Wake Up & Smell the Free Cookies

/ Saturday, November 15, 2008

Good morning everybody! For readers new and old, I'd like to thank you for logging on and taking the time to visit Food & Femininity. To show my appreciation for your cyber support we're having a contest! Here's how it works, whoever has the most detailed/creative/heartfelt answer to the question below will have a batch of my new chocolate chip cookies sent to them. Free snacks! So put yourself in the running for a great treat and post your answer as a comment below. 

Describe your favorite holiday dessert related memory. What was the dessert and why is this memory so important to you? 
*If you have the recipe you get bonus points :) 

Best of luck love muffins. Enjoy! 


  1. We were all sitting around the table, suffering from postprandial narcosis brought on by whatever it is in turkey that makes you so sleepy. The potatoes (with sour cream and chives and bacon bits) were still on the table. My mom and brothers were chatting; my dad and his dad, Mort, were talking about Mort's recent decision to move back to New York. Mort's always been a character, and not much for consulting with others about his decisions. So when my mom brought out the pumpkin pie (secret recipe from the depths of the Costco Bakery), Mort decided to lop some whipped cream on the top and gobble it down -- when no one else followed suit, he wasn't bothered... they must not know that pumpkin pie is best served with whipped cream. After the dishes had been cleared and we were chatting some more, Mort remarked that the "whipped cream tasted a little funny"... "Mort
    ," my mom said, "we didn't have whipped cream!" In his haste, he has covered his pie with sour cream! AND ate it all!

  2. For anyone who hasn't been to the wonderful land of New Hampshire, I must tell you about the most amazing coffee shop: Breaking New Grounds. Located right in the middle of Market Square in downtown Portsmouth, it's a coffee-lovers dream. Unfortunately, picky me, I don't care for coffee (at all), but there is one thing on the Breaking New Grounds menu that will be my all-time favorite forever-- the pumpkin bread! It's made right there in the shop, and I'm not sure what they use to make their bread so amazingly delicious, but it's worth a drive to NH just for an individually wrapped slice.

    Well, three Thanksgivings ago, Mama Kress knew this pumpkin bread was my favorite and that I'd been missing it dearly while I was tucked away here at NYU. She tried to buy a loaf from them, but apparently they only sell individual slices. With much pleading, begging, and who knows what else, Mama Kress apparently paid some big bucks (she still refuses to tell me how much...) and brought an entire loaf of this "Breaking New Grounds Pumpkin Tea Bread" to New York for me. We enjoyed a small taste of home at our NYU dorm-style Thanksgiving feast. Even though it didn't last more than two days, it was the best edible present I've ever received!

  3. It was always my job to make dessert for Christmas dinner - once I was old enough to cook. I always went fancy with cheescakes and trifles and such. This would contrast to our Christmas Eve desserts of all the baking we'd done. My memory is not of those meals, but of what happened before Christmas. My Mom and often the rest of us would bake and bake and bake. Everything would get carefully wrapped in wax paper and tupperware and placed in the deep freeze. Whether my Mom knew it or not - or just chose to ignore it - we all snuck things from the containers when she wasn't home to hear the freezer. We were always careful to spread out the remaining items and not take too much of any one thing. If my Dad caught us we would also get in trouble. Well one day my Mom is standing in the rumpus room (yup, that's what we called it) in the basement chatting with Dad. Part of the conversation was about the missing treats and Dad agreed with her that we kids were being troublemakers. As the conversation continued something fell from the sky. Rather, something fell from the ceiling's heat register. My Dad was defrosting some treats in the heating vent and they fell out! So much for his sneakiness, and transfer for blame!

  4. This game is fun! Thought I would share mine...

    For those of us who do not celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving and Hannukah are where the dessert memories lie. And, since both of those have such savory counterparts to their dessert menus (turkey and latkes) the sweets have a tough time competing with the main course. However, my mother has always been left to make dessert for any family functions, since my grandmother believes it is she that hold the midas touch in the kitchen (questionable) and that dessert should be my mothers contribution. My mother has now developed a dessert menu so traditional and multi-faceted that the treats are enjoyed from Turkey-Day to Hannukah. Gooey Pecan Bars, Lemon squares, orange chocolate cookies, and pumpkin pie is always on the menu. However, last year, my grandmother surprised us all and brought back a family favorite on the Jewish holidays to Thanksgiving. YEAST CAKE!! Yeast cake is a delicious cake that was invented by my great grandmother in England and takes almost 24 hours to make, so it is rare for my grandma to make when she is not required to make dessert. The dough is made and is left to rise, gooey chocolate is poured onto the dough once it is rolled out and then it is rolled like a rugaleh and then shaped into a twist and baked. The result? A crispy bread-like outside with a gooey chocolate-y center.

    My mothers spread was not touched by a single family member that night, and there were no yeast cake leftovers for my grandpa to nosh on the morning after.

  5. My favorite dessert memory is actually a drink/dessert memory. For years our family celebrated Thanksgiving at our Vermont house. My dad's brother and sister also had Vermont homes so the holiday was fun with everyone up North for the celebration. Dinner was hosted at our house. We had a large dinning room table where we all sat around to celebrate.
    This one year, while all waiting anxiously to celebrate the feast of treats, my husband Brian was given the honor of opening the champagne. What ensued goes down in family history and is often recalled by one family member or another at odd times to date, some 25 or 30 years later, evoking another round of laughter.
    When Brian pops the champagne it starts to erupt and rather than waste any of the bubbly treat, Brian decides to put his mouth over the top of the bottle to reserve any of the spillage. What he forgets to factor in is the physics of it all. The pressure of the erupting champagne shoots the bubbly out of his mouth and nose, it even looks as though it was coming of his ears! spraying everyone and everything at the table. We all laughed so hard, it was easily one of the funniest moments in our family holiday history. So my story is dessert related, it is not for what we ate, rather than the champagne sprayed people and food that sat around and upon the table.

  6. Every year my Mom's family gets together for Christmas dinner, my mom has four sisters and everyone brings at least three kinds of cookies! So you can imagine the sugar high I'm on for a few days. Every year my Mom and I make these great Cream Wafer sandwich cookies that my grandmother used to make. They're basically just butter but oh so delicious, and I love having such a nice tradition. It's the perfect thing to do on a cold day, listening to Christmas music and making cookies, I can't wait until it's cookie time at home again!
    Cream Wafers:
    1 c. butter 1/3 c. whipping cream
    2 c. flour granulated sugar
    Creamy Butter Filling (recipe below)

    Mix butter cream and flour thoroughly. Chill one hour.

    Heat oven to 375°. Roll dough 1/8" thick on lightly floured board. Cut into 1-1/2" rounds. Transfer to waxed paper heavily sprinkled with granulated sugar, turning to coat both sides. Place on ungreased cooky sheet. Prick in 4 places with fork. Bake 7-9 minutes, or until slightly puffy. Put two cooled cookies together with Filling.

    Creamy Butter Filling: Blend 1/4 c. soft butter, 3/4 c. confectioners' sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla. If desired, tint pink or green.


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