Christmas Desserts

Every year at this time I look forward to the inevitable glut of goodies that pour forth from my mom's kitchen, such delicacies as butterscotch pies, five-day cake, stack cake, black walnut cake and the only variety or fruit cake I've ever been able to eat (it's an old mountain recipe). As with most working folks, I don't get a lot of time off, so I have to eat as much as I can in a compressed amount of time. The first time my in-laws tasted some of these delicacies, I ended up with nada to tide me over the new year, but I was glad someone got to try what is a dying art. My mother got her butterscotch pie recipe from my paternal grandmother (it's encased in cellophane and in her own handwriting. The five day cake (which I can only have very little of because I'm allergic to coconut) she got from her sister (who passed away 8 years ago).

The stack and black walnut cakes are also from my grandma, but my sister makes those cakes, becasue quite frankly, my mom and dad would spend the entire Christmas season cooking for my dead-beat ass, as all I bring is a couple of gifts and an appetite.

I look forward to the food and exchanging of gifts, but mostly just spending time with my parents (old-school Democrats) and hearing them talk about the struggles they had to go through (the Great Depression, WWII, raising a family in the economic challenged, but beautiful town of Robbinsville) and how they got through it.

If anyone has any memories of holiday dessert or of holiday candies (remember Schraft's chocolates?) I'd love to hear about them, cause I'm hungry.


Great idea!

My wife and daughter spend one Saturday in December with two of their friends on a cookie making frenzy that just won't stop. Holiday nuggets, biscotti, peanut butter with Hershey kisses, sugar cookies with sprinkles, Hungarian crescents and more. Then they fill up three dozen cookie tins and give them out as presents.


Very Nice Veterandem

I love these personal diaries at this time of year. It's like catching up with family. Before my children grew up and left home, we would make all kinds of desserts. Oodles of cookies to take to school, presents for teachers and class parties. Once Valencia and I made a peppermint Christmas tree and that was a big hit. For both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I make pies like crazy, apple pies piled up like mini-mountains, cherry pies, pumpkin and sweet potato. Everyone's favorite is my chocolate cream pie. My great grandmother use to make the best strawberry pie. She would make a sugar cookie crust for it and leave the berries just a little tart....mmmmmmmmmmm....good eats!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.


ooooo ... is it time to start baking yet?

Love this post, veterandem. Your family specialties sound so wonderful!

My fave christmas goodies come from both my ex's family and mine -- Moravian molasses cookies (those maddening but only nearly impossible to roll paper thin ginger cookies), chocolate pie (thick and rich like dark chocolate heavy chess pie) and lemon verbena cookies ... my ex mother-in-law's specialty. From my family's side comes the breadpudding, mince meat pie and shortbread. My mom makes THE BEST breadpudding on the face of God's green earth from old bread she's saved up in the freezer for months. She thaws and dries the bread in the oven so it's just shy of toasted, limits the sugar so it's not too sweet and puts in raisins, nutmeg and allspice to balance the cinnamon.

My addition to the goodie tradition in the family is rum balls. :) These are the "I need a designated driver" kind of rum balls. heh. No complaints, though. In fact, with invitations to christmas get togethers I usually get, "You're bringing rum balls, right?"

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."


These all sound so good! I want the recipe for the rum balls.

My special cookies are "sandies". Once you've had mine, you'll never buy the packaged kind again. Melt in your mouth shortbread cookies with chopped pecans....mmm. I guess I'm going to have to set aside some time. Now I'm in the mood to bake.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

I think you should...

share the recipe for butterscotch pie! It sounds fabulous!

In my family, Christmas is ginger snaps, peanut brittle, and chocolate pixies. I always buy Pfeffernuesse and Lebkuchen when I can find them, because they're So. Good. I have recipes, so I should try them out (they're in German...) My aunt also makes a deadly rum cake.


I'll get the recipe from my mother this week and will post it up. The most important part I remember is the crusts (she makes her own pie crusts). That and the unending task of stirring. Look for the recipe post either tonight or tomorrow.

My mom.

When I was younger, my Mom baked wedding cakes and ran a candy store out of our house. Christmas was huge for sweets around our house. "Christmas cookies" were something my mom had never heard of, being from rural NC, but she picked them up in Pennsylvania and added them to her repertoire.

Her peanut butter log was always my favorite. It had a flat layer of powdered sugar made into this...dough. Then a layer of this peanut butter-based...dough. Then the whole thing is rolled up, frozen, cut into pieces which end up with a cool swirl pattern.

See, I'm a bit of a peanut butter desert freak, so she also made peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's kiss. And, Peanut Butter pie with meringue {-------------}this high.

Ooooooooooh!!!! And, on Christmas morning we always had nut break with Philly cream cheese. It's a thick, dry, nutty loaf of bread that, when toasted and slathered in cream cheese, is yummy.

Oh, needless to say my entire family is over weight : )

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

You aren't overweight

I've seen you. My Emily loves peanut butter cookies, but can't stand peanut butter. Isn't that funny? She also doesn't like to eat nuts. Katie loves peanut butter and eats nuts, but doesn't really care for peanut butter cookies. She will eat them, but prefers chocolate chip.

Neither of my children will eat pie or fancy cakes. I don't bake anymore. (aside from cookies)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

One he missed

(This is Mrs. VeteranDem, btw.) One thing he missed on the list of Christmas goodies is a cheese ball his sister makes. OMG! Scallions, bits of bacon (which means it's off our list, since we moved to vegetarian this year), cream cheese & some other cheeses, and Lord only knows what else, rolled in nuts. Don't know what she does to it (although I swear I used to have the recipe somewhere around here), but it will cause fistfights if you're not careful. Bits of my family (mom, dad, a couple of uncles) sailed through an entire cheeseball in about 20 minutes. VeteranDem now listens when I warn him about sharing all his Christmas booty with my side!

Welcome, Mrs. Veterandem!

What fun to have a new hisandher around these parts!


I'm not sure I want my wife knowing how much time I spend blogging...
; )

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.