Last year we had a couple of... let's call them... unwanted guests in our basement. You know the little furry kind that leave messes in their path and chew little holes in your baking stockpile?
Ugh. and yuck.
So they're long gone now, but unfortunately they found their way into our Christmas tree. It was a hand-me-down from my Grandparents when we were first married, and it had seen better days. I was determined to find a GREAT deal on Black Friday for a pre-lit tree (our first).
I think you know where I'm headed with this story. Sold out. Both online and in the store. I don't know about you, but we really don't have an extra $150 (plus) for a pre-lit tree when I have all sorts of gifts to buy. It's Christmas time for goodness sake, right?! Especially not when I know I can get a great deal after Christmas on clearance.
So I had the brilliant idea to just "make do" for one year with a real tree. Paul agreed, so we "suffered through" picking out our favorite tree as a family and visiting the tree farm's adorable train display and 80,000 (yes you read that right) poinsettias. And I can tell you we are indeed "suffering through" smelling that beautiful tree each time we open our front door.
Completely converted, I'm telling you! We LOVE the real tree and I'm not sure we'll ever go back to using a fake one again. It was so much fun picking it out with the boys, although Silas initially vetoed all of my favorites because none of them had lights. He's so cute.
These Sparkly Gingersnaps are sweet, chewy, and the perfect treat for tree-trimming night at your house! My kids seriously couldn't get enough of these, and neither could I. Don't even get me started on how many I could demolish by dunking into my coffee!
makes 20-24 cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup sanding sugar (regular sugar would work fine, too)
In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg, water, and molasses and mix until well incorporated. In a separate large bowl, sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture while the mixer is set to low speed. Place sanding sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough (I used a cookie scoop) into sanding sugar, and then place onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 7 to 9 minutes, cookies should still be soft. Transfer to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container to keep cookies soft.
So how about you, real tree or fake for you this year?
Here are some more of my favorite Christmas cookies: