Tuesday, December 5, 2017

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

"Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver-white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things...."

Maria is one of my favorite things!
It's always a great family debate, "why is this song always included among the Pantheon of Christmas tunes?"  It's certainly not what you would call a traditional Christmas Carol.  And by Christmas Carol I mean a tune that Wiki says "whose lyrics are on the theme of Christmas and which is traditionally sung on Christmas itself or during the surrounding holiday season."  A few of my Favorite things surely does not rise up to those carols like Good King Wenceslas or the Holly and the Ivy whose origins can be traced back to the Middle Ages and when Santa Clause was a young stud.  The song got it's original Christmas introduction by being performed by Julie Andrews on the Gary Moore Show Christmas Special in 1961.  So I guess by definition then, because the song is sung around the holidays and talks about snow, by loose correlation it can be deemed a Christmas Carol.  It just goes to show you that if you are consistently complicit enough you will eventually get associated with whatever you are tying to be complicit with.

Anyway, I love this time of year because I get to do so many many of my favorite things.

Which by they way, looking up and retelling useless facts about music is one of my favorite things!

Another one of my favorite things this time of year is the annual Oxford Dictionary "word of the year."  Yes, I admit I am often complicit in all of these annual end of the year events.  Oh wait, complicit is actually this year's word of the year!  :)  Wait that was 2015's word of the year.

Well, I guess that is a good word for me as it's really questionable why I continue to make silly blog posts and continue to log into a ridiculous social media site dedicated to "married dating."  And yet here I am continuing to be complicit to all!!!

Well my other favorite thing to do this time of year is JZ's annual holiday cookie post.

And so to be complicit in choosing to continue to be involved in a few of my favorite things I'll give you a cookie idea from a place I've know for many years and is truly one of my favorite places.

Moravian Cookies

If I was going to accuse smells of being complicit with the Christmas spirit, the following would be at the top of my list:  ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  And where would you find all of those complicit smells?  Well one place is inside of an Old Salem style Moravian cookie!

There is just something about Old Salem, NC and its Moravian roots of brotherhood and peace that makes the area so special at Christmas.  I love the beautiful Moravian Stars, the crisp Carolina pine air, and of course the smell of baking cookies.

So here is how to make those cookies:


0.5 Cup         Light Brown Sugar
0.75 tsp         Baking Soda
0.5 tsp           Salt
0.75 tsp         Ginger
0.75 tsp         Cloves
0.25 tsp         Nutmeg
0.75 tsp         Cinnamon
0.25 tsp         Allspice
1 Cup            Molasses
0.5 Cup         Shortening
4 Cups           All-Purpose Flour


*     In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, soda, salt, and all the spices
*     In a medium saucepan heat the molasses just to the boiling point but do not boil (does not take long so don't get involved in a Charley Brown Christmas).
*     Stir in shortening into molasses until perfectly smooth and cool slightly.
*     Transfer molasses and shortening to a mixing bowl and beat in sugar and spice mixture.
*     As you are mixing add small amounts of flour, stirring to combine.  Continue adding flour until mixture becomes a sticky dough texture.
*     Empty dough mixture from bowl onto a well floured counter surface.
*     Knead the flour with hands until dough holds together.  Dough does need to be stiff.
*     Roll dough into a ball and refrigerate until firm.
*     You may wish to wrap dough in plastic so it does not dry out.
*     Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
*     Cut off portion of dough and roll on floured surface until paper thin.
*     Cut cookies into 2" circles (or your favorite cookie cutter image).  You may need a spatula or even a sharp paring knife to lift cookies off counter and onto baking sheet.
*     Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and place cookies 0.5" apart.
*     Bake 4 minutes; rotate tray and then bake for 2 more.  Allow cookies to cool on tray before you remove.
*     Store cookies in airtight container and they will last for some time, though usually not long enough to go stale as I usually eat them in one sitting!

Here are the rest of those complicit cookie bloggers!

May the cookies be with us.  :-D

And here is that original Christmas version of Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things


Anonymous said...

Oh Ryan--be still my beating heart! Moravian cookies, sigh. The Moravians really know how to make Christmas special. Can't wait to go to a love feast on Christmas Eve! Next year can you post how to make the sugar cake? xxoo, Holly

Lindy Thomas said...

Ryan they do sounds so yummy. Must give Moravian cookies a go. Thanks for sharing
Hugs Lindy xx

Mrs Fever said...

Ginger and cloves... Definitely Christmas-y fragranced spices.

These sound (and smell, I'm sure) delicious!

ronnie said...

Ryan, I love the sound of your recipe. So many spices, I can almost smell them over here. Thanks for sharing.


Baker said...

I've never tried this type of cookie, Ryan. Will need to give it a try.

blossom said...

love ginger and cinnamon...will definitely try these...thank you for sharing :)

Cat said...

Love the combination of spices in these...will definitely have to try. Thanks for sharing.

Hugs and blessings...Cat

Jz said...

Step closer... I need to give you a virtual cookie hug.
These look AMAZING - and sound a lot like my Grandmother's long-lost molasses crisp cookie. (She was Finnish, not Moravian, but I don't think tastebuds are xenophobic...)

Thank you for this.
And for playing along again.
(oh, and for posting my picture, she preens...)

Unknown said...

Sounds yummy!

Sassy said...

Wow - an actual cookie recipe! And a yummy looking one. So fun sharing this festive day with you. Thanks for telling me about it way back when. Have a wonderful holiday season Ryan!


little monkey said...

Merry Christmas!!! These sound absolutely lovely! I'll make them this weekend!

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