Food Friday: Holiday cookie cheer

*Every Friday is all about food on Red Cross Talks – everything from Red Cross inspired recipes to emergency food tips and solutions.

Some Red Cross themed cookie cutters we found online. Clockwise from top left: flashlight, heart, swimmer, wheelchair and person (volunteer)

No matter what you celebrate this time of year, it’s definitely an excuse to bake up a batch of your favourite treats - especially cookies.

I recently whipped up a batch of these cookies (recipe found in the latest edition of Yoga Journal). They are easy to make – just mix, roll and cut them out using some fun cookies cutters. Check out the photo on the right for some Red Cross cookie cutter inspiration! Also with some red and white icing, you can easily transform the regular old gingerbread man into a Red Cross volunteer by making a vest or hat.

Ginger & Spice Cookies

Makes approximately 18 cookies

½ cup natural cane sugar

1 cup organic local honey

2 organic  eggs or egg substitute

1 teaspoon organic baking powder

1 teaspoon organic cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon organic allspice

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

½ cup chopped candied ginger

¼ cup orange zest

Preheat over to 400°. Mix sugar, honey and egg. Blend flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and allspice and stir into sugar mixture. Mix in walnuts, candied ginger and orange zest. If the dough seems too soft to roll, chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. If the dough is dry, hand-knead 2 tablespoons of softened butter or water into the dough until is workable. Hand-flatten and roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut dough with cookie cutters and transfer to ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

My public affairs colleague, Colleen Lowe shared this recipe for Magic Bars – baking them is one of her holiday traditions!

Magic Bars

Makes about 36

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup butterscotch flavored chips

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350° or 325° if you are using a glass dish. Line a 13”x9” baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Place the butter in the baking pan and melt it in the oven. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter; pour condensed milk evenly on top of crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients in order listed; press down firmly with fork. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before cutting into bars. Store at room temperature.

* Sometimes she leaves out the butterscotch chips and just uses chocolate. She has also substituted the butterscotch chips for Skor pieces.

Also, thanks to Red Crossers in the Atlantic Canada for this cookie recipe: Elaine’s Fundraiser Scotch Cookies.

What are some of your favourite holiday baked treats?

Happy holidays everyone!

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