Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 29, 2012

Cookie sales galore for Christmas

FROM STAFF REPORTS
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TRAVERSE CITY — Members of area churches and nonprofit groups are baking up a storm, creating hundreds of variations of holiday cookies and other homemade holiday sweet delights so that you don't have to.

Most will sell cookies by the dozen, along with breads, cakes and other treats. The sales are often held in conjunction with bazaars, luncheons and other activities.

Here's a rundown on what some of them are planning.

Creches, Carols, and Cookies will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Arcadia, featuring more than 150 nativity sets from around the globe. Admission is $5. Sponsored by Chapter FF, PEO Sisterhood.

A wide selection of cookies will be available at Redeemer Lutheran Church of Interlochen's annual Cookie Walk from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the church, U.S. 31 and Rogers Road. Cookies are $6.50 a pound. Baked goods and a luncheon also will be available.

The Traverse Bay Mennonite Youth Group is taking orders for its annual cookie-baking sale.

Varieties include chocolate chip, molasses gingersnaps, snickerdoodle, peanut butter blossom, chocolate crinkles, Russian tea cakes and monster cookies. The cost is $5.50 per dozen. Cookies can be ordered by calling Rhonda or Timothy at 946-5597 or fax orders to 946-7612. Orders will be accepted through Dec. 7. Cookies can be picked up from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 915 Carver in Traverse City. Free delivery is available in the Grand Traverse area on orders exceeding 10 dozen. Money raised goes toward a future mission trip and youth activities.

The Friends of the Kalkaska County Library will be holding their annual Christmas Cookie Sale on Friday, Dec. 7, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The sale will continue on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to noon. All of the cookies are freshly baked by the Friends of the Library. The Kalkaska County Library is located at 247 S. Cedar in Kalkaska. For more information, call 258-9411.

The Friends of the Darcy Library in Beulah will hold their annual two-day Christmas Cookie and Book Sale in the Beulah Trailhead Building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8. Cookies are $6 per pound. Patrons can hand select the type and quantity. Books are new or gently used and are great for gift giving. Volunteers are needed to bake cookies and work the event. Contact the Darcy Library at 882-4037 with questions or to sign up to bake or work. Proceeds support the book budget for the Darcy Library.

The Unity Church Christmas Cookie Bake Sale will be held at Old Town Playhouse in Traverse City on Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon. Cookies will be sold by the dozen. For questions, call 946-7240.

The Northern Michigan Cultural Center, in conjunction with White Tiger Martial Arts, will be holding an International Cookie Walk on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. at 545 Eighth St. Based on the multicultural exchange goals of the center, many different traditional and international-themed cookies will be offered for sale, mix and match, at $6 a pound. For further information, call 313-6910.

A Holiday Bake Sale and Bazaar is set for Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Willowbrook Mill in Northport, featuring baked goods, bazaar items and a Christmas store. Sponsor is the Best for Kids committee to support the Leelanau Children's Center.

The Old Mission Women's Club will hold its 17th annual Christmas Cookie Sale on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Peninsula Township Fire Hall No. 2, approximately three miles from the city on Center Road on the Old Mission Peninsula. The annual sale features a variety of specially decorated and holiday favorites made by club members. All funds raised go to support local community and human services organizations.

The 12th annual Sweet Shoppe at Grawn United Methodist Church will be held Saturday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Sweet Shoppe includes homemade cookies and candy, crafts, large fresh holiday wreaths and the Kidz Christmas Shoppe. Lunch will be available. New this year will be Christmas/holiday cards for attendees to sign and write a message to U.S. troops. The Sweet Shoppe staff will then stamp and mail the cards to "Any Soldier." Sweet Shoppe proceeds are earmarked for the Boots for Kids program and church improvements. The church is located at 1260 S. West Silver Lake Road.

Trinity Lutheran Church in Traverse City presents its 14th annual Christmas Cookie Sale on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to thousands of hand-decorated sugar cookies and gingerbread boys, shoppers can select from more than 25 varieties of cookies, many from Old World German, Austrian, Swiss and Russian recipes. Favorites include Lebkuchen, Pfeffernusse, Russian teacakes, snickerdoodles, holly wreaths, springerle and date balls, among others. German Christmas Stollen will also be sold, along with variety packs of cookies suitable for hostess and other gifts. Free coffee and sample cookies will be offered to those who arrive prior to 9 a.m. For more information, call 941-3487.

Grace Episcopal Church in Traverse City will hold its annual community cookie walk, "Home Baked Extravaganza," on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church on 341 Washington St. The sale will feature hundreds of cookies in many different shapes and sizes at $7 per pound. Call 947-2330 for more information.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Gaylord will hold a Cookie Walk and Craft Show on Dec. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the church, 1354 S. Otsego Ave. Cookies, pies, breads, bars and candy will be sold, along with handmade crafts, used Christmas items, religious Christmas cards and the newly published Trinity Cookbook. Admission is a nonperishable food item or donation for the Otsego County Food Pantry. Call (989) 732-5257 or (989) 732-4816 for more details.

The Feast of Victory Lutheran Church Christmas Cookie Sale will be held Dec. 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. at 4400 Mount Hope Road in Acme. Traditional Christmas cookies along with other homemade baked goods and candies will be sold. Proceeds will benefit Feast of Victory's Youth Ministries. For information, call 938-3222 or 943-4988.

The Presbyterian Women's Association of The Presbyterian Church of Traverse City is holding its annual Holiday Cookie Walk on Saturday, Dec. 15, at the church from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or while supplies last. Holiday cookies and breads, along with homemade candies including peanut brittle and English toffee will be featured. Candies and breads will be priced individually, with cookies sold for $7 per pound. The church is located at 701 Westminster Road. Call 946-5680 with questions.

Festive Date and Nut Chews

2 eggs

½ t. almond extract

¾ t. salt

½ c. sugar

½ c. light Karo Syrup

1 c. dates, finely cut

1 c. chopped nuts

¾ c. sifted all-purpose flour

⅓ c. powdered sugar

Place eggs in large bowl. Add salt and extract. Beat until light. Gradually beat in sugar and Karo Syrup. Add dates and nuts, mixing well. Fold in sifted flour. Pour into two greased 8-inch layer cake pans. Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes. While hot, cut into 1½-inch squares and shape into small balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Store in a covered tin in layers separated by wax paper.

-- Melinda Downey, Old Mission Women's Club

Festive Chocolate Mint Brownies

4 squares unsweetened chocolate

1 c. margarine or butter

4 eggs

2 c. sugar

½ t. peppermint extract

1 c. sifted flour

1 c. nuts

Frosting:

4 T. margarine or butter

2 c. powdered sugar

2 T. cream

1½ t. peppermint extract

2-3 drops green food coloring

Topping:

2 squares unsweetened chocolate

2 T. melted butter

Combine chocolate, 1 c. margarine or butter, eggs, 2 c. sugar, ½ t. peppermint extract, sifted flour and nuts and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350° in greased and floured 9-by-13-inch pan. Cool.

To make frosting, cream butter with powdered sugar, cream, 1½ t. peppermint extract and food coloring. Frost brownies and refrigerate.

To make topping, melt butter and chocolate, mixing together in double boiler. When frosting sets up, brush top or drizzle with topping. Cut into small bars and keep refrigerated in container.

-- Melinda Downey, Old Mission Women's Club

Scotch Shortbread

1½ c. (3 sticks) butter, softened

½ c. granulated sugar

4 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix butter and sugar in electric mixer on slow. Add flour gradually. If flour is crumbly, add 1 or 2 T. more soft butter.

Make into two balls and flatten. Place between two pieces of wax paper and roll to ¼-inch thickness. Cut into shapes and place ½ inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Pierce cookie top with a fork about halfway through. Sprinkle with white sugar or colored sugar for special days. Bake about 20 minutes or until set. Makes about 3½ dozen two-inch cookies.

-- Central United Methodist Church, courtesy of Dot Urban

Holidate Cream Cheese Cookies

1 c. butter

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese

1 T. sugar

1 T. milk

1 egg yolk

1½ c. flour

½ t. baking powder

1 lb. package whole dates

Powdered sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add sugar and continue to cream. Add milk and egg yolk. Beat well.

Sift flour and baking powder together. Add to butter mixture, and mix until dough is formed. Refrigerate two to three hours.

Roll dough out on a well-floured board to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out cookies with a small biscuit cutter and place ½-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Press whole date into center of each. Bake at 400° for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and dust with powdered sugar. Should yield about six dozen cookies.

-- M.R. Gillooly, Friends of the Kalkaska County Library

Lemon Curd Bars

1 c. unsalted butter, softened

1 c. sugar

2 c. flour

½ t. baking powder

1 10-12 oz. jar lemon curd

⅔ c. flaked coconut

½ c. sliced almonds or chopped pecans

Beat butter, then add sugar. Add flour and baking powder until just combined and crumbly. Reserve ⅔ cup of flour mixture for top. Press the rest into a greased 13-by-9-inch pan to make a crust. Bake at 375° for 5 to 8 minutes. Spread lemon curd over the crust to within ½ inch of edges. In a bowl, mix crumbs, coconut and nuts. Sprinkle over the lemon curd. Bake 18-20 minutes.

-- Midwest Living, contributed by Bonnie Reed, Kalkaska County Library staff

Fruitcake Squares

6 T. butter or margarine

1½ c. graham cracker crumbs or vanilla wafer crumbs

1 c. flaked coconut

2 c. chopped candied fruit

1 c. dates, chopped

1 c. nut meats, coarsely chopped

1 15-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Melt butter or margarine in a jelly-roll-style pan. Sprinkle with crumbs, then coconut. Distribute candied fruit and dates evenly over coconut. (If using uncut dates, cut them into a small amount of flour so they won't stick together.) Sprinkle with nuts and press mixture lightly with hands to level it in pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over top. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Cool. Cut into 54 squares.

-- From the 1971 Consumers Energy "Christmas Recipes" booklet, contributed by Gloria VanHoose, Grawn United Methodist Church

Christmas Wreaths

½ c. (4 oz.) salted butter

30 (7.25 oz.) large marshmallows or Jet Puffed Marshmallow Creme

1½ t. green liquid food coloring

1 t. pure vanilla extract

4 c. (5 oz.) cornflakes

2 T. (1 oz.) cinnamon red-hots (candied) or red M&M's

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper sprayed with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Spray two spoons used to mix cornflakes. Melt the butter over low heat.

Add the marshmallows and melt them over low heat, stirring constantly using prepared spoons, until smooth (about six minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the food coloring and vanilla extract until well blended. Stir in cornflakes to coat them well. Important! Keep the mixture warm by placing the saucepan in a hot water bath. Keep water hot on low temperature.

Working quickly so the mixture does not harden, use the 2 spoons, or lightly greased fingers, to drop small (1 heaping tablespoon) mounds of the cornflake mixture onto the parchment paper. With greased fingers, quickly form cornflake mounds into wreaths with holes in the centers. Immediately, while the wreaths are still sticky, decorate the wreaths with red-hots or M&M's.

When wreaths dry, they may be strung with nylon string or gold ribbons as tree ornaments. Store in an airtight container.

Keeps about one month for eating; indefinitely for ornaments.

-- Adapted from epicurious.com, contributed by Susan Bays, Unity Church

Cinnamon Stars: German Zimtsterne

2½ c. powdered sugar, divided (plus additional for rolling out cookies)

3 c. almonds with skins (additional sliced almonds for decorating)

1¼ t. cinnamon

3 large egg whites (room temperature)

2 t. grated lemon peel

Place ½ c. powdered sugar, whole almonds and cinnamon in food processor. Pulse until finely ground.

Using electric mixer, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 2 c. powdered sugar, continuing to beat until thick and somewhat stiff. (Reserve ⅔ cup of this mixture for topping cookies.)

Fold almond mixture and lemon zest into remaining egg whites to make stiff dough. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper dusted with powdered sugar until ¼-inch thick. Peel back paper and cut with star-shaped cookie cutter. Lift with offset spatula onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, placing about 2 inches apart. Spread egg white mixture over cookie and decorate with almond slices if desired. Bake 30 minutes at 250°.

-- Northern Michigan Cultural Center, in conjunction with White Tiger Martial Arts

Cherry Coffeecake

½ c. butter

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 t. almond extract

2 c. flour

1 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

½ t. salt

8 oz. sour cream

1 can (16 oz.) cherry pie filling

½ c. chopped almonds

Frosting:

1 c. powdered sugar

2 T. milk

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a bundt or angel food cake pan.

Cream butter and sugar together in large mixing bowl. Beat in eggs and extract. Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt together. Mix alternately into batter with sour cream. Spoon half the mixture into prepared pan.

Combine cherry filling and nuts. Spread half of cherry mixture over batter in pan to within ½-inch of outer edge. Top with remaining batter, then with remaining cherry mixture.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until done in center. Test with toothpicks. Cool and remove from pan.

To make frosting, mix powdered sugar with milk until smooth. It should be a little soft or runny. Add more powdered sugar if too runny, or more milk if too thick. Drizzle frosting over the cake.

If desired, for Christmas, place pieces of green candied cherries around some of the cherries. Serves 12-16.

(Note: Susan makes several at Christmas to give as gifts. This cake also freezes well; just put the frosting on after it has thawed.)

-- Susan O'Connor, Best for Kids committee, Leelanau Children's Center

Bon Bon Cookies

½ c. butter, softened

¾ c. powdered sugar, sifted

1 T. vanilla

Food coloring, if desired

1½ c. flour, sifted

⅛ t. salt

Icing:

1 c. sifted confectioners' sugar

2 T. cream

1 t. vanilla

Food coloring, if desired

Goodies (cherries, gum drops, etc.)

Heat oven to 350°. Combine butter, sugar, vanilla and food coloring, if using. Mix thoroughly. Mix flour and salt in by hand. If dough is dry, add 1-2 t. cream or milk. Wrap level tablespoon of dough around "goodie" filling. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes until set but not brown. Dip tops of warm cookies in icing. Decorate.

Variation: For chocolate dough, blend in one square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate.

--Eileen Mikulski, The Presbyterian Church of Traverse City

Cherry Winks

¾ c. shortening

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

2 T. milk

1 t. vanilla

2¼ c. sifted flour

1 t. baking powder

½ t. baking soda

½ t. salt

1 c. chopped nutmeats

1 c. finely cut dates

½ c. finely cut maraschino cherries

2½ c. cornflakes

12 maraschino cherries

Blend shortening and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Stir in milk and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add to shortening mixture with nutmeats, dates and finely cut cherries. Mix well. Crush cornflakes into crumbs. Shape dough into balls using 1 level tablespoon dough for each. Roll balls in cornflake crumbs and place on greased baking sheets. Top each cookie with ¼ maraschino cherry. Bake at 375° for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Yields 4 dozen cookies.

-- Trinity Lutheran Church, Gaylord

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

½ c. maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped

2½ c. all-purpose flour

½ c. sugar

1 c. butter

12 oz. white baking chocolate with cocoa butter, finely chopped

½ t. almond extract

2 drops red food coloring (optional)

2 t. shortening

White nonpareils and/or red edible glitter (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°. Spread chopped cherries on paper towels to drain well.

In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 oz. (2/3 c.) of the chopped white chocolate. Stir in almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.

Shape dough into ¾-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1½-inch rounds.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on cookie sheet for a minute and transfer to wire rack to cool.

In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 8 oz. of white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted and smooth. Dip half of each cookie into the melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in nonpareils and/or edible glitter. Let cookies stand until chocolate sets.

-- Trinity Lutheran Church, Traverse City