Click the Buzz Me button to receive email notifications when this writer publishes a new article or a new article in this column is published.
Bellaire librarian Mary Cohrs loves to bake a variety of Christmas cookies and treats during the holiday season, and suggests cookbooks for holiday dessert inspiration.
Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.
One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking a variety of Christmas cookies and cooking pans of fudge, peanut brittle and divinity. My mom always fretted about the humidity on the day she wanted to cook divinity and I still remember how careful we had to be around the hot pan of peanut brittle. Not only did everything taste delicious, the fond memories of baking some of cookies together have caused me to continue to bake with our grandchildren.
We would then package the goodies in metal coffee cans saved throughout the year for gifts to neighbors and friends. Although metal coffee cans have been replaced with plastic, there are a plethora of cute bags and boxes available for gift giving of your baking efforts.
In addition to baking, there were some years my mother would build a candy house from sugar cubes. The hunt for enough Necco wafers for the roof and other cadies for the decorations was a family project each fall. Gingerbread has replaced sugar cubes and, at the Bellaire Library, we use graham crackers as part of an annual craft to make cottages that are then quickly overwhelmed with candies used by the children to decorate their edible masterpieces.
If you need any inspiration for new cookie recipes or decorating ideas for sugar cookies or candies, check out titles at your local library, or pick up a magazine in your favorite bookstore. Check out Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year by Julia Usher or A Year of Gingerbread Houses by Kristine Samwell. Classic Candy: Old-Style Fudge, Taffy, Caramel Corn, and Dozens of Other Treats for the Modern Kitchen by Abigail Gehring will certainly get your mouth watering.
You do not have to be a professional baker to make holiday memories. There are tubes of sugar cookies and gingerbread dough already waiting in your local grocery store and several stores sell gingerbread house kits. Add a child or two and you have holiday magic.