This year I became wiser (in this one respect, at least). I'm waiting to bake until the week before Christmas so all those goodies aren't hanging around.
Goodies hanging around + Kids who are already getting excited for Christmas (and therefore a little bit crazy) = A mama who wants to self-medicate with goodies.
I also decided I would let Jamey and each child chose a cookie and those four choices would be the kinds I would make. Jamey chose my mom's pecan tarts. Sam chose peanut blossoms. Sadie chose sugar cookies decorated with icing and sprinkles and, as a group, we chose dipped gingerbread cookies for Miriam. I made these gingerbread cookies last year but forgot to share the recipe with you, so you'll find last year's photos and the recipe below.
These cookies are soft and chewy and I love the gingerbread-chocolate combination (and the chocolate is so much easier than icing them, in my opinion).
Dipped Gingerbread Cookies (the cookie part is my mom's recipe)
This recipe makes a lot, just so you know. You can freeze the dough wrapped tightly in saran wrap if it's too much for you at once.
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/4 cup molasses (or 1/4 cup molasses + 1 cup dark corn syrup)
1 cup shortening
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tsp. each of salt, cinnamon, all spice, cloves and ground ginger
3 cups flour
5-6 cups flour
Mix ingredients brown sugar through the first 3 cups of flour in your electric mixer on low speed until well mixed. Switch to a dough hook if you have one. Add 5 cups flour to make a stiff dough. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour until it can be worked with easily. If it seems too soft, place in fridge to stiffen it up a bit, otherwise, roll out into 1/4 inch thickness and cut into cookies. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Don't overbake if you like them soft and chewy. Dip in melted chocolate, lay on waxed paper and decorate with sprinkles before the chocolate has a chance to set. Store in a covered container once chocolate has set completely.