Christmas Day is always celebrated at my aunt Marlene’s house. All of my mom‘s brothers and sisters (and their families) gather together for countless gifts, tons of laughter, and mouth-watering food. (Because calories consumed on holidays don’t count, right? Muahahaha.) It’s really just a random assortment of completely awesome foods: Chex Mix, Holiday “Bark” (think white-chocolate covered peanuts, m&m’s, and pretzels), Cheese/Crackers/Summer Sausage, Tortilla & Ham roll-ups, barbecue meatballs, little weinies (aka pigs in a blanket), and an endless amount of tantalizing desserts (stay tuned for a kick-booty cookie recipe).
However, there remain a number of items that I simply don’t have a problem staying away from: shrimp & dip, some type of fish (I’ve never had enough interest to ask what type), and raw beef. Marlene had an interesting concoction going:
We took the customary photos (it’s the one day of year I feel like a celebrity – so much paparazzi I almost can’t handle it)…
Now, for the recipe for Aunt Marlene’s Chocolate Mint Sugar Cookie Drops. I think I can speak for all of the cousins when I say this is the cookie we most look forward to each Christmas. A crumbly, sugar-covered cookie drop overflowing with mint chips. And per Layne‘s suggestion, you mustn’t eat the ones covered in white sugar. Please be a little more adventurous and go for the red or green!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup (10-oz. pack) Toll House mint morsels
- Assorted colors of sugar or white sugar
Mix all ingredients, shape into teaspoonful balls, and roll in colored (or white) sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees, until set. Let stand 2 minutes before removing. Pick cookie up, put in mouth, repeat. (Makes 5 1/2 dozen.)
This morning, after a night full of laughter, texting, and more family videos (yes to the retro dancing in the early 90s with wild hair and big glasses), we all gathered one more time to surprise my aunt for her 60th birthday! My Aunt Marlene has hit a new decade, and is looking better than ever (may I add she also is the same Marlene that makes the delicious mint sugar cookie drops featured above?).
The brunch was great in that it allowed us all – once again – to talk stupid and enjoy each other’s company. Our family has so much to look forward to – one cousin is getting married in May (right after I return from Rome – score!) and another just announced she is expecting…WOO HOO!! (But of course the dessert table didn’t hurt anything, either.)
My mom & I split a fantastically-rich butterfinger/snickers-type dessert with whipped topping, crushed candy bar, and a graham cracker crust.
Afterwards, Natalie and her family came over to watch the Packer vs. Giants game – we were delighted they came out with an awesome victory. Woot woot!
Pom-poms, foam fingers, and cheese-heads in tow…
Oh, one more thing that’s very entertaining. Layne & I met Aaron Rodgers about 5 years ago (haha) at a random high school near my grandparent’s. Though this was when Favre was still hogging all the playing time, Aaron did ask us what our plans were for New Year’s (Aaron, if you’re out there…as of now I have no plans 🙂 )
How about you? Do you have any plans for New Year’s? Hope you’re enjoying this holiday season – it comes and goes too fast!