The ground outside is covered with a blanket of freshly-fallen snow. I’m sitting cozily near my space heater and winter-scented candles, listening to Christmas music, and with Christmas just about two weeks away, I’ve got visions of holiday cookies dancing in my head.

I know I’m not alone in my love of baking treats during the holidays. It’s a special, fun, and absolutely delicious tradition for many. So many of my favorite holiday memories are centered in the kitchen and dusted with powdered sugar. The past couple of years our holiday baking time has been full of adventure as I, along with Kim and our mom, have experimented with vegan versions of old favorites and tried many new vegan treat recipes as well.

Our spread of treats last year included:

From The Joy of Vegan Baking: a pumpkin pie, chocolate fudge, and gingerbread cookies with homemade icing,

Our mom’s classic recipe for Russian Tea Cakes (sometimes called Mexican Wedding Cookies) with one substitution — non-hydrogenated, non-dairy butter. These are our dad’s favorite holiday cookies. 🙂

From my favorite vegan blogger: Goodbye Winter Mint Cocoa Cookies and Walnutcracker Spice Cookies,

And lastly, Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows, a recipe from Post Punk Kitchen. Loved these.

Phew, that’s seven fabulous homemade vegan holiday treats. It was a wonderful, though very labor-intensive, array of goodies. In the spirit of keeping things simple this year, I’m trying to keep the visions of holiday cookies dancing in my head in check. Trying is the key word. Just a little earlier I spent only A FEW minutes checking my favorite sites for new winter cookie recipes and already have way too many to choose from. Part of me wants to give in and make them all, but remembering last year’s cookie craze and the leftovers we had for weeks and weeks, I really don’t want to go overboard. The season is about so much more than sweets, after all.

So here are some of my choices, for review: Snowy Spelt Sugar Cookies — there’s something special about decorating cookies with icing and sprinkles during the holidays, isn’t there? Mint Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats — shaped into snowmen, of course, Pecan Pie Truffles — fancy! and even though they’re not especially seasonally appropriate, Banana Bread Cookies. The Walnutcracker Spice Cookies were a huge hit last year (I LOVED the interesting spicy-sweet combo and the hearty/healthy-ness of the walnut meal and spelt flour) and I’m pretty sure our traditional Russian Tea Cakes can’t be skipped.

Now I’ve got to decide which recipes to make, and somehow keep myself from adding more yummy choices to the mix by peaking in my cookbooks or poking around online.

Any thoughts, please share! I’d be more than happy to share the results of my holiday baking adventures with YOU!

Julie

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