Blogger Susie said...

kalki, that was a very fine party at your place, thank you for that :)

mrsDoF, I'm sure you'll be busy breaking in your new stove. Enjoy!

william, alright, alright, have a cookie. Have two, they're small.

momo, oh, good. I'll come and visit :)

eud, box recipes actually tend to work out well, sometimes with a little tweaking to make them your own. I really like your gift ideas. LG's two grandmoms get calendars with her pix every year. I'm sure your Christmas morning hair would be a very popular post.

ssnick, go here, and get them!

Blogger Vajana said...

wow, I am way late today, but I LOVE love this idea so I am posting, it is 10:33 so I am down to the wire but it will still be Wednesday!

Great idea for cards, I have been wanting special traditions of my own, and that's a great one to 'borrow'! :)

Blogger gina said...

Hi! I made it! Are there any cookies left?

As for the candy with the hole in the box, customer service just isn't what it used to be.

I love the happy birthday Jesus cake. And what a creative, clever (and inexpensive) way to create your own Christmas cards. I also liked the t-shirt (although it took me a minute to get the double meaning cause, well, I'm slow.)

Feel free to wander over and read my entry into the party. And thanks for the invite!

Blogger Annejelynn said...

I am soo gunna try making these crumbly cheese "cookies" - I saw cookies and cheese together, and I about melted!

Blogger abcd said...

Thanks for your comments on Sarah's blog. Most of the sister's
visit her blog pretty often. I read it almost daily, again, and again.

The picture of the cookies you posted with the Hershey Kiss. I can tell you Sarah would have eaten around the kiss, and saved that for last. She loved Christmas because of all those great cookies.

We all hope you and your family
have a Merry and Blessed Christmas


Blogger Susie said...

jana, thanks for joining in! Borrow away, that's why I'm sharing :)

gina, thank you for the invite, I enjoyed your party. That gift, wow, that gift will stick with me. What a treasure :)

annejelynn, cookies and cheese are GOOD things, indeed. I'm still picturing your Santa face stocking. Very cute :)

Nikki, then I would eat those cookies just like Sarah, that's what I do, too! I visit Sarah's blog, too, usually not commenting. I am thankful you all are leaving it up. Sarah blogged for a short time, and even though I didn't get to know her as well as I would have liked, I imagine that those few posts capture her spirit, her intelligence, her wonderful humor, well. I know this season will be a tough one. I hope you have moments of feeling merry and blessed, too. You and "the sisters" are in my heart. Glad you stopped in.

Blogger Cat said...

Just thought I'd let you know what an AWESOMELY DELICIOUS idea this cookie exchange thing is! Thank you SO much for thinking of it! Because YUM. Cookies.

Oh, and I played.

Blogger MrsDoF said...

I am loving the blog recipe trading. I have printed out a few which just might become cherished traditions for the future.

Blogger dashababy said...

Susie, I love that shirt! Your cookies look yummy. I'm gonna try the peanut butter kisses.
This was a fun exchange. I have checked out quite a few of everyones recipes and they all did such a great job.
Squirls rum cake looks awesome even tho I don't like rum, I might try it.
And I do have afew ornaments like Buckys. They will give the guests plenty to talk about. Like,,,, maybe which hospital to check me into.

Blogger Froggylady said...

so I'm a day late and possibly a dollar short. But I did play, just didn't have a chance to post it yesterday.

I like the idea of the cake and the symbolism with each part. Very nice.

The word verification gods are punishing my tardiness I have: lhrnmtcm

Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

Dashababy - the rum cake is HEAVENLY. And I say that sincerely as a future resident of hell. ;)

Blogger RedPita said...

Susie, I played but a little late. I loved this idea.

Kat, your not the only one a day late and a dollar short. In fact, we may be on the same wavelength today.

Bucky, I loved your post and linked to it mine. Hope you don't mind.

Mine is right here.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking as a lurker from the UK, please elucidate exactly how much is a cup? Is it a big cup or a little cup? Would a mug do? How do you measure a cup of butter?

Blogger Susie said...

cuckoocat, thanks for playing! Loved those cookies!

mrsDoF, I hope your family likes the new stuff as much as their old favorites :)

dashababymama, I collected a lot of recipes, too. Something about Bucky's ornament that I am strangely drawn to . . . maybe we'll end up in the same nut hut.

kat, welcome, this party can go on for a long time, you're not late. Thanks for playing!

bucky, don't move there; there's no change of seasons, I hear.

ritapita, I'm glad you played! You're good at keeping secrets about the gifts; I love those magnetty things that your sweet boy is getting :)

marcia, welcome. Let's see if I can help: 1 cup=8 ounces and
1 stick of butter here is equal to 1/2 cup, so you need two sticks for a cup. I don't know metric measurements, sorry. I also don't even know if our "sticks" of butter are the same size as yours, but I hope this helps. Happy baking!


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