I remember many a Christmas Eve when my sister and I would lay in our beds and quietly listen for Santa's sleigh bells and reindeers screeching to a halt on top of our roof. I just knew I'd be able to hear them if I listened long enough. I'm sure nobody else did this, right? As a tradition we would bake cookies for Santa and leave carrot sticks for his reindeer, especially Rudolf! In the morning we would check our stockings and always rush to see if Santa enjoyed our cookies. For some reason the carrot sticks would still be there, maybe a little chewed up on the ends but the cookies were always gone. I don't remember what kind we made. It's been many years.
Flash forward, 25 years later, as parents, we made sure Santa and his reindeers were taken care of. I enjoyed the time with my son as we busily baked and baked. Festively frosted and decorated sugar cookies were the most popular. Those "rolls" of cookie dough sure came in handy when I was working and short on time. But, this was a tradition that couldn't be left out during Christmas week, so I did whatever I could to welcome Santa into our home!
This year, I swore to myself that I wasn't going to bake as much. But, tradition got in the way and I proceeded to bake. This time I found a spicy molasses type cookie recipe I've been meaning to try. The results would be good enough for Santa and maybe a few elves. Hopefully someone can carry on those cookie capers with this great recipe! And you should always leave a glass of milk since Santa has acquired the "dunking" skill over the years!
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 c butter, room temperature
3 T molasses
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ginger, ground
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each of salt, ground cloves and ground nutmeg
additional sugar in a bowl for rolling
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the sugar and butter in a large bowl. Mix until fluffy, and add egg and molasses. In large measuring cup or bowl add sifted flour, baking soda and spices, mixing well. Add to the butter mixture and blend. At this point you can refrigerate and make them later, or not. Place additional sugar into a bowl. Using a teaspoon, scoop dough the size of a walnut, make into a ball and roll in the sugar. Put on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes. Cool and try not to eat all of Santa's cookies! Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.