‘Twas the night before the night before Christmas Eve, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring.
Not even a catnip mouse.
The stockings were hung in the basement, who cares?
Filled with toiletries, candles, and hopefully meds for my flares.
The B family was nestled, all snug in our beds,
While visions of 500 homemade cookies danced in our heads.
And Mama B in her plaid, and Papa in his,
Had just settled in from preparing for this Christmas dinner biz.
When over in the living room, there arose such a clatter.
Our minds and hearts startled, wondering what was the matter.
Away from our rooms to see what the damage would be.
Then we heard Papa B yell out “Oh [BLEEP], the tree!”
The moon through the windows on the new-fallen disaster,
To the luster of broken ornaments, there certainly was no laughter.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
The Christmas tree had toppled on the dining room table, oh dear!
Pretty sure the Grinch just tried to steal Christmas at my house last night. Our gorgeous Christmas tree, which was, to be fair, quite crooked in the trunk, had fallen over at about 1:15am, which left the entire family cleaning and trying to pick up all the pieces until around 2:30am.
There was water all over the floor and dozens of broken ornaments, because most of ours are indeed made of glass.
So what did we do?
We bolted that sucker to the wall!
For whatever reason, for the past 3 years in a row, our tree has fallen over. We just keep getting bent trees. But it’s ok, as long as we get the tallest, fattest tree, right? And yet, we never learn to just bolt it to the wall to begin with. We always wait for that Grinch of an overgrown bush to fall over and show us who’s boss.
At about 2am, as we were trying to dry the wood floors, my dad goes, “I feel like Clark Griswold right now.”
And then we laughed.
So today we’re all exhausted, but we still have lots to do to get ready for Christmas because an Italian Christmas is just too much to prepare for.
In total, we ended up making between 400 and 500 cookies. And that’s without the sugar cookie cut-outs, because I ended up getting sick again and couldn’t make them.
You’re welcome, because I know no one wants snotty cookies.
Here are the cookies that I did make, with links to the recipes.
Now, I don’t put candy canes in the cookies, because I’m lazy. So instead I only use half of the measurement of vanilla, and the other half peppermint extract. Honestly, unless you really like your cookies to taste so fresh and so clean, clean, you could probably cut down on the peppermint. But they are delicious. I also make them with dairy, and they turn out just fine. And I used unsweetened So Delicious coconut milk for the milk.
Yeah, I’m low-dairy, not no-dairy. I don’t even know what my logic is here. Just go with it.
These are my absolute favorites. They literally melt in your mouth. Yeah, I said it. LITERALLY. They are perfection. I could eat these every day for the rest of my life and be totally satisfied. Overweight and unhealthy, but totally satisfied. I usually bake them for just a few minutes longer than the instructions say, because for whatever reason, mine take a long time to set and just barely start to turn golden.
As usual, I used King Arthur multi-purpose, gluten free flour here. So really, any flour blend that you like will work as long as it has a good base and some starch in it. And yes, the eggnog probably will curdle. It’s still ok. Just keep whisking. I promise you that it’s not ruined. And you don’t have to roll them in sugar, but I find that the sugar really brings out the sweet, eggnoggy flavor.
One of my favorites. You can’t go wrong with these. I do find that I need to add a bit more flour than directed to the chocolate dough to keep it from being too soft. Your mileage may vary due to weather, humidity, etc.
Alton Brown never fails me. Just a note, he’s very serious about chilling the dough. I would even let it go for longer than an hour. My first batch was perfectly chilled for almost 3 hours and the cookies were a perfect light brown and stayed true to the “chewy” name. The second batch was chilled for less than an hour and they turned out flatter and crispier and baked much quicker.
These are the ones that we didn’t get to this year. But this recipe bakes up very nicely. The cookies won’t grow or change shape as long as the dough is well chilled. I usually let the dough sit in the ‘fridge overnight. Also, but there’s no gluten, you can really roll and re-roll all of the scraps out again and again, so you will have dozens of cookies from just one batch. I also made a note on my printed copy of the recipe that I needed to add another ¼ cup or so of flour to make the dough more solid and less sticky. Again, your mileage may vary.
My mom also makes Russian tea cakes, both gluten-full and gluten-free. We modify the recipe by going cup-for-cup King Arthur GF flour to regular flour and just adding 1 ½ teaspoons of xanthan gum. They come out so similarly to the original that we have to dust the GF cookies with colored sugar so that we can tell them apart.
Finally, my mom also makes chocolate almond shortbread balls. I have no idea what the technical name is here for these, but that’s what they are. A chocolate dough sweetened with some almond extract, baked and rolled in cocoa powder. These are full of gluten. Sad face.
I have no shareable recipe for either of these because they are buried away in my mother’s cookbooks and she pretty much has them memorized. Because Mama B is a boss.
Also, just going to throw in a picture of my “Ugly Christmas Sweater” inspired nails. I get so bored when I’m sick.
So there you have it. How the Grinch tried to steal the B’s Christmas, but he didn’t get any of our cookies!
Happy Christmas to all (who celebrate it), and to all a good night. Afternoon. Nap time. Whatever.