Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-Thon mini-challenge

Break out the cocoa, tea, or coffee, and grab your holiday-themed books because the Ho-Ho-Ho read-a-thon is having some mini-challenges today.

I'm going to participate in two.

The --- What is your favourite holiday/ Christmas movie you loved as a child?
hosted by Megan  at Reading Away the Days.  She said to just leave a comment on her post letting her know what it is, but I thought I'd just mention it here too.

So my favorite Christmas movie as a child? Well, my childhood was long ago, so my choices are few.  But there were these "after school movies' that came on at bout  4pm. and I used to love this movie (I'm sure it was a  'made for TV' movie, because that was huge back then) called "The House Without a Christmas Tree".  Jason Robards was in it.
The House Without a Christmas Tree is a 1972 television movie, novelized into a children's book by Gail Rock in 1974, that centers on the relationship between Adelaide "Addie" Mills (Lisa Lucas), a bright and energetic only child, and her melancholy father, James Addison Mills III (Jason Robards). James had never recovered from the death of his wife Helen (Addie's mother), and is bitterly against ever having a Christmas tree in the house. The videotaped production was seen regularly on CBS during the holiday season between 1972 and 1977

(Thank you Megan!  I just placed an order for this movie! $5 tho, so it's okay)

Does anyone else remember this movie?
It was such a good movie of HOPE and FORGIVENESS!

Mini-Challenge Number Two is hosted by Elizabeth from 
She says:
Everyone has favorite recipes for the holiday season. Desserts, cookies, stuffing, appetizers, whatever your specialty, share the recipe with us so we can all expand our repertoire. 

My specialty, hmmmm.
I don't know that these are my specialty, but I love them!
They make the house all Christmasy smelling and nothing is better than that!
Plus they taste GREAT!
I might just make up a batch to sit and eat (with coffee of course) while I read my Christmas books tomorrow.

Soft & Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

1/3 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup molasses, light or dark

Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup sugar for dipping in a shallow, wide bowl.

Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in medium bowl until thoroughly combined; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter with brown and granulated sugars at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and add yolk and vanilla; increase speed to medium and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Reduce speed to medium-low and add molasses; beat until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds, scraping bottom and sides of bowl once with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to lowest setting; add flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl down once. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no pockets of flour remain at bottom. Dough will be soft.

Using tablespoon measure, scoop heaping tablespoon of dough and roll between palms into 1 1/2-inch ball. Roll ball in sugar to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are browned, still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone), about 11 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overbake if you want the cookies to be soft and chewy.

Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes, then use wide metal spatula to transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Orange Essence (*** the one I chose to do***)
The orange  zest in the sugar coating causes the sugar to become sticky and take on a light orange hue; the baked cookies have a unique frosty look.
Process 2/3 cup sugar and 2 tsp grated orange zest in food processor until pale orange, about 10 seconds; transfer sugar to shallow dish and set aside. Add 1 tsp grated orange zest to dough along with molasses and substitute orange sugar when coating balls.

Dark Rum Glaze
Whisk 1 cup confectioners sugar and 2 1/2 tbls dark rum  (tad bit more if needed) together in a med bowl until smooth. Drizzle or spread glaze using back of a spoon, on cooled cookies.  Let glazed cookies dry for at least 15 minutes.

Do you have a favorite essence?
I love orange.  

I've tried the rum glaze too--- and seriously, one can never go wrong with rum.
Well.......???? (maybe you can go wrong with rum?!)
but the cookies tasted good!!

And those are my Ho-Ho-Ho challenges for today!
Now I MUST go read.
Or go to work---that's it--damn it!
Work, then READ!


Care said...

YUM! YOU lost me at cookies...

bermudaonion said...

We used to mark The Peanuts Christmas Special on our calendars. I guess my specialty would be cheesecake but I haven't made one in a while since we generally throw most of it away. Your cookies look wonderful!

Stefanie said...

These cookies sound yummy. I haven't really had molasses cookies; my mum's probably made them once. I have fond memories of watching A Charlie Brown Christmas every year and oh, my daughters and I have started our own tradition of watching The Polar Express and having hot chocolate while watching it. I don't usually make cookies for Christmas b/c I'm usually knitting and gift wrapping until the 24th when our ohana celebrates.

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