Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas! A Guest Post by Sheila Roberts

Merry Christmas, My Lovelies!  I hope you're having the best Christmas ever!

Today I have a little surprise as part of the 2017 Winter Reads Blog Tour hosted by TLC Book Tours.  While I'm away soaking up some sun, Shelia Roberts agreed to write today's guest post.


Use this link for more information


DECKING THE HALLS
a holiday guest post by bestselling author Sheila Roberts

Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love dressing my house up for the occasion. Maybe that’s because my mom was so big on making everything pretty and festive. We had special candles that came out every year, an adorable centerpiece she’d made for the dining room table that featured a waving, stuffed Santa going down a brick chimney. She also made a smiling Santa face out of Styrofoam that I still hang on my wall this year. He’s starting to show his age, but hey, so am I. I display him proudly. There was also a large stocking with a stuffed clown and a Styrofoam candy cane sticking out that got hung every year. It had the name Tim hand embroidered on it. That, too goes up. I still remember my kids asking, “Who’s Tim?” Tiny Tim guys! Come on. You watched A Christmas Carol. Of course, the final thing of beauty was the Christmas tree, a glorious one with big, fat colored bulbs and shiny tinsel. That tree was a thing of wonder to me as a little girl, gorgeous all lit up at night and intriguing with all those presents under it. Then, Christmas morning, once Santa had come and added to the treasures, it was breathtaking.

My mom set the bar high and I’ve always tried to keep the tradition of holiday lovely going although I don’t have her gift of style. Still, we would put up a tree every year, and decorating it together was a family tradition. 

But then there came the year we decided to build our dream house and live happily ever after debt free. We moved into what had been our summer cabin and started making plans to transform it into a real house. It was a long winter, living in six hundred square feet of drafty bulging with the contents of a three-bedroom house. The freezer was in my son’s room. My daughter’s room was piled with boxes. My husband and I slept on the couch and an army cot in the postage stamp sized living room.
There was no place for a Christmas tree. So, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea. I decided to pile our presents on the little card table where we were eating and dub it the Christmas table. No one was pleased with this decision. Presents were not the same if they weren’t sitting under a tree!

The kids are now grown but the Christmas table lives on in infamy. I tried to make it pretty. Tried to make it cool. I failed. I’m teased about it to this day.

In my new release Christmas in Icicle Falls, the final book in my Life in Icicle Falls series, Muriel Sterling finds herself with a Christmas Tree dilemma. No, she’s not dealing with a Christmas table, but she does find herself stuck with a very mangy tree that had looked beautiful when she ordered it on line. What to do? Return it? Take it to the dump? Muriel decides to give the little tree a chance and turns it into a thing of beauty. Muriel’s ugly tree project turns out to be an inspiration for her and her friends as they decide to apply her ugly tree principle to some of the people in their lives – people whose potential they’ve overlooked, people who frustrate and irritate them, people who are the human equivalent of an ugly tree. 

As I wrote this story I realized that I can take that same positive attitude in my own life. So, this season, I’m vowing to look for the good in everyone and to avoid displaying ugly tree moments myself. And, even though the kids have moved out, I’m still going to put up a tree. No Christmas tables around here because they’ll all be back Christmas Day. I wouldn’t dare give them only a Christmas table.




About Christmas in Icicle Falls: Join USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts this Christmas as she returns for the final installment in her treasured Icicle Falls series

When Muriel Sterling released her new book, A Guide to Happy Holidays, she felt like the queen of Christmas. She’s thrilled when the new tree she ordered online arrives and is eager to show it off—until she gets it out of the box and realizes it’s a mangy dud. But rather than give up on the ugly tree, Muriel decides to make a project out of it. As she pretties up her tree, she realizes there’s a lesson to be learned: everything and everyone has potential. Maybe even her old friend Arnie, who’s loved her for years. Except she’s not the only one seeing Arnie’s potential…

Meanwhile, Muriel’s ugly-tree project has also inspired her friends. Sienna Moreno is trying to bring out the best in the grouchy man next door, who hates noise, hates kids and hates his new neighbors. And while Olivia Claussen would love to send her obnoxious new daughter-in-law packing, she’s adjusting her attitude and trying to discover what her son sees in the girl. If these women can learn to see the beauty in the “ugly trees” in their lives, perhaps this might turn out to be the happiest holiday yet.



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About Sheila Roberts: Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have been published in several languages. Her book, Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009. Her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her novel, The Nine Lives of Christmas, was made into a movie for Hallmark . You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (http://www.sheilasplace.com).



Thanks so much for your thoughtful post, Sheila!  I watched The Nine Lives of Christmas on the Hallmark Channel this season.  It was fun!  You may read my review of Christmas in Icicle Falls by following THIS LINK.

Enjoy the rest of your holidays.  I'll be back at the beginning of the new year!


Until next time...

Merry Christmas!
Ricki Jill



PS:  Here are more links for the tour below:

TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for Winter Holiday Traditions (+ reads!) from Harlequin:

Monday, December 4thSatisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Linda Lael Miller guest post
Wednesday, December 6thThe Romance Dish – Tawny Weber guest post
Friday, December 8thBooks and Spoons – Delores Fossen guest post, “Candy Cane Memories”
Monday, December 11thMoonlight Rendezvous – Maisey Yates guest post
Wednesday, December 13thFrom the TBR Pile – Brenda Jackson guest post, “New Year, New Me!”
Friday, December 15thCrystal Blogs Books – Lynda Aicher guest post, “Cookies! Cookies! Cookies!”
Monday, December 18thReading Reality – Lori Foster guest post, “Lori Foster’s Own Family Holiday Traditions”
Tuesday, December 19thRomancing the Book – excerpt from Can’t Let Go by Gena Showalter
Wednesday, December 20thNovel Gossip – B. J. Daniels guest post
Friday, December 22ndThe Sassy Bookster – RaeAnne Thayne guest post
Monday, December 25thThe Sketchy Reader – Sheila Roberts guest post, “Decking the Halls”
Wednesday, December 27thRomantic Reads and Such – Julie Moffett guest post, “Make 2018 the Year of You”
Friday, December 29thBooks a la Mode – Sarah Morgan excerpt

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Fourth Sunday of Advent


Week Four
Love


1 John 4:10-16

10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.


Until next time...

Merry Christmas, My Dear, Sweet Lovelies!
With much love and wishes for a Blessed Christmas and a Healthy 2018,
Ricki Jill



Friday, December 22, 2017

Literary Friday: Christmas in Icicle Falls


Olivia's Eggnog Muffins from Christmas in Icicle Falls


Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  This is the last Literary Friday of 2017, and I thought I'd end the year with another fun Christmas read, Christmas in Icicle Falls by Sheila Roberts.  This is the last installment of a very long series, and although there are many characters, it truly reads as a stand alone book.  I liked that there are three distinct narratives with a little overlap; this helped me keep the characters straight. 


According to Goodreads:

When Muriel Sterling released her new book, A Guide to Happy Holidays, she felt like the queen of Christmas. She's thrilled when the new tree she ordered online arrives and is eager to show it off--until she gets it out of the box and realizes it's a mangy dud. But rather than give up on the ugly tree, Muriel decides to make a project out of it. As she pretties up her tree, she realizes there's a lesson to be learned: everything and everyone has potential. Maybe even her old friend Arnie, who's loved her for years. Except, she's not the only one seeing Arnie's potential... 

Meanwhile, Muriel's ugly-tree project has also inspired her friends. Sienna Moreno is trying to bring out the best in the grouchy man next door, who hates noise, hates kids and hates his new neighbors. And while Olivia Claussen would love to send her obnoxious new daughter-in-law packing, she's adjusting her attitude and trying to discover what her son sees in the girl. If these women can learn to see the beauty in the "ugly trees" in their lives, perhaps this might turn out to be the happiest holiday yet. 






My Review:

Muriel Sterling, author extraordinaire, has outdone herself with her latest book A Guide to Happy Holidays.  After disappointment in her mail order Christmas tree, she pretties it up and encourages those in her inner circle to embrace the "ugly trees" in their lives and try to see the good in these obnoxious folks.  This is very difficult for Muriel's friend Olivia.  Olivia's new daughter-in-law is not a daughter-in-love...yet.  Sienna, a newcomer to Icicle Falls, has moved next door to the most ornery Scrooge in town.  And surprisingly, Muriel needs to heed her own advice because she's thinking not-very-delightful thoughts about her friend Dot for going on a cruise with her stalwart friend Arnie.  

As much as I enjoyed all three storylines, the one that touched my heart most was Olivia's patience and determination to understand what her son sees in her daughter-in-law Meadow.  Olivia trains Meadow to do certain chores and tasks around their family inn, and she also teaches her how to bake and knit.  I enjoyed Meadow's character: her enthusiasm and love for her new family made me smile.  If you enjoy a well-drawn cast of characters, a beautiful Christmas setting, and three sweet, heart-warming stories, then you'll love Christmas in Icicle Falls.  An added bonus: there are scrumptious recipes featured in the book, including Olivia's Eggnog Muffins.  My daughter and I baked them this week, but we replaced the candied cherries and walnuts with one malted milk ball in the middle of each.  They are delicious!

Please come back on Christmas Day for a special guest post written by the author of Christmas in Icicle Falls, Shelia Roberts.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill





Thursday, December 21, 2017

2017 Blog Wrap-Up


My favorite books I read this year



Happy Thursday, My Lovelies!  Today I want to share with you highlights from the Sketchy Reader in 2017.

First I want to share with you my two most popular posts by a longshot:



This post about our wallpaper stair risers is actually from 2014.  You never know when things will go viral on Pinterest!



The other most popular post was actually a book review, and it is also the highest rated book on Goodreads I read all year:



Congratulations Julie Christine Johnson!



2017 is also the year I changed the focus of my blog, and completely gave my blog a makeover.  Instead of Art @ Home, my blog's title is The Sketchy Reader.  I became an empty nester in August, so I thought it was appropriate to rethink what I want to accomplish and give to my audience.


I started an Etsy Store called The Sketchy Reader where I sell a snail mail letter subscription full of bookish goodness:











I've also continued my art journaling which I share fairly consistently on Instagram, but not as much on the blog.  I'm going to share more next year:















I've also painted a little this year: I'm painting a series of architectural antiques, mainly doorknobs.





Last but not least, it's been a great year of reading for me.  I met my Goodreads 2017 Challenge:



2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Ricki has completed her goal of reading 60 books in 2017!
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Below are my favorite books I read in 2017:



I'd like to thank TLC Book Tours for sending me half of my favorite books this year.  Thanks, Lisa and Trish!  





And my favorite book of 2017
*drumroll, please*



This book was a real gem.  I had heard it was good, but it far exceeded my expectations.  I was sad when I finished it!

You may read a review of The Keeper of Lost Things HERE.




I want to thank you, My Lovelies, for reading my little blog.  Y'all make my day when you visit, leave comments, and email me.  


I only have three more blogposts left in 2017: My last Literary Friday post, a last Advent Sunday post, and a special guest post on Christmas Day.

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill





Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday: Merry and Bright



Happy Wednesday before Christmas, My Lovelies!  This week I read a quick, fun Christmas romance by Debbie Macomber: Merry and Bright.  I highly recommend it if you're looking for a feel-good Christmas story that makes your heart sigh.  Can you hear my heart right now?  It's saying, "le sigh*.....My heart sighs with a French accent for some unknown reason....




Merry Knight is super-busy: she constantly works overtime; helps care for her family as her mother is struggling with MS; and she also helps out with her special needs brother while her dad travels for his job.  Merry is a temp finishing a one-year contract, and the overtime will help pay her college tuition next term.  But unfortunately, work is difficult  because her boss Jason Bright isn't very delightful, and he seems to pick on her constantly.  For example, he reprimands her for eating lunch at her computer.

In the meantime, Merry's friends are dating, marrying, having children, and her family worries that she's working way to hard and needs to date.  Someone.  Anyone.  So her mother Robin and brother Patrick sign her up for an online dating site under an assumed name.  Rather than using her photo, they post the family's golden retriever Bogie as her profile picture. After eliminating a few candidates after their snarky "I've Dated a Dog Before" jokes, Merry is matched with someone named "Jay," and they talk for a long time before deciding to meet in person at a coffee shop.  When Merry approaches the shop, she's stunned that she knows her match.

Can you guess who he is? 

So she does what any sensible girl would do: She runs from the scene!

Read this book for the fun family dynamics, Merry's sweet spirit and love for all things Christmas, and the surprising romance.  This one's a keeper, but then again I've never been disappointed by Debbie Macomber.  Hallmark people:  This one would be perfect for Countdown to Christmas!


Have you read anything fun this week?  If not, you could certainly squeeze this one in between holiday baking, parties, shopping, and wrapping!


Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill







Monday, December 18, 2017

Scandi Christmas



Happy Monday, My Lovelies!  Christmas is only one week from today.  Have you gotten your Christmas craft on yet?  There's still time!



I have!


If not, I have the book for you:  Scandi Christmas by Christiane Bellstedt Myers.  I confess that I've accumulated way to many Christmas craft books over the years, but this one might be my very favorite.  There are over 45 projects and quick ideas for beautiful decorations and gifts inside this little gem.  For 2018, I've decided to begin making the crafts and many of the gifts starting in August because I love the natural simplicity of the projects.





There are so many projects I love in this book like clove scented ornaments, tea light apron (how hygge is that?), and embroidered tea towels.

Let's look inside:


All of the Christmas decoration crafts are beautiful in this book, and the pretty quilted and embroidered stockings are a favorite of mine. 




I love the simplicity of the glitter paper trees.







For those of you who sew, the adorable fabric and ribbon-covered spools attached to a wreath would be pretty in a variety of colors, but I admit that red is my favorite.




I decided to make the felt and button mistletoe wreath.  Instead of placing it on a round willow wreath frame, I used a heart-shaped frame because the mistletoe plant encourages kissing.  :D


This project, one of the most time-intensive in the book, only took me two hours from start to finish.  Keep in mind I made it on a Sunday afternoon, so I had several distractions and disruptions!

Do you like Scandinavian design?  What about for Christmas?  


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill




Sunday, December 17, 2017

Third Sunday of Advent



Week Three 
Joy


Luke 2: 1 - 20

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill



Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Sketchy Reader December Letters Reveal

Happy Saturday!  December's letters were so much fun to write and illustrate.  For December's favorite book I chose the first installment in the Flavia de Luce murder mystery series, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  If you want to start an interesting and fun series for 2018, I highly suggest the Flavia murder mysteries.  Plus, the ninth novel in the series will be released at the end of January.

Here are the letters:


The Indie Next List selection is on the left: The Essex Serpent.  The favorite book is on the right: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.




You can read my review of The Essex Serpent HERE.  






You can read my review of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie HERE.





I've picked my books for January's letters already, and I can't wait to get started on them!

If you want to subscribe to bookishly fun snail mail, or if you love a book nerd, please visit my updated Etsy Shop by following this LINK.  


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill







Friday, December 15, 2017

Literary Friday: The Hygge Holiday




Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  This week I read The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake.  If you're ready to get comfortable for a cozy holiday read, look no further than this sweet book.

Reader's note:  If you've been living under a rock the past several months and you've never seen nor heard the word "hygge" before, it's okay....I'm here to help.  Read my post HERE for a comprehensive explanation!  ;P


According to Goodreads:

It's autumn in Yulethorpe and everyone is gloomy. It's cold, drizzly and the skies are permagrey. The last shop on the high street - an adorable little toy shop - has just shut its doors. Everything is going wrong for Yulethorpe this autumn. Until Clara Kristensen arrives.
Clara is on holiday but she can see the potential in the pretty town, so she rolls up her sleeves and sets to work. Things are looking up until Joe comes to Yulethorpe to find out exactly what is going on with his mother's shop. Joe is Very Busy and Important in the City and very sure that Clara is up to no good. Surely no one would work this hard just for the fun of it?


Can a man who answers emails at 3 a. m. learn to appreciate the slower, happier, hygge things in life - naps, candles, good friends and maybe even falling in love?





My Review:

When Joe's eccentric mother Louisa escapes to Spain for some sunshine and adventure, Clara is serendipitously available to housesit and care for Louisa's ginger cat Roddy and her naughty parrot Lady Caca.  Lady Caca is one of the most humorous characters, screaming famous lines from movies that are surprisingly spot-on, apropos commentary for the humans and their behavior.  But Clara has decided that she wants to do more for Louisa than housesit: She wants to turn her toy store around and make it a magical gathering place for the villagers of Yulethorpe.  She achieves her goal by creating imaginative display windows and refurbishing a large, cozy backroom into something very special.

Unfortunately when Joe catches wind of his mother's holiday and the strange foreign girl taking over his mother's shop, he's skeptical of Clara's motives and moves back to his mother's flat.  Clara is not a stranger to the rat race: She was a commodities trader until she had a wakeup call.  Joe is still working twenty hours a day or more, and is constantly checking his devices.  Clara is determined to win Joe over through the art of hygge, slowly but surely.

Yulethorpe has several colorful characters who make the story funny and exciting.  I love the setting, especially the time of year (Christmas).  This book serves as a sweet reminder to be mindful of nature and our surroundings; make time for all things cozy.  Although hard to translate, hygge is a reason why the Danes are ranked the happiest people on Earth, and there's no better time for hygge than the Christmas season.


Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday: Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery



Happy Wednesday, My Lovelies!  Lately I've been reading a few cozy Christmas books, like today's featured book.

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan is a lovely little Christmas novel.  Sadly, Colgan thinks this will be the final installation in the series, so it will end in a trilogy.  Personally I don't think this is a stand alone book.  But if you've read the first two and are totally invested in Polly, her fiancé Huckle, and their pet puffin Neil, then you will love this Christmas story!


According to Goodreads:

Welcome back to Mount Polbearne! The new book from Top Ten bestseller Jenny Colgan is full of festive joy, warmth and the best hot chocolate you can imagine...

It's Christmas in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne - a time for family, friends and feasting.

Polly Waterford loves running the Little Beach Street Bakery. She's at her happiest when she's creating delicious treats and the festive season always inspires her to bake and knead something extra special for the village residents. In fact, the only thing she loves more than her bakery is curling up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Huckle. She's determined that this Christmas is going to be their best one yet, but life doesn't always work out as planned...


When Polly's best friend Kerensa turns up with a secret that threatens the life Polly and Huckle have built together, the future begins to look uncertain. And then a face from Polly's past reappears and things become even more complicated. Polly can usually find solace in baking but she has a feeling that's not going to be enough this time. Can she get things back on track so that everyone has a merry Christmas?


My Review:

I entertain my family with a happy dance whenever I hear that a Jenny Colgan book is about to be released.  *squee*  I truly love her voice.  I get her humor, and I know that we'd be fast friends should we ever meet.

This installation of the series takes us back to Mount Polbearne, Cornwall, a tidal island that can be reached at low tide via a road.  Polly and Huckle live in a lighthouse (how romantic is that?), and now that the tourists are gone for the winter, Polly has closed her second summertime sandwich business and is focusing on the bakery.  She and Huckle are settling in for another cold winter in the lighthouse, and both hope for a quiet Christmas.

But there's drama and lots of it:  drama with Polly and Huckle's best friends Rueben and Kerensa, and drama with an unexpected phone call about Polly's estranged father.  Plus, Polly is keeping a secret from Huckle, and it's making her a nervous wreck.  On top of all this drama, the local Puffin Sanctuary wants to use Neil as a sort of mascot to help raise funding to keep it open.  And have I mentioned how Samantha has volunteered Polly to host a booth at the Christmas Fair and donate her proceeds to the Polbearne School Development Fund?

So much for a quiet, peaceful Christmas...

The good news: things are in the works behind the scenes that come together for the most unexpectedly happy ending *ever*.  If you want to start a trilogy for Christmas and the new year, I highly recommend this one.  Read the first two because the relationships and situations change from book to book.

BONUS:  Each book has fun and delicious recipes in the back.  I've tried most of them, and they do not disappoint.  Plus they are funny to read...Jenny Colgan's recipes make me giggle!

You can read my review of Little Beach Street Bakery HERE and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery HERE.  


Linking to:  Quick Lit @ Modern Mrs. Darcy.


Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill






Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Craft: Christmas Tag Journals




Hello, My Lovelies!  Today I want to share with you these pretty Christmas tag journals. 

I first learned how to make these via a workshop taught by Judith Cassel-Mamet.

Tag journals are fun because they are portable and look great hanging on the wall of your studio.  My girls love them!

Let's take a look at the Christmas version:



These are made with chip board luggage tags, card stock luggage tags, and other Christmas tags and ephemera.



Tag #1




The front of the tags are decorative, and the backs are for writing memories or gluing more ephemera, like ticket stubs for your favorite holiday movie.
I love the Christmas ornament tag with the bird's nest.




Tag #2








This is what the backs of the tags look like.  Some of them are blank, and some have little prompts, like the "Our Traditions" prompt, above.



I'd like to make another one for favorite Christmas cozy mysteries, and another one for favorite Hallmark Christmas movies.  


What holiday crafts have you made so far this year?


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill



Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Cookie Round-up: My Six Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes




Happy Monday, My Lovelies!  Can you believe that Christmas is only two weeks from today?  You're probably totally up to your elbows in Christmas baking right now, so I thought I'd help by putting together this little post of my six favorite Christmas cookie recipes.

Please click on the link below each photo to see the recipe.





This is by far our family's favorite cookie.




A perennial Southern favorite, you'll see these babies at many Southern Christmas parties.




The perfect combination of crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside




Oh, yes...there is malted milk in these little babies, that combined with the chocolate make these my all-time favorite Christmas cookie.




a traditional Christmas cookie in Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands




These are meringue cookies, so they are as light as they are chocolaty!


Many of these recipes are from last year's advent calendar:



I bought mine at Anthropologie.



Lately I've been baking these babies:




Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies with White Chocolate Chips


This recipe is from the McCormick website.  I added the white chocolate chips because I saw something similar on Pinterest.

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Red Food Color
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup white chocolate chips

Procedure:

Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, food color and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.  Stir in white chocolate chips.  Refrigerate 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in confectioners’ sugar mixture to completely coat. Place 2 inches apart onto baking sheets sprayed with no stick cooking spray.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are puffed. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.





Have you been baking Christmas Cookies this holiday season?  What kind have you baked?


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill