Crispy, crunchy, chewy, buttery, old-fashioned oatmeal cookies that taste like home.  Great anytime of the year, but naughtily nice when the holly, jolly season is upon us.

A couple of Christmases ago I decided I wanted to make up some really special cookie boxes for gifts.  But I didn't want to just make cookies, because I could.  I wanted to make exquisite cookies.  I wanted cookies to rival the amazing offerings from Mrs. Barrie's in Kona.  I wanted all my eager giftees to moan with pleasure and smile with delight with every single sweet bite. 

Enter, Project Christmas Cookie Box.  Good idea. 

Out came all my dog-eared, book marked, sticky-noted, old December issues of Bon Appetit, Saveur, Canadian Living and a stack of other assorted cooking magazines.  Coffee stained, butter smeared, highly treasured vintage cookbooks were reached down from the shelves.  My computer was busy with a few too many windows open at once, all boasting my favorite food blogs.

Armed with recipes that screamed addictive, festive, munching pleasures, like Espresso Shortbread, Double Fudge Meltaways, Coconut-Macadamia Nut Chocolate Dipped Shortbread, Soft Chewy Ginger Sparkles and of course divinely buttery, old fasioned Oatmeal Cookies, in the wink of an eye and the twist of my head, I was ready, ready, Rudolph, to make and bake.

My kitchen was busier than Mrs. Claus' kitchen at the North Pole.  Warm, sweet, cinnamon scented, chocolate tinged, almond laced, rum punched aromas wafted through every room in our house.  I love it when my kitchen gets all Christmasy on me!  

Let Heaven and Nature sing!  I did manage to hit on some kind of glorious jingle-those-bells kismet, 'cuz my cookie boxes were a hit.  I think I earned myself an enviable spot on the much touted 'NICE' list too.

Oatmeal-cookies-bakedYesterday morning we woke to find that, overnight, our forest had been magically, silently, beautifully, transformed into a winter wonderland.  

Fa la la la la la la la la.

A tich early, but, hey, when that Ho! Ho! spirit hits, it hits!  Stripe me all pepperminty, stick some reindeer deely boopers on me and push me, smiling into the holly jolly fray.  

So, this morning, ever so quickly, before Forest Grump even suspected what was happening, I threw on some tunes, and revved up my forest kitchen to welcome the most wonderful time of year.  Oh the aromas as one batch after another of warm-from-the-oven, may-I-please-have-another, buttery, crunchy, chewy, delicious Oatmeal Cookies lay, smiling, cooling, on the counter.  

Thanks oodles LiveFire food blog for sharing your all-time, childhood favorite and heirloom 100-year old recipe for Aunt Irva's Oatmeal Cookies with us. 

I think Aunt Irva would be quite tickled with my new Christmas tradition.  



1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats
Powdered sugar for coating
**Optional ~ 1 cup of raisins, currants, lightly toasted walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips.  (I almost always opt for raisins.)

You don't need to preheat the oven while mixing the ingredients; the batter is chilled first. You can even make the batter 1 to 2 days ahead.  Bonus!

Cream the brown sugar and butter.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Beat well.  Stir in the dry ingredients and oats.  Mix well.  Chill dough. 

Preheat oven to 350F.

Once the dough is chilled, roll it into walnut sized balls.  Roll the dough balls in powdered sugar and place on greased cookie sheet.  (or use a Silipat or parchment)  Lightly butter the bottom of a glass and dip the buttered glass bottom in powdered sugar, then flatten the cookie balls on cookie sheet. 

Bake 8-11 minutes, until golden.  I bake mine 10-11 minutes, 'cuz we like them rather crunchy.  And I have it on good authority that so does the big, jolly elf himself.  Ho! Ho! Ho!