Friday, December 24, 2010

O Holy Night!

Merry Christmas Eve Sisters!

I have decided that Christmas Eve should be considered a separate holiday. It is an evening of anticipation for the next day and also a time of quiet reflection. It's a night to take a deep breath, because everything is done, the hustle and bustle of shopping is over, the gifts are wrapped, the menu is planned, it seems like now we can FINALLY focus on the celebration and not "getting ready". Christmas Eve is a time for Jesus and a time for family. We attend a Christmas Eve service at the church in my husband's home town. It is a midnight service by candle light and it is really quiet and beautiful.

O holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Hands down my favorite Christmas song, I love when someone can REALLY sing it. My favorite is Billy Gilman, he is amazing! He belts it out here, live, at Disney back in 2000. I think he is 22 now so he was 12 in this, his mom must be proud!

So, I wish all my sisters and their families a peaceful and divine Christmas eve, may our hearts be filled with gladness at the birth of our Lord and Savior!

Time for milk and cookies....
Chocolate Hazelnut Spirals

In keeping with the cookie extravaganza of this week, here are the recipes I made for the cookie exchange. I made half of the recipe for The Chocolate Hazelnut cookies gluten free for sister S using the flour she gave us. They have Nutella in them along with ground hazelnuts. I found the hazelnuts, bagged, in the baking aisle right with the walnuts and pecans etc. I was actually surprised to find them so easily, I had visions of having to buy them whole and crack them open (you're right, I just would have picked a different recipe!) Anyway, then I ground them in my coffee grinder. I figured if a little nut-dust was left in the grinder it would just become hazelnut coffee (I'm a genius, I tell you, a genius!).

The other cookie I made was Orange and Chocolate Spritz Cookies and that was just because I wanted to play with my Pampered Chef Cookie Press (LOVE that thing!!).

Orange and Chocolate Spritz

1 cup softened butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
Heat oven to 375*. Combine butter and sugar, beat until creamy. Add egg, extract and zest, beat until well mixed. Reduce speed to low and add flour and salt. Beat until well mixed. Place dough in cookie press and form shapes 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with coarse grain sugar if desired. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. remove to wire rack and cool completely. Melt 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips until smooth. Drizzle melted chocolate over cooled cookies if desired. Yield: 3 1/2 dozen

Does anyone else wish that Christmas cookies could be staggered through out the whole year?? I get very overwhelmed with them right now, eating them I mean. There are just too many that look really awesome to make and eat. And then come May or August a Christmas cookie would be so exciting! Maybe we should do a year round cookie exchange...each sister gets a certain month to make and share cookies?? Just an idea!
Merry Christmas everyone!!


  1. Nel!!! your cookie pics are beautiful!! and they taste delicious!! i'm addicted to the spritz (the chocolate & orange is just the right combination) Merry Christmas!! love ya... ♥J.

  2. Hope ya'll had a fun Christmas in the Mayor's household! ~*S*~


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