Spritz Cookies

  • 1 c softened butter
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/3 – 2 1/2 c flour (it depends on the size of the eggs we collect that day)
  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the almond extract, salt and egg and mix to incorporate well.  Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.
  3. Mix in the flour until just combined.
  4. Use a cookie press (mine is a Kuhn Rikon) to make various shapes on an ungreased cookie sheet.  I had to use a clean, cold cookie sheet for each batch or the cookies would not come off of the press and stick to the cookie sheet.
  5. Add jam, candies, or sugar crystals to the cookies for decoration.
  6. Bake them at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until just beginning to color.  We do not want these cookies to brown.



  • 1 T dry yeast 
  • 1 cup warm water 
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt 
  • 1 t vanilla extract 
  • 1 T lemon zest 
  • 1/4 t salt 
  • 4 cups flour 
  • 1 T confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, water and sugar.  Cover it and let it stand  for 10 minutes, or until it goes foamy.
  2. Add the eggs, yogurt, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Mix in the flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough forms into a manageable ball (I sometimes have to add 1/4 c extra).
  4. Use the mixer to knead for 5 to 10 minutes until dough is soft but not sticky.
  5. Proof until the dough doubles in size.
  6. In a small bowl, toss dried fruit with confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Punch down the dough in the bowl and transfer it to floured surface. Knead in the fruit.
  8. Place in prepared cake pan (buttered 8″ pan with parchment in the bottom and a buttered 4″ parchment collar).  Cover it loosely with dish towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  9. Brush the top with melted butter. and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

December 24 – Honoring Alfar

On the fifth day of Yuetide is dedicated to the Alfar, the male ancestors home and hearth. We will remember and try to keep the bargains made to the spirits throughout the year and take a moment to honor our ancestors – – maybe even leave out a little offering for the most well-known of the elves tonight.

Krumkake 2016

My husband’s late grandfather Ivar, traditionally made

Bertha and Ivar

lefse and krumkake for this holiday so today we will remember him by making krumkake.  We would go over to Ivars home on Christmas Eve and enjoy a big supper and lots of stories.  He was always really kind to me and such a gentle soul.  On this Christmas night, the family will gather once more and we will fill the krumkake with fresh whipped cream and enjoy a warm fire and good company, just as Ivar would have liked.

All of my male ancestors have passed, but I hope that where they are finds them by a warm fire, enjoying a strong cup of coffee and a peppermint stick with friends and family that went before them….and I hope they can see all of us and take comfort the traditions they helped to create.

My father Charles
My grandfather Edwin Alexander McDougall. He took in our family and raised me until his death at 92. A truly wonderful man.

Brigittine Chocolate Fudge

There is a long tradition of Brigittine Monastery Gourmet Fudge in Oregon.  At Our Lady of Consolation Priory, the monks quietly go about producing some of the most delicious, rich and creamy fudge in the world.  We didn’t have time to make the drive to Amity this Yuletide, but in a wonderful spirit of giving, years ago, the monastery published a recipe (circa 1987) to recreate their fudge at home.


  • 4½ Cups Sugar
  • 13 Ounces Evaporated Milk
  • 9 Ounces Semisweet Chocolate
  • 9 Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate
  • 7 Ounces Marshmallow Cream
  • ½ Pound Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extractimg_0158
  • 2 Cups Chopped Walnuts (optional)


  1. Combine the sugar and milk to a deep, heavy pot.
  2. Heat over medium bringing the mixture to a boil. Boil for 6 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir like crazy, until everything is melted and mixed.
  5. Pour the mixture into a well-buttered 9″ x 13″ pan.
  6. Let cool to room temperature and cut into cubes.

*** Whoops – I left out the butter.  I’ve melted 1/4 cup butter and stirred in half of the semi-hardened fudge, then added a 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped filberts.  The other half of the semi-hardened fudge just got the melted butter added.


2017 Update

This year we made one batch, poured about 1/3 into a pan, and added pecans to the pan.  We poured another 1/3 into a second pan and then added (as per Noah’s request) some crushed pretzels to the remainder.  I think this will help with the “fudge until Spring Equinox” problem.

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