Holiday baking traditions


Growing up, one of my favourite things about the holidays (you know besides the snow and pretty decorations and presents) was all the Christmas cookies! My Nana would make batches upon batches of her famous shortbread cookies and when I got older, I was allowed to help. Some cookies would be for us to eat, some would go into tins for friends and some would go to her church for the annual bake sale (and sell out fast).


While shortbreads were her speciality (with little pieces of maraschino cherry on top) my favourites were always her oatmeal lace cookies and custard creams.


holiday baking traditions custard creams


Nana turned 96 this year and while she doesn’t bake anymore, her handwritten recipes mean that we can still enjoy a plate of cookies together on Christmas Day that taste just like the ones she used to make.


holiday baking traditions christmas cookies


Nana Ted’s Christmas Cookies

Custard Creams
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  1. 10 tbsp flour
  2. 6 tbsp custard flour
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 cup butter
  5. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  6. 3 tbsp sugar
  1. 3 tbsp custard powder
  2. 1 oz butter
  3. icing sugar to taste
  1. Cream together the butter and sugar
  2. Mix in egg and dry ingredients 1 tbsp at a time (if the batter is too stiff add a little milk)
  3. Drop teaspoon sized dollops onto a greased cookie sheet
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees then transfer to a wire rack to cool
For the cream
  1. Cream together custard powder and butter
  2. Add icing sugar until the cream is a little thicker than spreading consistency (I go off of taste also)
  1. Once the cookies have fully cooled sandwich them together with a generous amount of cream in the middle
  1. Okay, so nana's note about "thicker than spreading consistency" is super vague but I think that's just how much icing sugar you need to make the cream taste good (and less custard powder-y).
  2. The cookies are very delicate so to make the cream thin enough to spread again try adding a little milk to prevent your cookies from crumbling when you're assembling them.
Adapted from Unknown
Adapted from Unknown
House by the Bay Design
Oatmeal Lace Cookies
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  1. 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp baking powder
  4. 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  5. 1/2 cup butter
  6. 1 egg, just beaten
  1. Melt the butter in a large microwave save bowl
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add to the melted butter
  3. Once combined add in the beaten egg
  4. Drop teaspoon size dollops onto a parchment lined cookie sheet about 1" apart
  5. Bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees
  6. Cool 1-2 minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack
  1. This dough looks like it couldn't possibly be right - it's essentially crumbly oats that doesn't even stick together - but trust in Nana and go with it - after about 8 minutes in the oven it all starts to come together.
Adapted from Unknown
Adapted from Unknown
House by the Bay Design

Interested in trying those famous shortbreads? I shared the recipe here.


Do you have any holiday baking traditions or favourite family recipes that have been passed down?


1 Comment on Holiday Baking Traditions + Favourite Christmas Cookies

  1. Organized 31
    January 7, 2017 at 8:56 pm (1 year ago)

    How precious that you have your grandmother’s handwritten recipes. I just inherited my grandmother’s recipe box with her handwritten recipes. It’s a treasure to me. Thanks for sharing at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party.


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