Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Cookies!!!!

I know this post is later in the day than I had originally wanted, but sadly my Internet provider stopped providing last night so blogging was halted and to bed I went.  When I finally got on today I was able to do a quick Wedding Wednesday blog before heading over to a Webinar, picking up the kids, making dinner, etc.

There is NO WAY I could have let this blog go!  So Christmas cookies...oh there were so many on the table when I was a kid.  My mom would make sugar cookies and of course we kids would decorate them with way too much sugar.  Kind of like my kids do now!  It's not Christmas if you don't go into sugar shock from eating one cookie.

There were also Chocolate Chip Cookies (Tollhouse, of course!), Cocoa Refrigerator Cookies (they had walnuts in them and it was the ONLY time you'd catch me eating something with nuts!), and Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips (I wish I could find this recipe now!  It was in a Hershey's mini cookie book, which I was given by my father, but the recipe does not jump out at me.  We add the chips ourselves so it's not quite as easy as finding one with PB chips!), and my mom would make Spritz Cookies with her cookie press.

I'm sure there were more that I'm forgetting.  I get like that sometimes.  I remember my favorites, and that's OK.  I think the best part was not one specific cookie, but the sheer number of cookies to eat.  My sisters and I would sneak cookies when my dad was in the kitchen having a cigarette or a cup of coffee.  Even if he put the tin "up high" on the mantel.  We'd get at them.  And eventually he'd notice...when he'd open the tin for a cookie and see that nothing (or very little) was left.  We'd get a mild scolding and then more would be made to replace them.

What cookies did I like to sneak most of all?  The cocoa cookies with nuts, if you could believe it!  I don't really know what it was about them.  They weren't rich or anything really special, but that mixture of cocoa and walnuts was so yummy to me (still is).  They aren't even made with butter or margarine, but there's even less flavor to them! :)

I still make those cookies every Christmas.  I'm the only one that really eats them.  My boys won't touch them.  My hubby does have one or two with a cuppa in the morning, but he doesn't like things that are "too chocolaty".  So I have them all to myself pretty much.  I don't mind that at all.

I still like making my mom's sugar cookies, but haven't for the past two years because I just haven't had time (so if you're reading this, mom, and are making those cookies, you can send them to Green Bay for Christmas! :))  I make cranberry shortbread cookies, pecan lady fingers (got this tradition from my mother-in-law), and these yummy cookies with cream cheese that came with my cookie press.  It looks like my cookie tradition is a nice mix of mine and my husband's.  I like that.

The recipe I'll share with this blog is my favorite Cocoa Refrigerator Cookies (don't worry, I'll get around to the others on a Supper Sunday or a Family Recipe Friday!

Cocoa Refrigerator Cookies

1/2 c. cocoa
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. shortening
2 tsp vanilla
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped (optional)

Sift together and set aside the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa.  Cream until well blended the shortening and vanilla.  Add gradually, creaming until fluffy, the sugar.  Add the eggs and beat.  Add the dry ingredients in halves, mixing thoroughly after each addition.  Stir in the nuts.

Divide the dough in half.  Place each half on a sheet of waxed paper and form into a log about 2-inches wide and roll in the waxed paper.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F).  Slice the logs into cookies about 1/8-inch thick and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets.  Bake for 5 to 9 minutes (depending on how done you like your cookies...I like them crispy).  Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them to a cookie rack to cool completely.

I'm a bit behind on my cookie making, but will have to grab a picture of them when they get baked!  I'm certainly having a craving now!

Wedding Wednesday - John Kuehl and Dora Hermann

John and Dora Kuehl nee Hermann
Johannes Hermann August Kuehl born in Wayne, Washington Co, Wisconsin in 1883.  The surname KUEHL is German.  Feel free to remove the "e" and add an umlaut to the "u".  That's most likely how you'd see it spelled in the homeland.  In fact that's how it was spelled with the first few generations in this country.  Well, most census takers didn't actually put the umlaut.  They just spelled it "Kuhl".  I love John's full and proper name.  He was two generations removed from the homeland, but still got a rockin' name!

Well, John married Dorathea Bertha Hermann.  Dora was born in Theresa, Dodge County, WI in 1885.  Her surname can also be seen with or without that second "n".  Dorathea....I like that name very much.  So these two were married on November 6, 1906 in Theresa, WI.  I haven't gotten to reentering all of the Kuehls in the family tree so I can't really give detailed information on their children, just one for now, Romand.

Romand Valentin Gustav Kuehl was my husband's grandfather and who my son Benjamin Romand is named for!

(Sorry for the late post!  My internet provider wasn't working until this morning!  Now off to a Webinar!)