|It does look like fun though . . .|
Besides, if you are going to roast anything, it had better be marshmallows. And then smash it in between chocolate and graham crackers. Mmmmmm . . . another Christmas memory.
But the cookies. Yes, this is the month for Christmas desserts full of butter and sugar and icing. Love it! But if you're in the McNellis family, you have never left that infamous plate of cookies for Santa. Poor Santa. We eat all the cookies before he arrives. But in reality, we have never celebrated Santa, or done lists, or hung our stockings to be stuffed and opened in the morning. In our stack of Christmas books, we have the ones titled Is Santa For Real? and The Real Story of Saint Nicholas. Oh, and let's not forget one of my all time favorite Christmas DVDs - the VeggieTales Saint Nicholas. I love that one. Not only does it tell the true story veggie style, but it has the greatest lines ever. If you have not watched it, this Christmas is the time too. You will not regret it.
I was thinking about this since we celebrated Christmas early this weekend. My Mimi made it a priority to honor our earthly parents and our heavenly father as well while exchanging gifts. I was a bit disappointed in myself for wanting to focus more on the presents. Isn't that sad? The definition of gift is something of value given without the expectation of the favor being returned. That is not the image that comes to mind when I think of Christmas gifts. I shouldn't think of the presents first - and then Jesus. Yet it is His birth and eventual resurrection that gives me the joy I feel this time of year. If we took away presents, would we look forward to it the same way?
Bethlehem Revisited was also this weekend. Hannah graciously invited me and it was a blast working and talking . . . and talking some more . . . and some more:) We worked in the marketplace, which is about half way through. Bethlehem Revisited doesn't end with Jesus' birth, though. That's because the story really ends at the empty grave. The miracle was inside the tomb, which signified death, and continues today through us, who are free from death because of that miracle.
Now, back to the cookies. These really aren't "Christmas" cookies per say, but they remind me of the real surprise being on the inside. Meet the Cinnamon Sugar Cream Cheese Surprise Cookies. Or just CSCCSC. :)
1-1/ cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons oil
4 teaspoons powdered sugar
4 oz cream cheese
Mix the first five ingredients. Add in wet ingredients and stir until just mixed. Heat cream cheese for 30 seconds and then beat with powdered sugar. Roll dough into 12-14 circles and drop a spoonful of cream cheese mixture in the center. Roll up the sides (don't worry if it isn't pretty) Roll in cinnamon and sugar and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 12 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.
Note: Don't worry if it is a little dry. However, if you need to, add a little more milk and/or oil. It thought it was too dry after making one cookie and added about a tablespoon more of each. When they were done, the first one was actually my favorite because the cookie part was more like shortbread with cream cheese inside. The other ones were more gooey, but still yummy. You can omit the filling for a more snickerdoodle type cookie.
Sorry I have no pictures. This only makes a dozen (I got 14) and my family ate the whole thing at dinner.