raspberry walnut rugelach + Jaden’s toffee cookies

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is watching Miracle on 34th Street (or 44th Street as my 6-year old says) while wrapping gifts. I've been doing it this way for years and can't even remember how my silly tradition started. I have a video tape (yes, I've officially dated myself!) from 1980-something complete with we'd now call "retro" commercials.

Before I get to wrapping gifts, though, we had some lovely Hanukkah family celebrations this weekend. I discovered one of the best latkes recipes ever and plan on making more tonight. I also decided to try my hand at rugelach. The Mr. can remember eating his grandmother's warm from the oven. Since his mom doesn't know her mother's recipe, I consulted a few cookbooks for inspiration. One thing that really surprised me is the lack of sugar in the dough—it's just cream cheese, butter and flour (I added a touch of salt which none of the others call for). With that good news, if you make these with sugar-free jam, it seems they'd be a diabetic-friendly treat for my aunt and uncle.


Get the recipe for my raspberry walnut rugelach with step-by-step photos here.

Remember last week when I mentioned how many wonderful people I've met on twitter? Today's co-host is one of them. Jaden from Steamy Kitchen made toffee cookies with a dark chocolate glaze for the virtual cookie jar. As if toffee and dark chocolate in the same sentence isn't enough to be thankful for, Jaden's also posted this recipe on her TLC blog to help raise awareness about the 17 million children who go hungry every day. And if you still haven't found the perfect gift for your foodie friends and family, you still have time to order a copy of Jaden's The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.


Jaden's toffee cookies with dark chocolate glaze

We also had some yummy recipes added to the virtual cookie jar this weekend. Some of my favorites include Sara's tangerine ginger vanilla rolled sugar cookies and Maggie's lemon ricotta cookies (I'll probably make some ricotta this week for them). And don't forget to visit me over at Oprah.com where I'm a featured blogger. Maybe this time next year O and I will be sipping some hot cocoa and trimming the tree together. A girl can dream, right?


Maggie's lemon ricotta cookies

I know Monday isn't a favorite day for many since it signals back to work, school and the usual craziness of life. Why not start your day the warm and fuzzy feeling you'll get from making a donation now. I just donated $25 to help feed a child three meals a day for an entire month. Can you help me feed the other 16,999,999?