Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Day After Christmas!

     At the beginning of the Holiday season, I decided that I was going to bake up a storm--oreo balls, haystacks, ginger bread cookies, and, most exciting of all, my grandmother's French crackers. French Crackers are very similar to sugar cookies except better. These were my mother's favorite cookies as a child. She would sneak down to the basement to steal a cookie, or two, or three. I do not remember her every baking them for me, but I found them while I was searching for the ginger bread recipe.
     When I made them at the start of Christmas week, Mom nearly cried at her first bite. She was immediately taken back to her childhood in her mother's kitchen. They were gone within the next three days. Glad that I could provide such a memory for my mom, I decided to make them again, this time to send to my grandma and great aunt, with the hope of taking them back to their younger years. Naturally, mom stole one...or two or three cookies before I could pack them away.

Now, I'd like to share this recipe with you to share with your family! Happy Holidays and enjoy!


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of crisco (I use the stick)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in hot water
  • 2 cups of flour
  • Cinnamon sugar or colored sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Mix the sugar and crisco together with your hands.
  3. Mix in the egg yolks--I use a mixer for this step. 
  4. Hand mix in the flour and baking soda solution.
  5. **The dough might seem crumbly, but when you start packing it into a ball, it packs together well. 
  6. Flour your counter, rolling pin, and cookie cutters. 
  7. Split the dough in half (I find that you lose less batter to over-flouring if you split it), and pack one half into a ball.
  8. Roll it out and cut your dough.
  9. Cover the cookies with your choice (color or cinnamon) and bake for five minutes. Don't let it go past the five minutes or they will burn. 
  10. Let cool and enjoy!! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

All We Wanted Was A Cup of Hot Cocoa...

I live in a relatively small, progressively growing town with lots of charming people. There's a small private college here and several public and private high schools within driving distance. However, it seems, nothing is open in this town past ten o'clock...a new discovery of mine.
     My friend and I were driving home from Mannheim Steamroller's concert last night and decided that we were in dire need of a nice cup of hot chocolate...but where to go? By the time we got back into town, it was ten fifteen. We tried Panera: closed. My favorite coffee shop: closed. An ice cream shop: closed. Starbucks: closed. Four places! Basically the only places in this town--CLOSED! Ridiculous! We just wanted a cup of hot chocolate. So I suggested IHop, open 24/7, of that, I was sure. We pull a full circle and drive to IHop, sit down, and look at the beautiful pictures of delicious looking hot chocolate. Our waitress approaches the table, asking for our order, and I think you can finish for us...HOT CHOCOLATE!
      Plot Twist: IHop had JUST run out of hot chocolate. I'm sorry, let me repeat that in plain terms. The only place in this town opened past ten o'clock with the hope of having hot chocolate was OUT OF hot chocolate. Both of us just looked up at the waitress, dumbfounded, ordered water, then broke out into a fit of giggles at the pure irony of the situation. I thought about ordering apple cider, but when your tongue is ready for hot chocolate, apple cider just won't do it.
      As bitter as we are about not every getting that greatly-desired cup of hot cocoa, I kind of loved being at IHop. A friend that I haven't seen since college started sat with me for over an hour just catching up, eating breakfast food at eleven o'clock. We giggled, laughed, got somber, and then laughed again. It was a good night. I love nights like these, especially now that I'm in school. You don't really understand reconnecting until you get to college and you come home to see your high school friend. It's a great, kind of sad, nostalgic feeling. And it's great right now because it's so easy to just pick up where we left off. I don't know if it will be that way come college graduation, but as of right now, it's wonderful. And I'm going to treasure it.
So Merry Christmas! Go make yourself a cup of hot cocoa...or go to IHop with the hope that they aren't out.