Christmas cookies. A holiday tradition that leaves one with sticky fingers, excess energy and a bellyache. They take over our diets for several weeks and ruin our figures. And the dishes – oh the dishes! – in your kitchen sink. Not until the sugar high has faded and you’re back to your right self can you conquer those! What is it about this custom that we love?

Well sure, there’s the sugar and we’re all little addicts, aren’t we? We live for that rush of endorphin! It is our legal chemical high. And who wouldn’t love that? But there’s another thing we’re addicted to, I say. Scent is a time machine and we love to be transported back. Nutmeg, cinnamon, melted butter, baking bread, our mother’s (or father’s) cooking.

This year, I have married my true love and we are living with his family, which carries the added interest of celebrating two holidays. Not only Christmas, but also Chanukah. So we light candles and sing prayers but we also…bake cookies. Linda and I must have made ten different cookies and all but one (the lemon drops, blech…) came out just wonderfully. Here are only a few.

RugelachRugelach. An Eastern European pastry traditionally filled with things like cinnamon sugar, walnuts and raisins. We filled ours with Nutella and raspberry preserves (separately, not together). 


Raspberry Oat Bars. Everyone’s favorite. 


Pecan Tassies. The dough is made with Mascarpone cheese. Although I keep having to rediscover how much I dislike the taste of Mascarpone. If I make these again, I might try to use cream cheese instead. 

And that is all for this week. Enjoy your families. Hug them close. They are precious and greater than gold. May you keep your priorities straight this week and I will try to do the same. Let us all try to be our best.

15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. —-Ephesians 5: 15-17