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Here are some great recipes from the Holiday issue of MOM Magazine. Share your favorites with us in the comments section and you might just be featured in MOM Magazine! My favorite recipe is the date pinwheels. My mom makes them every year and they don't last long.

tea cookiesRussian Tea Cakes Ingredients 1 cup butter 1 tsp. vanilla extract 6 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup chopped walnuts 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Mix in the chopped walnuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When cool, roll in remaining confectioners’ sugar. I also like to roll mine in the sugar a second time.

cookies rum balls

Rum balls Ingredients 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup white sugar 3 Tbsp. corn syrup 1/2 cup rum 2 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar Directions Place chocolate chips into a microwave-safe medium bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and then continue to heat at 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Stir in sugar and corn syrup. Blend in rum. Add crushed vanilla wafers and chopped nuts. Mix until evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Roll the chilled chocolate mixture into bite-size balls. Roll balls in a mixture of ground nuts and confectioner’s sugar, or just plain confectioner’s sugar. Store in a covered container for a week before serving to blend the flavors.

cookies date pinwheels

Date Pinwheel Cookies Ingredients Dough: 1/2 cup shortening 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 egg 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. soda 2 cups flour Mix all ingredients well. Roll out 1/4 inch thick.

Filling: 1/2 pound chopped dates 1/4 cup sugar 1/3 cup water 1/8 tsp. salt 1/2 cup chopped nuts Directions Cook filling into paste and cool. Spread filling onto dough. Roll dough into long roll. Wrap up and refrigerate. Grease cookie sheet (even non-stick sheet pan). Slice pinwheels and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Put on waxed paper to cool.

cookies candycanes

Christmas Candy Cane Cookies Ingredients 1 cup butter 1 cup powdered sugar 1 egg 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract 1 tsp. vanilla 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp. salt Red paste food coloring 1 candy cane, crushed 2 Tbsp. sugar Directions Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the egg and the extracts. Combine dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Divide the dough in half. Add the food coloring to one half and mix well. Roll small pieces of dough (both colors) into 4-inch ropes. Place two strips—one red, one white—side by side; press them together lightly and twist. Place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and gently bend them into candy canes. Moisten each cookie with a touch of water and sprinkle with a mixture of crushed candy cane and sugar. Bake until dry looking, about 9-10 minutes. Cool on rack.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies Ingredients: 1/2 cup unsalted butter 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 large egg 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted 3/4 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. baking powder 16 oz. mini pretzels, salted (coarsely chop 1 cup for the dough; keep the rest whole) 1/4 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla 16 oz. milk or dark chocolate powdered sugar Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, cream together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars for approximately 1-2 minutes, scraping down the bowl halfway through. Add the egg and vanilla, mix until blended, and scrape the bowl again. Don’t over-mix! Combine the salt, flour, baking soda, and baking powder and add to the batter. Mix on low until just combined. Add the chopped pretzels and mix until just blended. Scoop out 2-inch balls of dough and drop on greased sheet pans. Press one whole pretzel into the center of each ball to flatten. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Dip the bottoms of the cooled cookies in the chocolate. Place the cookies upside-down on a parchment-lined tray. When dry, flip the cookies back over and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.

Share your favorite recipes in the comments section below. You might just be featured in MOM Magazine!

Finding the perfect tree

IMG_9943We headed out to our favorite place to get a Christmas tree yesterday - Sunrise Tree Farm. This place is incredible - it's in the beautiful King's Valley, and the entire experience from start to finish was awesome.

When you first get there, a staff member dressed in yellow greets you and tells you about the different trees and how the process works. They give you a map of the different types of trees and the different sizes, and when you decide what kind/size you want, they take you on a sleigh ride to that area.

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It didn't take us very long to find our tree, which was good because that left plenty of time for making ornaments and petting the goats and bunnies.They shake the tree, and then net it and you are all set to take your tree home! Such a fun experience - I'm happy to be featuring Sunrise Tree Farm in the Dec/Jan issue of MOM Magazine.

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In addition to our tree hunt fun, you can read about the Fruit Loop garland we made for our tree here: