Shannon here: Contemporary romance author, Rose McCauley shares recipes for Dressing and Christmas Cookies, plus a chance to win a copy of 4 in 1 anthology, Christmas Belles of Georgia, including her novella, Nick’s Christmas Carol. Every time you comment on this post, your name goes in the drawing. Deadline: Dec 27, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Rose:
1 ½ c. sugar
1 ½ c. softened butter
2 t. vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 ½ c. confectioner’s sugar
3 T. softened butter
1 t. vanilla
Food coloring if desired, and/or colored sugar
Cookie Directions: In mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat. Stir dry ingredients together and add gradually to creamed mixture. Chill for 30 minutes. Roll dough on lightly-floured surface to ¼ in. thick. Cut with holiday cutters. Using floured spatula, move to ungreased baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes. (May need to adjust baking time depending on the size of the cutters.) Cool.
Frosting directions: combine sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. Beat until creamy. Can thin with small amounts of milk to spreading consistency. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Or can divide into several portions to make several colors. Spread frosting over cooled cookies and decorate with colored sugar or other sprinkles if desired.
Makes 6-7 dozen cookies depending on size of cutters.
My children (and now grandchildren) loved making their own designs with the dough. One daughter even created a whole nativity scene one year!
In Nick’s Christmas Carol, in Christmas Belles of Georgia, my hero and heroine give gifts to a mother with two young daughters for 12 days leading up to Christmas. On Christmas Day, the girls and mother bake and leave these cookies on their doorstep from some of the groceries the young couple have given them. They all have learned more about giving to others for Christmas (and throughout the year) to celebrate all Christ has given us. He truly is the Reason for the Season!
BEST DRESSING EVER!
Start early in the morning (or can do the night before): cook 2 Jiffy cornbread mixes per package instructions in a 13×9 pan at 400 degrees until done. (15-20 min.) Let cool then crumble into bite-sized pieces. (I cut into 1 in. squares in pan and then crumble it up.) Toast 12 slices bread (I like whole wheat but have used white) cool, then pulse in the food processor until tiny crumbs. Pour breadcrumb mixture on top of crumbled corn bread.
Next (or next day after you get the turkey in the oven) prepare turkey broth by cooking the giblets in 4-6 cups of water or use 4 chicken bouillon cubes in water or prepared chicken stock. Use food processor to chop one medium onion, then 3 or 4 stalks of celery. Place skillet on top of stove on medium and melt one stick of margarine, then add 1 pound pork sausage and cook, chopping it into small pieces with spatula. To this mixture add the celery and onion and cook together.
To the 13×9 pan with cornbread and bread mixture add 1 t. pepper, 1 t. sage, 1 t. poultry seasoning and mix throughout. Then pour everything in the skillet on top and blend together in pan. Then pour 2 cups of the broth over this, adding more broth ½ cup at a time until it forms a stiff dough. It can now be cooked in a couple buttered baking dishes for 20-25 min. at 350 degrees if you prefer your dressing soft.
My husband’s mother always made dressing balls, so if you wish to do that you can roll the mixture into balls or I scoop it with a buttered ¼ cup measuring cup and place the humps into a buttered dish and cook at 350 for 25 minutes. This recipe will make 28- ¼ cup balls which should serve around 14 guests.
In Nick’s Christmas Carol, the hero’s aunt who raised him makes this recipe for Thanksgiving dinner each year. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, so is a great southern cook. This is also the recipe I make for my Thanksgiving dinner each year. It is a several-steps process, but well-worth the effort—just ask my kids who don’t like anyone else’s dressing as much as mine! I got the basic recipe from the cooks at the school where I taught for two years in South Carolina and have gradually tweaked it to make it my own.
About Rose: Rose Allen McCauley is happy to live in the beautiful bluegrass region of Kentucky on a farm surrounded by God’s creation. She has been writing for over ten years and has been published in several non-fiction anthologies and devotionals. She is thrilled for this to be her first published fiction because Christmas books are her favorites. She has a growing collection of Christmas books, and this one will takes its rightful place among them.
A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for over 43 years, she is also mother to three grown children and their spouses and Mimi to three lovely, lively grandkids! You can reach her through her website www.rosemccauley.com or blogsite at www.rosemccauley.blogspot.com
About the book: Christmas Belles of Georgia, Barbour Publishing, 2011. Novella title: Nick’s Christmas Carol.
Nick Powers worked hard to earn his college degree and his dream job. He doesn’t know what to expect when he finds out new owners will be taking over Bellingham Plantation soon. When Carol Peterson comes to town, she and Nick get off to a rocky start, but soon combine forces to make Christmas a happier time for others. Can they find their own Christmas happiness?
Sample an excerpt from Nick’s Christmas Carol: http://shannonvannatter.com/rose-mccauley-romantic-excerpt-part-3-of-3/.
Come back Dec 23 for a recipe from Linda Rondeau.