Every year for Christmas, our family invites the neighbors for a cookie exchange. They bring their special cookies, or even store-bought cookies, and we learn what has happened over the past year in their lives. Sometimes we sing carols, most of the time we don't. When our guests leave, they take a plate of assorted cookies that everyone brought.

These recipes are some of the favorites that the boys expect me to make for this party. I guess Christmas wouldn't be the same without them. Maybe they can be added to your collection to be enjoyed as well. All can be made and frozen ahead of time so you can enjoy the season without the frustration of added duties.


Sugar Cookies
2 c sugar
1 c shortening
2 eggs
1 c milk
1 t vanilla or nutmeg
5 t baking powder
1 t soda
7-8 c flour

Roll thick.
Sprinkle with sugar
Bake 375 – 12 min ungreased cookie sheet

Poppy Seed Nut Slices
1 c butter, room temp
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
2 ½ c flour
1/3 c poppy seeds
½ t ground cinnamon
¼ t salt
1 ½ c walnuts, chopped

Cream butter and sugar.
Add egg, vanilla
Mix dry ingredients in another bowl.
Combine with butter mixture.
Add nuts, mixing with hands if necessary.
Shape dough into 2-3 rolls, 1 ½ inches in diameter.
Wrap in wax paper.
Refrigerate till firm. (2 hrs at least)
(Can be frozen for longer storage)
Cut into ¼ inch-thick slices
Place 1 in apart on ungreased baking sheet
Bake 350 12-15 min until edges are golden.
Transfer to wire rack and cool.
7 dozen.

French Butter Wafers
(These melt in your mouth;
Makes nice tea cookies)

1 c butter
1 ¼ c powdered sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
1 t baking soda and cream of tartar
1/8 t salt

Cream butter and sugar.
Add egg and vanilla.
Stir dry ingredients.
Add to butter mixture.
Shape into roll 1 ½ diameter
Wrap in wax paper.
Refrigerate. (at least 2 hrs)
Unwrap dough. Slice 3/8 in-thick slices
Place slices 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 350 10-12 min (until golden).
Cook on baking sheet.
Transfer to racks.
Store airtight.
Makes 4 dozen.

Benne Cakes
(Great, but easy to stick/burn)

1 c brown sugar
1/3 c butter
1 egg
1 t lemon juice
½ t vanilla
¾ c flour
¼ t salt
1/8 t baking powder
1 c toasted sesame seeds

Beat sugar, butter.
Add egg, lemon juice, vanilla.
Add dry ingredients.
Add seeds.
Drop by teaspoons 2 inches apart
On greased foil lined cookie sheet.
Bake 325 12-14 minutes (until edges browned).
Transfer to wire rack.
Makes 2 dozen



I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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