One.Life — Giveaway Contest

We’ve had some fun over the years at this blog site when it comes to contests. The funniest one had to be the “guess what’s in this bag” contest, which T won and is still wearing his crocs! So, in the spirit of the fun of the season …

I will give away three copies of my newest book, One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow.

Here’s the contest:

Write up your best Christmas cookie recipe. (One per person)

And tell us something about why this cookie is so good.

Then come back tomorrow and we will announce the winner …

And we will have yet another giveaway contest.

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  • Abhishek Duggal coz this is the original Fantasy Fudge recipe from the back of the Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar.

  • Michel

    Here in Switzerland Christmas cookies have a long tradition and are inseparable from the festive season. There are plenty of varieties, but the most popular are: Brunsli, Mailänderli, Zimtsterne, Spitzbuben und Chräbeli. My favorites are Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars, see for picture) because they look like snow covered stars and with their cinnamon taste they bring out ‘the Christmas feeling’. Here’s the recipe:
    2 egg whites
    200 g sugar
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    175 g ground Hazelnuts and Almonds (each)
    2 level tsp cinnamon

    Beat egg white with hand mixer, then add the sugar and continue beating
    until mixture is shiny and has consistency. Finally, stir in the lemon juice.
    Set aside 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg white mass. Mix together Hazelnuts, almonds and cinnamon.
    Stir ¾ of the nuts/cinnamon mixture into the egg white mass, then add the rest until a firm, moldable dough is obtained.
    Cover and let it stand 1 hour in refrigerator. Roll out the dought until it is 5 to 7 mm thick and cut out the star formed cookies. Preheat the oven to 180 ° degrees Celsius. Spread the remaining egg white over one side of the cookies. Put them in the oven on the second shelf and bake them for 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Susan N.

    My husband’s favorite cookie is the ‘Cranberry Hootycreek’. The recipe I use is one designed to be assembled in a jar and given as a gift. I usually double the recipe when I bake a batch of these cookies. I think this cookie is the best because… 1) I love to say the words ‘Cranberry Hootycreek’! 2) The tangy cranberry, sweet white chocolate, and savory pecans are so delicious together. 3) Easy drop cookies to make. 4) Recipe can be given as a gift. What’s not to love?!


    5/8 C all-purpose flour
    1/2 C rolled oats
    1/2 C all-purpose flour
    1/2 t baking soda
    1/2 t salt
    1/3 C packed brown sugar
    1/3 C granulated sugar
    1/2 C dried cranberries
    1/2 C white chocolate chips
    1/2 C chopped pecans


    1. Layer the ingredients in a 1 qt. or 1 L jar, in the order listed.

    2. Attach a tag with the following instructions: Cranberry Hootycreeks ~ 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. 2. In a medium bowl, beat together 1/2 C softened butter, 1 egg, and 1 t of vanilla extract until fluffy. Add the entire jar of ingredients, and mix together by hand until well-blended. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. 3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Cool on baking sheets, or remove to cool on wire racks.

  • T

    (It’s true; I still wear my crocs from Scot–and smile every time I do!) 🙂

  • Phillip

    Go to Kroger. Buy holiday frosted sugar cookies. Take out of package and arrange on a nice serving plate, preferably one with a Christmas theme or color. Serve to friends and family. It is my favorite because the holidays are busy enough without adding baking, though I appreciate when others do it. 🙂

  • Hi Scot, here is the recipe for the best German cookies: Vanillekipferl ( There is no Christmas in our home without them. My Mom bakes them every year – and if there is the fragrance of Vanillekipferl in the air… – you know: it´s Christmas-Season.

    And Scot, by the way, this recipe will challenge not only your gustative nerves bur your German also… 🙂

  • Diana H

    My Grandmother’s, a Christmas tradition


    3/4 c. butter
    1 c. sugar
    2 T. molasses
    1 egg
    1 tsp. soda
    1 tsp. ginger
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. salt
    2 c. flour

    Mix all ingredients. Roll into walnut-size balls. Press down with glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 F. degrees or until done. Makes about 120 cookies. Yummy!!!

  • I posted this recipe on my blog a couple of weeks ago. Here’s a bit of what I wrote:

    I’ve been making these Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Ribbon Cookies in December for probably a quarter-century now. It is a centerpiece of our December cookie-backing. Even cranberry haters like it, and one of the highest compliments I got was from a friend in MN who grabbed the recipe when I posted it a couple of years ago, and told me it is now becoming a part of her family’s yearly December traditions. And a few years ago, it was a semi-finalist in the annual Chicago Tribune holiday cookie contest.

    The whole delicious point of a food tradition is to take us back and help us remember who we are and where we’ve been together. These cookies do that for our family.

    Here’s the recipe, in case you want to add it to your own holiday repertoire:

    Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Ribbon Cookies

    Cranberry sauce:
    1-1/2 C cranberries
    1/2 C sugar
    3 T orange juice
    1 t orange peel
    Combine first three ingredients in 4 C glass bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Nuke for 6 minutes, stirring once. Mix in peel and let cool slightly.

    3/4 C softened butter
    2/3 C sugar
    1 t vanilla
    1 egg
    2 C flour
    1/2 t baking powder
    pinch of salt
    1 C mini chocolate chips

    Mix butter and sugar together until blended. Add vanilla and egg to mixture, beating by hand until combined. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Mix in chocolate chips.

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough into four parts. Shape each portion into a log approx 12″ x 3/4″ and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Use your finger to press a depression the length of each log. Spoon cranberry filling into the depression.

    Bake 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned. While the bars are still warm, cut on the diagonal into 1″ strips.


  • Diana H

    A Traditional yummy smell and taste of snuggly comfort, are my Grandmother’s wonderful Pepparkaka. Warm and wonderful Christmas memories of precious times spent with loved ones are envoked with the baking of these. Recipe above 🙂

  • T

    Phillip, that rocks.

    Here’s a fun and easy one for the baking challenged among us: follow the recipe for rice crispy treats, but use corn flakes instead. After mixing in all the ingredients with the flakes, mix in some green food coloring to your idea of what “holly” should look like. Then spoon out individual clumps of “holly” (or circles for “wreaths”) on wax paper and while still warm, add two or three red, circular candies of your choice (such as red m&m’s or red hots) to each cookie. Viola! Delicious Christmas Holly!

    Full recipe and picture here to get better idea:

    My sister first did these for our family years ago, and ever since, I’ve been a big fan of both how these cookies look and taste; they’re different, and just fun all the way around, especially if you have kids to help prep and eat!

  • Spitzbuben.

    A word from my childhood that was likely to make me giggle while simultaneously make my mouth water.

    Whenever my childhood Covenant church had a potluck, like any kid, the dessert table was my favorite. It was rare enough to get dessert at all, but an entire spread to choose from? It was enough to make us believe in heaven!

    However, there was one prize that was always rare and in short supply, made by a retired master Swiss chef who had always been a fixture in our church. She made these simple little cookies called Spitzbuben.

    While they might have convinced us of heaven, competition for them between us kids was as likely to bring out the hellion in each of us! Aunty Helen (or Tante Heleni) was queen!

    Before she died, she shared her recipe with only two women- one being my mother- teaching them to make these little treasures. So why am I sharing it here? Because she intentionally left the recipe vague, requiring her masters apprenticing to make them work. So, try as you might, I am not sure you can recreate them. As for me, I go home Christmas this year and will enjoy some very special Spitzbuben, for which I will giggle and drool.

    The “Recipe” – unaltered from Tante Heleni:

    1 cup of Butter
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 1/2 flour
    1 pkg. vanilla sugar

    Mix until flaky… not too much. rest – put in refrigerator.

    Roll out it out very thin, then cut circles. Then cut more circles and poke 3 small holes in them.

    Bake at 350 till light brown.

    Add apricot jam between two circles (one with holes, one without) after baked and dip and roll in sugar.


  • Angie

    My favorite cookie recipe is sandbakkles. My grandfather, who passed away several Christmases ago, would make a huge box of them for both my family and my aunt’s family. I remember growing up as a kid anticipating the arrival of those cookies (probably even more than the gifts they sent). We’d tear into that box of cookies and they would last about a week, with us fighting over even who got the crumbs. Part of it is they are a deliciously simple cookie and part of it was the memories and the tradition. (and we’re not even Norwegian!)

    Here’s the recipe:


    2 cups shortening
    1 cup sugar
    6 tablespoons whipping cream
    1 tablespoon almond extract
    1 egg
    6 cups all purpose flour

    You may use 2 cups Crisco or 1/2 butter/marg/lard or any combination of shortening to equal 2 cups.

    Cream together shortening and sugar.

    Slowly stir in cream, then brandy, and beaten egg.

    Gradually add small portions of flour until all ingredients are combined.

    Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of two hours. Press into Sandelbakker tins.

    Bake at 350 degrees F until lightly golden – do not allow to brown.

  • Kyle

    Alright, my favorite Christmas cookie recipe consist of a tube of Pillsbury cookie dough, in which I take this dough and separate it into circular patterns of which I put onto a cookie sheet. I then cook them according to the directions on the tube in which the dough came in. I then take them out and enjoy them tremendously because i didn’t make them. This is the main reason why I enjoy them so much.

  • Unreal goodness…
    Nut Goodie Bars

    1 bag of chocolate chips(11 oz or 12 oz)

    1 bag of butterscotch chips (11 or 12 oz)

    1 cup of peanut butter

    Melt in microwave together.

    Add ½ bag of mini marshmallows and ½ jar of peanuts. Mix, put in pan and put in fridge for 20 minutes for the bars to harden.

    Remove from fridge and eat whole pan.

    Courtesy of my friend Vanessa O’Neill

  • My brother’s grandmother used to make peanut butter-potato cookies for him around christmas, but they usually ended up being eaten by me.

    I’ve heard them called poor man’s cookies before (I’ve also heard some people refer to them as candy, instead of cookies, but I always thought they were more cookie-ish than candy-ish.).

    Here is how you make them:

    Boiling a large baking potato. Mash it. Stir in a crap load of powdered sugar. Add a cup of peanut butter.

    At this point, you can roll it up into little balls, or flatten it out and cut it into cookie shapes, or roll it up like a tube and slice it up.

    Refrigerate it for a few hours and they’re ready to go.

  • Anna

    These are fabulous. The recipe is deceptively simple, but the flavors are subtly complex, and — oh, I don’t know, my kids love super-sugary cookies, but these are grown-up cookies, they go great with tea or coffee — not too sweet, just right.

    They are simple and elegant, with a soft sheen glaze, and I love them. You have to make them a week ahead, though, because they taste best after the flavors meld. Seriously, try them.

    Butter Gebäck
    (makes 5 – 6 dozen)

    6 cups flour
    1 and 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 lb. butter, softened
    2 and 1/4 cups sugar
    3 eggs, 1 lightly beaten
    1/2 cup fruity white wine, such as riesling

    1) Sift flour, cinnamon, and salt together into a large bowl.

    2) Beat butter with an electric mixer, then gradually add 2 cups sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, then alternately beat in dry ingredients and wine about one-third at a time. The dough will be very soft.

    3) Divide dough into 5 equal parts, flatten, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.

    4) Preheat oven to 350°. Roll out dough about 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured work surface. Cut with cookie cutters and transfer to greased cookie sheets. Scraps may be gathered, rechilled, and rolled one additional time.

    5) Brush cookies with remaining egg, sprinkle with a little of remaining sugar, and bake in batches until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in a cookie jar. Cookies taste best after sitting one week.

  • Nothing says CHRISTMAS like some high-qual shortbread cookies. Perhaps one of the best things about the season is the wonderful treats that come along with it; but as many people know Christmas can be a time of stress as much as it can be a time of joy. So how bout’ some lavender to sooth, calm and lift away all those feelings of stress and make your holidays a season of relaxation. These would go great with a pot (a BIG one!) of lavender green tea (Don’t mind if I do!). Heck you might even want to light some candles an incense, and take a warm bath reading your favorite book (One.Life of course!).

    Lavender and Lemon Shortbread Cookies

    1/3 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms, chopped
    1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    In a medium bowl, mix the sugar with the chopped lavender and grated lemon zest. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in the butter at moderate speed. At low speed, beat in the flour and salt until a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to a sheet of wax paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Form the dough into a 4-inch log and chill for at least 45 minutes longer.

    Preheat the oven to 350°. Slice the shortbread dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place the rounds on ungreased baking sheets. Freeze the rounds for 10 minutes.
    Bake the shortbread for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer the baked shortbread to a wire rack to cool completely.

    P.S. Here is a great place to buy lavender tea.

  • Oh….and don’t forget the Frank Sinatra Christmas album!

  • DRT

    Thanks all! I have never baked anything in my life but will pick one to try.

    I think the winner is Anna. The only way someone will beat her is to figure out how to use hard liquor instead of wine in their recipe. 😀

  • Laura

    How do you decide on a winner? Is this a subjective contest?

  • pat

    Laura…I’m wondering too…are you and Kris going to bake all of these and have a taste test? Hope I can come!

  • Oh, this is too fun and will completely get me into the Christmas baking spirit. Here is my entry:

    (from The Mrs. Fields Cookie Book–I must give credit where credit is due!)

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup salted butter, softened
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup (4 oz.) sour cream
    1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
    1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
    (yield 2.5 dozen)

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking power, salt with wire whisk. Set aside.

    Combine sugars in a large bowl using an electric mixer set at medium speed. Add butter and beat until batter is grainy. Add egg, sour cream, and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl. Add flour mixture, and blend at low speed until just combined. Don’t overmix.

    Melt chocolate chips either in a microwave (on high, stirring every 20 seconds until melted) or in double-boiler. Cool chocolate a few minutes and pour over cookie batter. Lightly fold melted chocolate into the dough with spatula or wooden spoon. Don’t mix the chocolate completely into the dough.

    Drop by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Don’t brown. Bake 23-25 minutes, then quickly transfer to a cool surface.

    Why I love these cookies: they stand out with their “marble-ized” apperance, they look unique and distinctive, and they taste wonderful—the combination of the chocolate (which I can’t live without!) and the sour cream helping to moisten the cookies makes for a nice contrast to the typical crunchy, flat, sugar Christmas cookie.

  • I think I’ll just buy the book! Cookies are too hard for me to make.

  • Mary Cookies:

    Buy premixed dough.

    Add flavor of your choice (peppermint, choc chips, etc.

    Share with friends.

    Why it’s good…you are spending time with others rather than in the kitchen serving them alone. be mary, not martha. With God, and others.

  • JD

    every cookie my wife makes!

  • DRT

    JD, you have to say why..

  • If I had time, I would share my maternal grandmother’s recipe for molasses cookies. Out of this world… Even after homemade goodies were not allowed for treats at Halloween, my grandmother still made these cookies to pass out to the neighborhood children — all of whom called her Grandma! She made squares of wax paper to wrap each cookie individually and sealed the folds with her personalized address stickers — so folks would know where they came from.


    I may have to make some this year. She lived to 99 1/2 and went “home” 14 years ago.

    Very fun competition, Scot. Good luck … I’m pulling for Jamie! 😉

  • White Christmas is an Aussie staple.
    However I’m not sure that you can get copha in the USA so here is my recipe for Macadamia and Chocolate Chip cookies.
    225g unsalted butter, softened
    300g castor (superfine) sugar
    2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    1 large egg
    130g plain flour
    180g three-minute oats (or whizz some rolled oats till finer)
    180g macadamias, chopped coarsely
    180g dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
    Arrange 2 oven racks above and below the centre of the oven. Preheat oven to 190C (375F). Cream butter and sugar until sugar dissolves. Beat in bicarb soda, then egg. Mix flour, oats, macadamias and chocolate. Add a 1/3 at a time, folding in with a spatula.
    Divide mixture into 1/4s and roll into 7-8 balls. Place 2-3 inches apart on baking papaer on trays (7-8 to a tray and bake 2 trays at a time for 15 minutes, changing trays around halfway through cooking. Cool on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer carefully to wire racks to cool and harden. Store absolutely airtight.

  • My favorite recipe is for my mom’s rolled christmas cookies and this is why. Each year my mom would mix up the dough (which took some love and effort before KitchenAids.) She would then leave us home with our dad and go out shopping. It seemed like it just about the only time all year she was able to “escape.” When we still had only one car it was an even bigger deal. We would work with our dad for what seemed like many hours throwing flour around the kitchen trying to roll out dough, cutting out angels, trees, stars and odd things like a chick (no doubt separated from its family in the Easter baking set.) We would argue about how many cookies should just have sugar on the way into the oven and how many should be plain so they could later benefit from frosting. My dad would mix up all the frosting (powdered sugar with milk) in as many little bowls as he could find. With the food coloring drops, we’d make various shades of green and blue, pink and red, brown and ivory. We even used those silver sparkling balls called Dragees that have now been outlawed in California. (Interesting California is supposed to be close to legalizing pot, but dragees are contraband…?) By the time my mom got home the kitchen would be a sticky sugary mess and we would be so proud of our lovely cookies. My kids are now twelve and I decided long ago this is definitely a tradition worth reproducing. The only difference is in my family DAD is also responsible for the clean up!

    Traditional Rolled Christmas Cookies
    2 cups flour
    1 cup sugar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 cup softened butter
    1 egg
    2 Tbsp. brandy or rum – but we were Covenant so of course we used 1 Tbsp each milk and lemon juice.
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

    Sift first four ingredients together. Add butter and mix with fingers like pie crust until course crumbs (I just stick it in the KitchenAid instead). Add egg and liquor. Add vanilla and kneed. Form into a ball. Place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until dough is chilled enough to handle. Divide into 1/3. Roll out to 1/8 inch thick and cut with cookie cutter. Bake on lightly buttered cookie sheets at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen.

  • Sorry the Paragraph spacing didn’t work in my entry above…

  • Rachel Pacer

    This is a new recipe I am trying this year (actually made 2 batches today!) I believe the holiday season is one of great joy and sinful tastes. Nothing is more sinful than outrageously good, over the top chocolate something to have with ice cold milk.

    1 pkg 8 oz cream cheese softened
    1 pkg (1 lb 2 oz) OREO cookies finely crushed, separate out 3 cups
    2 pkg (8 squares each) BAKERS semi sweet chocolate, melted

    Mix cream cheese and 3 cups cookie crumbs until well blended
    Shape into 1 inch balls ( about 35)
    Dip inot melted chocolate, place on wax paper covered cookie sheet
    Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs and/or sprinkles
    refrigerate 1 hour or until firm
    store in tightly covered container

  • pepy

    I’m going to try #3 and eat lots of the unbaked ingedients of #29!! This is great. I’ll contribute when it comes to my award winning peanut brittle…always made after Christmas.

  • My mom made these every year growing up back in Montana; now my wife and I make them each year here in Chicago. Taste them and you’ll see why their so good!

    Crunchy Fudge Bars

    16 oz. butterscotch chips
    1 c peanut butter
    8 c rice krispies
    2 c chocolate chips
    4 Tbspn margarine
    1 c confectioner sugar
    2 Tbsp water

    1. Butter 13″x9″ pan.

    2. In large saucepan, melt butterscotch chips & peanut butter, then stir in rice krispies.

    3. Once well mixed, press half into butter pan. Chill.

    4. In medium saucepan, melt and combine chocolate chips, powdered sugar, and water. Spread on top of rice krispies in pan. Chill.

    5. Before completely hardened, press reserved half of rice krispies onto layer of chocolate. Chill and ejoy.

    They’re really good, just like Montana!