Risky Regencies


Well, I’m finally over my stupid sinus infection and getting back into the holiday swing.

Last night we went to my daughter’s 5th grade chorus concert where she sang a short solo in “Masters of this Hall.” One cannot pay for entertainment like that! 🙂 It is one of my favorite holiday tunes, too. Here’s a version from the Christmas Revels Collection: Six Centuries of European & American Christmas Music.

Besides music my other holiday preoccupation is baking. When asked to help out with church or school activities, I always volunteer to do cookies. For one thing, it’s a great way to avoid having to run games with 20 odd sugared up kids. But frankly, I love getting my fingers into squishy dough, I love the smell of cookies baking, and of course, I love eating them.

Last year I blogged about my experiment at Banbury Cakes. They were not especially accurate but good. This year I’ll inflict another recipe on you. This one’s really easy and the results are melting.


1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, whatever you like best)
Additional confectioners sugar for dusting

1. Cream butter, gradually add in sugar, then vanilla.
2. Sift flour and salt together; add gradually to butter/sugar mixture. Add nuts.
3. Let chill for an hour or so.
4. Roll into balls about 1 inch diameter, then form into crescents.
5. Bake at 350 deg on lightly buttered cookie sheet for about 15 minutes. Cookies will not change color much but they are done when they get just a bit golden around the bottom edges. While still hot, roll in more confectioners sugar.

Another holiday favorite is Grasshopper Squares, a recipe I found in Gourmet magazine. If you like the combination of mint and chocolate and have some time for fussing and assembling, it’s well worth the effort and calories.

I figure by the end of the holidays I may resemble this lady from Gillray’s satire on Following the Fashion (1794). Right now I don’t care. 🙂

So what are your favorite holiday tunes? Cookie recipes? Eating strategies?

Elena Greene
LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, RT Reviewers’ Choice, Best Regency Romance of 2005

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15 years ago

Oh tunes. . . hmm. How to classify it. . . well, I have a lot of instrumental stuff, and the non-instrumentals I like the classics, like Gene Autry must be singing Ruldolph. 🙂 Food, oh the turkey and the stuffing. 🙂 Alas, no reciepes for you seeing how I don’t cook. . . but I’ll eat it! LOL 🙂


Cara King
15 years ago

I think God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is my favorite holiday song. From the first time I heard it, I’ve loved it.

I also love the Carol of the Bells…

I never cared much for Hark the Herald Angels Sing till I heard a brass quartet standing outside in the cold town square in Norwich play it… It sounded so sad, so wistful, that I have loved it ever since.

My family never had a tradition of making cookies, or much else to eat, except on The Day itself… That, added to the fact that I’m not the type who gets invited to lots of holiday parties, means I at least tend to avoid the stress over potential weight gain many of my friends seem to have this time of year! (Which is a good thing, as I really need to be *losing* weight, not gaining. And I don’t mean two pounds, like *some* of us worry about!) 🙂


Kalen Hughes
15 years ago

Oooooooo, my mom makes these amazing cream cheese cookies every christmas. I love them. Totally worth going home for. *GRIN*

15 years ago

I absolutely love the picture. I love all the old xmas songs. Like Good King Weceslas and God Rest Ye. I’m also a sucker for Medieval x-mas songs.

Every year my mom always made dozens of cookies and pounds of various kinds of fudge. My dad would make traditional Irish Whiskey cake, because his parents were Irish, and we’d send it all of in wrapped boxes to relatives and friends… keeping some for ourselves of course. Now, we try not go so crazy on the butter drenched yumminess, but the whiskey cake is still a must as are the sugar cookies decorated with sprinkles.

Amanda McCabe
15 years ago

Oh, yum! Fudge and rum cake and grasshoppers and cream cheese cookies. 🙂 I have a terrible sweet tooth and this time of year is hard. My mom makes fudge, and bonbons, and butter cookies, and I can’t resist them. When I go to parties, I try to stand near the veggie tray rather than the desserts, so I tend to munch more of them than the sweets. And I also try to drink a glass fo water for every alcoholic drink. I’m not sure how much it helps, though. I’m afraid I tend to look like that print when January comes around, too!

Diane Perkins
15 years ago

If you want to read about my venture into Christmas cooking, read here: http://warnerwomen.blogspot.com/


Elena Greene
15 years ago

I don’t think the glass of water for every one of alcohol really helps much with the calories. I have found it helps to prevent the headache one can get from even just a few drinks combined with too much chocolate (if one can put the words “too much” and “chocolate” together). 🙂

Elena, off for another cookie

15 years ago

I love Christmas cookies–my grandmother used to make all kinds of cookies, though my favorites (bird’s nests) are not particularly Christmasy. I’m a sucker just for butter cookies with sprinkles, though. 🙂

I also love Christmas carols–many different carols. I don’t really have a single favorite, but I think “The Carol of the Bells” is very beautiful; I also like “The Holly and the Ivy.” And when I got Shawn Colvin’s CD of Christmas Carols and Lullabies a few years ago, I really loved her version of “In the Bleak Midwinter.” Not done too often in the States, which I think is a pity, because it is a lovely song.

When I was a kid, and lived in a place where there was actual cold weather and sometimes even (gasp!) snow, groups from my church would go around singing Christmas carols. I always enjoyed the singing, though the part where your feet start to go numb from the cold is not so great. 🙂


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