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