Snowflake Cookies

3 tablespoons flour

2 1/4 cups rolled oats

1/8 c sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter (not margarine)

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

baking parchment

  1. Mix the flour, oats, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.

  2. Heat the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave until it’s soft and barely runny but not completely melted. Stir it into the dry ingredients.

  3. Beat the egg with the vanilla in a small bowl; stir into the oat mixture.

  4. Place a piece of baking parchment on a large cookie sheet. Drop small spoonfuls of the dough far apart on the cookie sheet (the cookies will spread).

  5. Bake at 375° F (190° C) for 5–7 minutes. Let the cookies sit just until you can get a spatula under them without tearing them, then place them on a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Makes about 5 dozen.

Colorful Christmas Salad

1 package (7.25 ounces/206 g) macaroni and cheese

1 package (10 ounces/284 g) frozen peas

5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

2 medium tomatoes, diced

3/4 cup plain, whipped salad dressing (not mayonnaise)

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

  1. Make the macaroni and cheese according to the package directions. Let cool.

  2. Place the frozen peas in a strainer and rinse under warm water until the ice melts off; drain well.

  3. Put the peas, celery, onion, and tomatoes into a large mixing bowl. Gently mix in the macaroni and cheese and the eggs.

  4. Carefully stir in the salad dressing, salt, and pepper. Cover the bowl; refrigerate one hour.

Pioneer Apple Candy

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup cold applesauce

3/4 cup applesauce

2 cups sugar

1 cup chopped nuts

1 tablespoon vanilla

powdered sugar

  1. Soak the gelatin in 1/2 cup cold applesauce for 10 minutes. In a saucepan, boil the remaining applesauce and sugar for 10 minutes; stir frequently.

  2. Add the gelatin mixture to the saucepan; boil 15 minutes longer, stirring constantly.

  3. Remove from the heat. Mix in the nuts and vanilla, then pour into a slightly greased 8″ x 8″ (20 cm x 20 cm) square pan. Let it set overnight in the refrigerator.

  4. Cut the candy into squares and roll them in powdered sugar.

Red Shell Soup

1 package (12 ounces/340 g) small pasta shells

1 large can (50 ounces/1.42 kg) tomato soup

2 tablespoons margarine

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain well.

  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients over medium heat until heated through.

Candy Cane Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

3 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes

icing (5 teaspoons warm water blended with 3/4 cup powdered sugar)

2–3 (each) red and green gumdrops

  1. In a medium-size bowl, beat the butter or margarine and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and beat until blended.

  2. Stir in the flour, salt, and crushed candy.

  3. Divide the dough into four equal sections. Prepare only one section at a time for baking. Pinch off a piece of dough about one tablespoon in size and roll it into a thin rope about 5″ (13 cm) long. Continue making ropes until the section is used up, then bend them into candy-cane shapes and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat the process until all the dough is used.

  4. Bake at 350° F (175° C) for 8–10 minutes or until firm. Cool on the cookie sheet 1 minute before moving cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

  5. Drizzle a small amount of icing onto each cooled cookie, then garnish with pieces of red and green gumdrops. Set aside until the icing has set. Makes about 6 dozen.

Christmas Cream Puffs

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

Filling and Frosting

1 large package (5.1 ounces/145 g) instant vanilla pudding mix

2 1/2 cups cold milk

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 can (16 ounces/454 g) (about 2 cups homemade) vanilla frosting

red and green food coloring

red and green sprinkles

  1. In a saucepan, bring the butter or margarine and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the flour and salt. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat.

  2. Beat in one egg at a time, making sure each is thoroughly blended in.

  3. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400° F (205° C) for 35–40 minutes or until puffy and golden. Remove them from the oven and immediately cut a small slit in the top of each one to let the steam escape. Cool on a wire rack.

  4. Mix the pudding and milk together in a large bowl.

  5. In another bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar and vanilla, then fold the mixture into the pudding; chill.

  6. When the puffs are cool, cut off their tops and set them aside. Remove and discard the soft inside dough. Spoon the filling into the puffs; replace their tops.

  7. Divide the frosting into two bowls or small pans. Stir red food coloring into one and green into the other. Heat over low heat or in the microwave until thin, but not runny. Spoon it over the puffs, then decorate them with the sprinkles. Store in the refrigerator.

Photos by Welden Andersen