Welcome to my Holiday Traditions & Memories event, where some wonderful authors are sharing favorite traditions and/or memories with you. Today’s guest is Kelly Meding, author of the Dreg City urban fantasy series.
Born and raised in Southern Delaware, Kelly Meding survived five years in the hustle and bustle of Northern Virginia, only to retreat back to the peace and sanity of the Eastern Shore. An avid reader and film buff, she discovered Freddy Krueger at a very young age, and has since had a lifelong obsession with horror, science fiction, and fantasy, on which she blames her interest in vampires, psychic powers, superheroes, and all things paranormal.
After you’ve read Kelly’s post below, you can see more wonderful traditions and memories shared by readers in the comments on my 30 Days of Holiday Magic giveaway. Share your own story over there for a chance to win, too!
Christmas Magic Through Cookies
By Kelly Meding
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Joy to Everything Anyone Celebrates in December! Before I get started down memory lane, I want to thank Linda for inviting me to play on her blog for the day. Most folks know better than to allow me to run wild like this, but I promise I’ll be good. It’s Christmas, after all.
I grew up in a pretty average household with a nuclear family and a lot of relatives nearby. Christmas Eve and Day didn’t always happen the same way, depending on who had to be where and when, but those days are always about family. And aside from being around my family, the thing I remember most about Christmases past—besides presents, because presents are important, too—are the cookies.
So. Many. Cookies.
My earliest memories of making Christmas cookies with my mom and sister involve a simple sugar cookie dough and a lot of plastic cookie cutters. Reindeer, Santa, trees, wreaths, a sleigh, a stocking—all cut out of the dough, which we then dotted with M&M’s. The cookie wasn’t very sweet, so the candies added a bit of sugar, and they were wonderful.
And they were only one kind of many. Every December we baked a variety of cookies, so we had plenty for family visitors—and plenty for Santa. Dad has his favorite oatmeal raisin. My favorite were chocolate peanut butter chip. We made chocolate chip, snowballs, no-bake cookies, oatmeal scotchies, cream cheese cookies, and more.
Cookie baking was done for the cookies, obviously. But it was also a time only for us girls. We picked a Saturday, and we spent it baking and being together. Dad was usually working, and that was okay, because he didn’t (and still doesn’t) bake. Nowadays, Mom doesn’t bake anymore, and I don’t do nearly the variety I used to. Dad still gets a batch of his favorite oatmeal raisin as part of his Christmas present. Sometimes I bake for my coworkers, because that quiet time is great for book brainstorming.
Certain traditions lose their magic as you get older, but the memories remain alive. And Christmas time is about making your own magical memories and traditions.
Speaking of magic, I wanted to end this by including a recipe for Magic Window Cookies, a fun favorite that will delight kids of all ages because of the hands-on fun of preparing them.
MAGIC WINDOW COOKIES
¾ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Beat together shortening, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. In another bowl blend flour, powder and salt. Stir into beaten mixture. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough and cut into shapes with your favorite cookie cutters. With a sharp knife, cut out holes in the cookie shape whenever you like. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Crush Lifesavers in a plastic baggie. Sprinkle crushed candy into the holes you cut out of the cookie shapes.
Bake 7-9 minutes, until cookie is lightly browned and candy is bubbling. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet. Gently peel the cookie from the aluminum foil. You can see right through the candy like stained glass!
I always had a blast making these. What are some of your favorite holiday cookies to make?
Three Days to Dead, the first book the Dreg City urban fantasy series, follows Evangeline Stone, a paranormal hunter who is resurrected into the body of a stranger and has only three days to solve her own murder and stop a war between the city’s goblins and vampires. Additional books in the series, As Lie the Dead, Another Kind of Dead, and Wrong Side of Dead, are available in both digital format and mass market paperback from Bantam. Book five, Requiem for the Dead, is available digitally through all platforms.
Beginning with Trance, Kelly’s MetaWars series tells the story of the grown-up children of the world’s slaughtered superheroes who receive their superpowers back after a mysterious fifteen-year absence, and who now face not only a fearful public, but also a vengeful villain who wants all of them dead. Trance and Changeling are available now in both digital format and mass market paperback from Pocket Books. Tempest and Chimera are available in digital format only via Pocket Star. All four books can also be purchased as a digital bundle.
REQUIEM FOR THE DEAD: https://www.amazon.com/Requiem-Dead-Dreg-Kelly-Meding-ebook/dp/B00F7P56MK/ref=pd_sim_b_1