by Julie Snyder
To me, Christmas tastes cool like snowflakes, soft like candlelight, spicy like gingerbread and sweet like oranges.
'm still working on a cookie that combines those tastes and smells -- one that triggers memories of Christmas past...
• The scent as I ripped the peel from the mandarin orange in the toe of my stocking
• The scraps from the gingerbread house, so spicy and filled with laughter as the family created this year's centerpiece
• A walk in the falling snow, catching snowflakes on my tongue
• The gentle glow from the cranberry and bayberry candles
Tastes and scents have the power to take you back in time, to memories from childhood.
On National Cookie Day, we set off on a quest for the taste of Christmas -- the taste that personifies your holiday experiences.
We asked members the question, "If you could put "Christmas" in a cookie, what would it taste like?"
The perfect Christmas treat would be a soft, melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookie with a touch of cinnamon.
Christmas should taste like tangerines -- the ones you get in the bottom of your stocking.
It's the taste of cinnamon, vanilla, pies and butter. It would be like a cross between sugar cookies and snicker doodles, but with more warmth.
Old fashioned ribbon candy, peppermint candy canes and that big bowl of nuts with the shells on -- that's what Christmas is. My cookie that tastes like Christmas would have a half walnut on the top.
To me, Christmas comes in a cup and it's flavored mocha with cinnamon. I'd need a very chocolaty cookie with a hint of cinnamon.
My children say Christmas should taste similar to a sugar cookie.
I think it would taste more like holly berries and peppermint.
Our Christmas day started with orange cinnamon rolls, old-fashioned ribbon candy and raspberry hard candies with a soft center. The perfect cookie would be an orange and cinnamon thumbprint filled with raspberry jam.
Nothing says "holiday" like a ginger cookie. The taste alone brings you back! Try this easy-to-make, easy-to-bake recipe to make your tongue tingle!
Crush up 8 ounces candy canes or starlight mints. Divide your favorite sugar cookie dough in half. Add the peppermint bits and red food coloring to one half. For each candy cane, roll out a strip of white and red dough. Twist together and form into a candy cane. Bake according to your recipe's directions.
Scandinavian families traditionally baked a lot around the holidays. It could be the cold, dark days need warmed up with cookies and coffee. No matter the reason, Peppernotter, baked with butter and love continue to create holiday memories.
Combine 3 cups non-fat dry milk powder, 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder and 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute. Divide into five portions. Divide and sprinkle 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies over the mix. For each serving, add a liberal 3 tablespoons mix to a cup of boiling water. Stir well. Serve with a peppermint stirring stick.
The red and white swirling mints have always been a favorite in the candy bowl. Let them be a favorite on your holiday cupcake tray, too. Pipe red and white frosting in a spiral on your favorite cupcakes and add a sprinkle of sugar for sparkle.
Mix 1/2 cup cinnamon and 1/2 cup applesauce to form a ball of dough. Pat or roll out and cut with cookie cutters. Poke a hole through each shape to hang. Leave out overnight or bake 2 to 3 hours in a 150 F oven to harden. String and hang for aromatic Christmas ornaments.
How would you describe the taste of Christmas? Which cookies take you back?
Photo courtesy of Istockphoto.