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Cookies never shined this brightly.

Your very own virtual Advent Calendar:

(just for you)

The more I see this number decline,

the more I freak out about Christmas shopping.

Eek!

I need more time!

Let us sing our song so we can forget about how far behind we are.

Everyone join me in “The 12 Days of Christmas Cookies”:

The older I get, the more I realize that people fall into 2 categories:

1. Those that love Christmas.
2. Those that hate Christmas.

I have yet to meet someone who is in between and could take or leave it either way.

No, there are clear lines that divide the population and by age 30ish,

you have your mind made up.

(It’s in the “Coming of Age” rule book).

Those that love Christmas, do so because it is a time of

magic and beauty.

A season where their lives are filled with

Presents,

Family,

and Love.

Those that hate Christmas, do so, well, for the same reasons.

Presents (they cannot afford)

to buy for those that they really don’t like to begin with.

Family. Need I say more?

And love. What a commercialized sham.

I tend to be pessimistically optimistic in my day-to-day life

(meaning I grumpily approach life as a half-full glass of water,

yet with a sense of cheerful suspicion that someone has replaced my water

with some sort of poison).

But when it comes to this time of the year,

I cannot help but squeal like a little school girl in expectation

that my glass is half-full of eggnog (the non-dairy kind).

One of the things that especially transports me into this happy state is Christmas lights.

Christmas lights are so personally transfixing for me.

They wrap me up into a different reality and fill my heart with a sense of

child-like wonderment.

I could stand and stare at them for hours.

Maybe it is the fairytale that they tell when I experience them.

“Once upon a time,

in a land far, far away,

there lived a girl, who at that brief moment,

had no care in the world.

And everything was beautiful just for that moment…”

Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Makes several dozen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 c. Earth Balance (softened)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 1/2 c. Authentic Foods Rice Flour Blend
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cream butter and sugar together with a hand mixer. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Combine flour and xanthan gum. Mix gradually, 1 c. at a time, into butter/sugar mix until well blended.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes (1/2 the time for small cutouts).
  3.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes (1/2 the time for small cutouts).

    If you are doing cutouts:
  • Roll into 1/8″ thickness between 2 pieces of wax paper. Cut out with cookie cutters.

      For cookie stamp directions:

  • Go to Brooke’s blog to check out how she did it. They look delightfully awesome!

Sometimes it’s good to listen to a fairytale every now and again.

Reality has a way of barging into our lives way too often, anyway.

And if you ask me, I think that it’s completely okay

to forget about our troubles and immerse ourselves in lights, even if it’s just for a month…

she typed, as she sipped on her Silk eggnog.

49 Comments Post a comment
  1. Laurel #

    Ooh, I love all the pretty lights. I missed so much with my computer malfunction – strings of lights and snowflakes. That’s all I need from the season. Sometimes sugar filled fantasies are all that get me through. BTW I’ve made shortbread with ground chia seed. I didn’t add water to make a gel just about 1 1/2 tsp thrown in with the dry ingredients. They held together and stayed crisp until devoured. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you. That man of yours needs to be there to save you from yourself!

    December 8, 2011
  2. Sissy #

    The other night, Robert came down with his phone….he had taken a picture of the girls…apparently, Corynn got scared (another word for mischievous, annoying little sister) and got in bed with Cami (who was actually sleeping). They were so close to each other and sleeping so cute….it just made me lau and tear up a bit….so many good memories of having my own sissy! I am so blessed not just to have you as my sis, but also that I will have THREE girls who will hopefully make their own sweet Christmas memories like we did. (PS – remember how we used to draw on each other’s backs and try to guess the picture???) 🙂

    December 8, 2011
    • As much as we joke about the horrible, rotten things that we used to do to one another, we still had some really sweet, innocent mmoments, wouldn’t you say? So glad that our friendship gets better and stronger as we get older.

      December 8, 2011
  3. Sissy #

    What about sleeping in your sissy’s bed the night before Christmas??? Talk about memories!!!! 😉

    December 7, 2011
    • Hey, you are spoiling future post topics! That really is the *top* holiday memory for me. I am sure it is for you too because *I* am involved 🙂

      December 7, 2011
  4. ahh the pretty lights… i need to get me some sprinkles!.. we dont really celebrate christmas.. but the lights,.. songs and the cheer definitely is wonderful.. this year we celebrated Diwali ( which is in October )with my parents after 10 years..coz we always end up going to India in december and no big celebration in december there.

    December 7, 2011
    • What is Diwali, Richa? My favorite indian food restaurant has all sorts of flyers but I never asked what it was…

      December 7, 2011
      • Its like our Christmas.. over 10 days of celebrations.. a big harvest festival celebrations of stories of good winning over evil.. make lots of indian sweets.. and we light oil lamps instead of electric lights..visit family and friends.. eat, eat, more eat., exchange sweets, desserts or edible things instead of gifts… and eat.. similar stuff.. 🙂 my parents this year chose to give dried fruits and similar stuff instead of the milk and ghee(clarified butter) loaded indian sweets… i am proud of them!

        December 7, 2011
        • *deep sigh* I wanna be Indian! I’ve always felt as if I was born into the wrong ethnicity. Can I convert?

          December 7, 2011
  5. Do you think I could make these without the xanthan gum?

    December 7, 2011
    • You know, I think you really could! I was just too chicken to try it because I only had an hour to get it right. Try it and tell me how it works out.
      What? No funny story?

      December 7, 2011
      • I’m not feeling very talkative today..
        And I figured you’re probably tired of my long comments.

        December 7, 2011
        • I am NEVER tired of your stories!!! They are the highlight of my day (honest to goodness!) But I totally understand those days–today is one of those for me too. Which is probably why I was hoping for an Isobelle story–I just wanted to smile 🙂 You are the best, you should know. An utter and total delight.

          December 7, 2011
          • Thank you, Cara 🙂
            I’m glad to have someone to tell my sometimes incomprehensible stories to.

            If you’d like to know, I bit into an apple today that was bruised on the inside (the INSIDE). I didn’t eat the rest, but it made me think that the apple was probably in some sort of emotional pain or something. It was hurting. Inside.

            December 7, 2011
            • If that was my apple, I would give it a hug (before I threw it away, that is). Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could take a bite out of people and see all of their bruises? I woner how many would corrode my innards?

              December 7, 2011
              • That would be interesting. Your innards would probably be corroded all of the time though. And it would be your fault. For biting everybody.

                My poor apple.

                December 7, 2011
                • It appears as if you and my therapist have been talking again.

                  December 7, 2011
  6. Your biggest fan! #

    I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I’m one of those “glass is overflowing” types and the lights? Oh the wonder 🙂 ***…”I like to give. Sometimes I’d find myself hurting from giving too much, and I’d say “Stop it”. That’s why I got into broadcasting.” *** Theses look so good. All of your recipes are deLIGHTful! But, what the heck is xanthan gum?

    December 7, 2011
    • I’m really going to treasure this. And all of you.
      hahahaha. I wonder what people think when they read our exchanges. Probably something along the lines of, “These women are either super sappy and/or they make no sense.”
      Where do you think I got the love for all thing holiday related???

      December 7, 2011
  7. Cara, I absolutely LOVE the name of your blog! I love a good play on words. Your pics are fabulous also. You’re on to something with the gluten-free. I can’t go veg, but gluten is probably a big contributor to a lot of health issues. Great site! I’m following you now. Not to be confused with stalking you :).

    http://mjmonaghan.wordpress.com/

    December 7, 2011
    • Thanks, MJ! All of the above was so nice of you to say. Happy to hear you are stal…following me 🙂 ha!

      December 7, 2011
  8. Oh I love Christmas! I am one of those people 🙂
    And those shortbread lights are too stinkin’ cute!!! I want all five right now, please!
    I bet they are super delicious too – are you still the only one taste testing these recipes? Sugar rush!!!

    December 7, 2011
    • I had a feeling you were a Christmas lover, Nora 🙂
      And yes, I am still the lone taste tester. Hopefully that will change next week. Fingers crossed. Until then, I will do my duty and eat cookies every afternoon at coffee time 🙂

      December 7, 2011
      • I am in the same boat too! 😦 It’s bittersweet though – I do love me some eatin’ but it’s fun to share the experience with someone else too!
        Does he get back Dec 16th? I am super excited for you!!!!! I hope all goes according to plan love!

        December 7, 2011
        • Well, he was saying the end of January yesterday, but today it’s back to the 14th. We will see… I need someone here to take care of me while I am injured!

          December 7, 2011
          • Oh goodness, I sure hope it’s the 14th!!! I would take care of you if I could!!! 🙂

            December 11, 2011
            • THREE MORE DAYS!!!! But then he leaves again 2 weeks after that 😦 Any plans to visit the sis-in-law and your favorite new friend yet?? (not like you are busy or anything)…

              December 11, 2011
  9. Lizzie #

    I love the lights too. My absolute favorite thing about the season, actually, is seeing someone’s Christmas tree through their window, all lit up and glowing.

    December 7, 2011
    • aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh, I love that! I also love when it is dark in the house but you can see the glow of the lights outside. It’s so peaceful to me 🙂

      December 7, 2011
  10. These are so twinkling CUTE!! And as for me, I’m a glass COMPLETELY full of eggnog kinda gal. 😀

    December 7, 2011
    • Like! Like! Like! I wanna fill up on my eggnog too!

      December 7, 2011
  11. wow, that is one ridiculously simply ingredient list! they looks so pretty, too! i can’t remember the last time i had sprinkles. i don’t even know where i would get vegan ones..

    December 7, 2011
  12. Cutest. cookies. EVER. I love the little bulbs and different colored sprinkles! Now, do tell me where you got that cutter so I can be a copycat? They’re just SO adorable.

    PS – most advent calendars come with treats that I can put into my face. Yours is so deceiving.. teasing my eyes and all.

    December 7, 2011
    • I got the cutter at Ross, actually. It came in a pack of like 12 other mini cookie cutters. Copycat. Again. ha!
      Your advent treats are in the mail…

      December 7, 2011
      • I am such a copycat. It’s becoming embarassing. And whaaaat? You’ll be getting yours at the end of next week – finals are *almost* over. Ahhhhh!

        December 8, 2011
        • Well you won’t get yours until you move *since that is the only address I have for you anyway* 🙂 How are finals going? Mine are next week and I am not looking forward to them…

          December 9, 2011
  13. soooo pretty. gosh you’re so creative 🙂

    December 7, 2011
    • Oh Rachel–you flatterer of words 🙂 Thank you!

      December 7, 2011
  14. Enjoyed reading this post. Cookies look pretty and colourful 🙂

    December 7, 2011
    • I’m so glad to hear that you liked it, Chimayie!

      December 7, 2011
  15. Josh is one of those rare in-betweeners. He likes some things about Christmas (visiting family, giving & receiving presents) but doesn’t really care for decorations or songs or Christmas movies or trees or even Christmas lights.

    And that last one is kinda blasphemous… like you, I am transported by Christmas lights and sometimes I kinda wish they were out all year. Everything looks so NICE with Christmas lights on.

    I looooove how simple this recipe looks! And I do have a little bag of xanthan gum to burn through.. hmmmmmm…

    December 7, 2011
    • What????? Josh is completely blasphemous!! How does one NOT like Christmas lights??? And everything he dislikes about Christmas are the very reasons why I love it. I think we should arm wrestle over who is right. Loser wins, seeing that my wrist just gave out and I am typing this with one hand…

      December 7, 2011
  16. Jan #

    Mmmmm eggnog…IV please.

    December 7, 2011
    • You know, soynog isn’t so bad when your nose is a little stuffy and you can barely taste the soy. *inserting IV*

      December 7, 2011
  17. Kelly C #

    Those are soooooo adorable!!

    December 7, 2011
    • Thank you so much, Kelly!

      December 7, 2011

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