Like many families, Christmas at our house includes a decorated tree, poinsettia, manger scene, holiday lights and a jolly old guy dressed in fur-trimmed red. But there’s one tradition that outshines all the rest this time of year for me: baking. It’s not just the delicious cookies or the looks on friends and neighbors faces when you present them with a plate of goodies. It’s the bonding that takes place in the kitchen when my family bakes together.
As a child, my mother did most of the baking, but let my two sisters and me decorate the cookies. Can you say “sugar coated?” Haha! If a little bit of green and red sugar was good, a lot was even better, right? As teens, we took over the kitchen, stirring, decorating and baking while gossiping about boys and dating.
These days, my two (almost grown) children are in charge of Christmas cookies. And it’s a tradition they count on. I get to sit nearby (usually on my computer) while my son and daughter create sweet treats in the kitchen, chatting and renewing their sibling bond as they bake.
Traditions. Doing the expected. Whatever we call it, Christmas baking sure seems to be a terrific way to get the family together. Eating those treats…well, that’s a different tradition, as is working off those after-holiday pounds.
Here’s a recipe we were introduced to a few years ago. Crazy name…crazy ingredients…and one of the crunchiest cookies you’ll ever taste! Hope you enjoy this holiday season and you have lots of fun in the kitchen bonding with loved ones.
Potato Chip Cookies
1 cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup crushed potato chips
¾ cup chopped pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
Colored (or white) sugar for topping
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together. Add crushed potato chips and nuts. Fold in flour. Form into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Slightly wet the bottom of a flat-bottomed drinking glass and then dip in topping sugar (white…or use red/green for Christmas). Press balls of dough flat with tumbler. Bake at 350F for 15-17 minutes or until browned at the edges. (Makes 3 dozen cookies. Recipe can easily be doubled.)