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If you ask me what I got for Christmas when I was 8, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. How about when I was 15? I have no idea. For me, looking back on my childhood, it wasn’t about the presents, it was about time spent with my family and friends. And the most vivid holiday memories I have are sitting by our Christmas tree looking at the lights, listening to Amy Grant – A Christmas album on vinyl (over and over and over), and eating cookies from my Grandma Boots.
My Grandma Boots is one of 14 children and has 7 children of her own. Now there are so many grandkids and great-grandkids that there are too many to count. Every year, my grandma starts baking in October each year for EVERYONE in our family. Not just one kind of cookie, but a variety. In early December, we all watch our mailboxes in anticipation for Grandma Boots’ cookies.
I knew I was finally a grown-up when I got my own box of Grandma Boots’ cookies (separate from my parents). My college roommates were THRILLED that I got my own. (And I was happy to share). Every year in early December, they would start asking – “When are the Grandma Boots’ cookies going to come?!”
Now that I have a family of my own, we LOVE receiving Grandma Boots’ cookies in the mail. And if you tell her that a specific cookie is your favorite, she will give you an extra baggy-full with your name on it. (For me – that is the Hop Scotch Treat Candy – recipe below).
I love talking to my aunts, uncles, cousins and nieces, and all discussing which cookies are our favorites. We all feel very passionately about different ones! (She HAS to make those peanut butter balls. No! The Russian tea cakes are the best! I love them all – but especially the spritz cookies!)
Thank you Grandma Boots, for helping make my Christmas every year a little sweeter, and showing me what it’s like to do something as a labor of love.
Here are some of my favorite Grandma Boots’ Cookie Recipes
Hop Scotch Treat Candy (No-Bake)
- 6 oz. package butterscotch chips
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- 3 oz. can shoestring potatoes
- Melt butterscotch chips in microwave. (Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Continue microwaving in 30 second-intervals and stirring until butterscotch chips are melted).
- Add peanut butter. Stir until well-dissolved.
- Mix marshmallows and shoe string potatoes together in a large bowl.
- Pour butterscotch/peanut butter mixture over them and mix thoroughly.
- Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheet lined with wax paper and chill.
Russian Tea Cakes
- 1 cup butter
- ½ cup sifted powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¾ cups finely chopped nuts
- Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla until well-blended.
- Stir flour and salt together. Add to butter/sugar mixture. Blend well. Mix in nuts.
- Chill dough.
- Heat oven to 400. Roll dough in 1 inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes (until set, but not brown).
- While cookies are still warm, roll in powdered sugar.
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 cups butter
- 4 eggs yolks
- 5 1/2 cups sifted flour
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Mix ingredients in order listed.
- Make long rolls on wax paper. Put sprinkles on them, roll up, and refrigerate.
- Slice and place on cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes, until set but not brown. (They brown very quickly).
Do you have any favorite Christmas cookie recipes? Do you have any special holiday traditions? Let me know in the comments!