Daily Archives: December 22, 2010

Christmas cookies (and a recipe)

Just for kicks, I decided to take a few pictures of my Christmas cookies this year.  I usually try to make cookies efficiently.  Often, that means bar cookies, since they are uber-efficient (but not pretty).  But this year, I made real cookies that required molding, rolling, cutting, and pressing.  I didn’t use a constraint programming approach, but I did enlist the help of my two daughters to make and decorate the cookies.  My cookies this year include:

My cookie tasters (i.e., my daughters) loved the new almond crescent cookie recipe that we came up with.  I posted it here.  There are some obvious substitutions that will probably work, but I’ll let you use your imagination in that department.  I wrote this recipe from memory, so if I there is an mistake, let me know and I’ll fix it.

Almond crescents


  1. 3/4 cup ground almonds
  2. 1 3/4 cups flour
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  5. 1 stick (1/2 cup) Earth Balance spread
  6. 1/3 cup canola oil
  7. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  8. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. Soymilk as needed
  10. 1 cup powdered sugar
  11. cinnamon to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients (#1-4).  Cut the dry ingredients with the Earth Balance until it resembles crumbs.
  3. Add the oil, extracts, and soymilk and stir until the mixture more or less sticks together.
  4. Take tablespoon-sized amounts of dough and form into crescents.  They don’t rise much, so you can put them close together on the cookie pan.
  5. Bake for 14-16 minutes.  Don’t let these cookies brown. While they are baking, mix the powdered sugar and the cinnamon (I used about 3 big shakes, but more would be better) in a bowl.
  6. Let the cookies cool on the pan until they are warm.  Remove the cookies and cover them with the powdered sugar mixture.

Happy holidays!

Almond crescents

Almond crescents. My kids ate most of them before I was able to take a picture.

Peanut butter blossoms

Peanut butter blossoms

Chocolate spritz cookies

Chocolate spritz cookies

Kolacky, Kolache, Kolachy, Kolach

Kolacky cookies


not a Latin square

I decided to sew a quick Advent calendar earlier in December to ration candy consumption in the house.  Advent calendars have 24 pockets/doors/hooks/etc. for accessing Christmas treats (I prefer chocolate).  I sewed my Advent with five colors of felt.  When I was done, I looked at it and immediately thought that I should have added a 25th pocket, arranged the squares in a five-by-five grid, and assigned the colors according to a Latin square.  Oh well. That is a project for another year.

Advent calendar

The advent calendar that should have been the first Latin square Advent calendar