Holidays have their own taste requirements. What would Thanksgiving be without some form of pumpkin on the menu? Cookies are the dessert of choice when it comes to Christmas. Years ago (when I was younger) I would come home from school every day in December and prepare a batch of cookies each evening. Some days it would be two different kinds. I don’t mean your everyday kind of cookie either. No chocolate chip, peanut butter, or oatmeal for this season. These cookies were usually labor intensive and pretty. I didn’t mind because it was fun and I always had cookies available for friends dropping by. These days, I don’t make so many.
However, there is one cookie that is a requirement. It is a Norwegian cookie, sandbakkel (pronounced like sun buckle). This is a cookie that has been made for generations in our family. It is a simple butter cookie, but the dough is pressed into small tins, then baked. This is one of those cookies that takes extra work, but it is so worth it! I divide my tins into thirds so I can have one set in the oven baking, one set cooling on the counter, and the final set getting dough put into the tins. The tricky part is getting them out of the tins (oh shucks, it broke, guess I have to eat it). Once these have been baked, I know the season is here.
Party mix is another must have for December. Usually it is made the first weekend of December, but not this year. However, it did get made, just later.
It takes three boxes of Chex cereal, only rice and corn (wheat gets too tough), a bag of pretzels (prefer sticks), a box of Cheez-its, a container of mixed nuts without peanuts, and a container of cashews (both nuts from Costco). Of course it can only be made with butter (no Parkay here).
I find the largest container in the pantry to hold all the dry ingredients. Mix and toss, now the process begins. Melt the butter, stir in the seasoned salt, and worcestershire sauce. Pour it over a bowlful of mix, pop it in the microwave for two minutes. Stir, the tang of the worcestershire sauce tickles my nose and makes my eyes water. Back to the microwave for another two minutes. Stir again, more watering eyes. Two minutes to go. Lay out a layer of newspaper covered by paper towels. Ding goes the microwave. Spread the mix onto the paper towels to cool. This process is repeated over and over until the last batch has been prepared. Eager hands are ready to scoop up the mix. Crunch, crunch, now I know Christmas is near.