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Peppermint Meringues (c)2012 La Domestique

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Let your heart be light

From now on our troubles will be out of sight…

{words by Ralph Blane}

Valentine’s Day is marked by chocolate, Easter is sweet bread, the Fourth of July is ice cream, Halloween is candy, Thanksgiving is pie, and Christmas is cookies. Whether store-bought or home-baked, a tin of assorted cookies on the kitchen table makes each day leading up to Christmas feel festive. If you can’t seem to get into the holiday spirit, put on some Christmas music and bake a batch of cookies (by the time you finish licking the spoon clean you’ll feel like a kid again). With all the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s easy to lose your joy. A dozen cookies baking in the oven slows time down just enough so you can savor the season as the house fills with the aroma of caramelizing butter, sugar, and spices. Tis the season for giving, so bake a few extra to give away – and just like the Grinch – your heart will grow three sizes in one day!

This year I focused on an assortment of complimentary flavors and textures for the cookie tin. Peppermint Meringues – light and crumbly – pair perfectly with coffee or a mug of hot cocoa. Heavily spiced Gingerbread cookies are delightfully crisp and snappy in texture. Coconut Macaroons have a sweet, buttery flavor – crunchy on the outside, yet soft and chewy on the inside. Guaranteed to become a new favorite, Mint Chocolate Cookies are soft and fudgy with the addictive flavor of thin mints. You’ve still got time to mark the season with a fun and festive cookie – and don’t forget to leave some out for Santa with a glass of milk!

Gingerbread Man (c)2012 La Domestique

Gingerbread Men Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

Gingerbread Cookies (c)2012 La Domestique

Sugar-Dusted Macaroon Trees (c)2012 La Domestique

Sugar-Dusted Macaroon Trees from Martha Stewart Living are gluten and dairy free.

Mint Chocolate Cookies (c)2012 La Domestique

I decorated these Mint Chocolate Cookies using a cookie stencil and powdered sugar.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Jess, Len and little Minnie