The Battle for Christmas Cookies


Post by community member:

Every year, there’s a battle for Christmas cookies. It’s not the kind of battle you’re imagining where there’s a plate of cookies and everyone’s scrambling for the last one. No, it’s a battle of wills to get a certain kind of cookie made.


Every Christmas I spent living under my parents’ roof, Mom would turn the kitchen into a bakery. Considering my love of sweets, this time of year was sheer heaven. Spritz cookies were turned out with an old crank cookie press. Christmas tree cookies were decorated with sugar crystals and topped with little silver balls. Wreaths may have been sprinkled with glittery crystals, silver balls, or they may have sported a maraschino cherry. Fudge, divinity candy, cakes, and pies rolled out of the kitchen in assembly-line fashion. But the favorite of all was the Brownie Drop cookies. My brother, dad and I swooned over them. This was a once-a-year tradition, one we looked forward to as much as Santa himself.

As it goes, when a family member dies, so do many traditions. The chocolate Christmas cookie tradition ended the year of my dad’s death. As for my mother, she made those cookies for my dad. We just happened to have a generous father who didn’t mind sharing those baked drops of mouth-watering wonderful.

Every year since his death (25 years ago), I’ve yearned for a taste of the past, memories blended into the ingredients. For Mom, mixing the memories and ingredients proved too painful.

But it didn’t stop me. I begged for those cookies year after year and I received the same yearly response: “We’ll see.” One year, she handed me the recipe and old me to start my own traditions. I tried to make them–once. It wasn’t the same. I continued to beg and badger her to no avail. I can count on my right hand the times she’s given in and made them since Dad’s death. This year, I would try another tactic.

After deciding to host Thanksgiving, my mother asked what I’d like for her to bring.



“Yeah, you know, my favorite cookies.”

I don’t know that she took me seriously. She asked me several times throughout the week what she should bring. Each time I responded with the same answer, “Cookies.” I wasn’t holding my breath. I’ve grown accustomed to losing this battle.

She arrived Thanksgiving afternoon. I met her at the sidewalk to help carry her things. In her tote was a bowl of 5-cup salad. I said nothing of the missing cookies. As she entered the doorway she smiled, reached into her bag and handed me three Ziploc bags, each filled with those old familiar chocolate cookies.


There are some battles worth every bite.

Just in case you’d like to start a new family tradition modeled after our old one,

How to make Brownie Drops: Printable

2 bars German Sweet Chocolate
1 Tbsp. butter
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. chopped pecans

Melt chocolate and butter. Cool. Beat eggs till foamy, then add sugar, 2 T. at a time. Beat till thickened. Blend in chocolate and the rest of ingredients. Drop onto greased sheet.

Bake at 350 for 8 – 10 minutes.

They don’t sound that difficult to make, but trust me…. it’s tricky to get them to come out just right. If you twist my arm, I’d be willing to taste test them for you! *snicker*

Do you have a recipe post or kitchen-related story to share on the Farm Bell blog?
See Farm Bell Blog Submissions for information, the latest blog contributor giveaway, and to submit a post.

Want to subscribe to the Farm Bell blog? Go here.

What can you enter to win this month? Click here.


  1. CindyP says:

    Wonderful post 🙂

    Persistence is the key! But how sweet for her to bring you the recipe for you to make your own tradition…along with a taste.

    Have you made your first batch yet? LOL!

  2. lisabetholson says:

    I love, love, love german chocolate, I have to make these?
    I think you have given me an idea. With 3 adult men in the house and we don’t buy gifts because we are old enough to get what we need through the year, I think I will have to bake and save half of the bakings for a Christmas surprise. If I don’t make and save half I won’t have any. They eat everything I make faster than teenagers.

    I couldn’t believe last night I was making turkey soup from the leftovers and DH walked into the kitchen and said every time he comes into the kitchen it smells like I am baking???? Something is wrong with the soup????? He wanted donuts and his friend just brought a FEW dozen on Saturday afternoon, this is only Monday. See what I mean? Nothing is safe, how did your mother keep cookies????

  3. AnnieB says:

    You’ve brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely, bittersweet post. God bless your Mom for baking them for you!!!

  4. Joy says:

    You’re right, it doesn’t sound too hard. I think the secret ingredient was the love she put into the cookies. Maybe you can get her to supervise you making the cookies to learn some of her techniques. Or maybe not.

    I could NEVER get my beef stew to turn out like my mother-in-law’s. Was it her cast iron pot? Exactly how much flour and water did she use for thickener? –just enough, she replied. I’m convinced the delicious, almost solid stew she turned out with perfect potatoes and carrots, just done but not mushy was a little bit of magic. I don’t even eat beef anymore and I still wish I’d been able to duplicate her stew.

  5. leavesofthefall says:

    I did try to make these Brownie Drop cookies — once. lol They didn’t turn out like Mom’s. I’ve shared the recipe with my cousin and an aunt. They’ve come close, but neither of theirs measured up to Mom’s, either. lol Don’t get me wrong, I was super-grateful for them trying! Mom’s are just the best. 🙂

    I’m not sure how she saved those cookies… she was also teaching school, so the Christmas goodies were whipped out while on Christmas break. I’m tellin’ ya, though, those Brownie Drop cookies are the bomb! And, since we didn’t get them but once a year made them even that much more special.

    We have the same issue at family gatherings when it comes to my great-grandmother’s banana pudding. She is the only one who could make it “her” way. The secret may have been on that old woodburning cook stove. 🙂 She made the actual pudding from scratch — nothing boxed. She passed away in the mid-70s, and every year at family get-togethers, someone would bring the traditional bowl of banana pudding. Most were good, but none quite measured up to Grandma’s. It’s kinda funny how we have food that represents memories of the individual who made it. So is it a psychological thing? Maybe you have it right, maybe it is a bit of magic.

  6. Alison says:

    So how many ounces is each bar of Chocolate? I look forward to trying the recipe.

  7. leavesofthefall says:

    I’m not sure how many ounces there are in the bars…. last time I purchased the chocolate, it came in a “slab” about 4×6″ and you use the entire thing x2. Hope this helps. I’ll ask Mom next time I talk with her.

Add Your Thoughts

Search Farm Bell Recipes

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Filter by Categories
All Recipes
Appetizers & Snacks
Bean Soups
Beans, Grains & Rice
Boiling Water Bath
Bread Machine
BWB Condiments
BWB Fruits
BWB Jams, Jellies, Butters & Preserves
BWB Marmalades & Conserves
BWB Other
BWB Pickles & Pickled Stuff
BWB Salsas
BWB Sauces
BWB Tomatoes & Combos
BWB Vegetables
Coffee Cake
Cold Remedies
Cookery 101
Cookies & Bars
Cream Soups
Crock Pot
Cure & Smoke
Egg Dishes
Food Photography
Frostings & Icings
Fruit Breads
Fruit Cakes
Fruit Salads
Gift Basket Goodies
Goat Cheeses
Grill-Outdoor Cooking
Hard Cheeses
Herbs & Spices
Homemade Cheese
How To
Ice Creams
Ingredients & Mixes
Jell-O Salads
Kitchen Gadgets
Lettuce & Greens
Main Dish
Meat Salads
Meet the Cook
One Dish Meal
Other Breads
Other Breakfast
Other Condiments
Other Dairy
Other Desserts
Other Main Dish
Other Salads
Other Side Dishes
Other Soups & Stews
Other Special Diets
Pasta Salads
PC Beef
PC Chicken
PC Meats
PC Other
PC Poultry
PC Soups & Stews
PC Veggies
Pizza Crusts
Potato Salads
Pressure Canning
Pressure Cooker
Puddings & Custards
Recipe Requests
Relishes & Chutneys
Side Dishes
Soft Cheeses
Soups & Stews
Special Diets
Special Occasions
Steam Juicer
Tips & Tricks
Tortillas & Pitas
Using FBR
Vegetable Breads
Vegetable Salads
Wild Game
Yeast Breads

If you would like to help support the overhead costs of this website, you may donate. Thank you!

We Want to Meet You

Farm Bell Recipes is all about you! If you're a member of our community and have been submitting recipes and/or blog posts to Farm Bell Recipes, we want to meet you!
Go to Meet the Cook and submit the form to be featured.

Canning Tutorials

Recent Reviews and Comments

  • I tried to open my document for Cappuccino Marshmallows. I made them last year for a Xmas. Eve Party and several guests asked me for the recipe. They were fab. ...
    User AvatarBonny on Marshmallows
  • I have that exact same pasta maker! It's marvelous! I love that you can adjust the thickness by turning a couple of knobs. Enjoy!
    User Avatarfowlplayfun on My New Italian Kitchen
  • Faith, what a lovely tribute to your Dad! I decided to read your post because of the title, and the immediate recollection of my own Dad's 'favorite Thanksgiving Sandwich', which, ...
    User Avatarfieldfare on My Dad's Thanksgiving Sandwich
  • On so many levels, I consider this to be an absolutely wonderful post, and one that is so certain to influence my own Work, I know I will be mentioning ...
    User Avatarfieldfare on Quick, Easy Lunch for Company
  • I wrote the following in a note to Suzanne about this reference to the old, out-of-print book, when I was having difficulty signing up for this site, earlier today. Since ...
    User Avatarfieldfare on Cheesemaking Without Benefit of Mail Order
  • I had no idea that BBQ Rub was local. Not sure how old this thread is, but I just bought some of those pork steaks from the IGA here in ...
    User AvatarDaftHarlot on BBQ Rub
  • I have made this recipe quite a few times. I use whatever wine I have and it is good with any of it. I have even used dried mushrooms chopped ...
    User Avatarfemforrest on Dede's Golden Mushroom Soup
  • Hi from a Welsh lass living in Bulgaria. I've been canning for years but I seem to be having a problem with this one. I'm probably being extremely stupid! You ...
    User Avatarjobo123 on Canned Coleslaw?!
  • I have a question. The instructions say to bring to a boil. Do I need to add any water to the pot or just use what liquid there is from ...
    User AvatarCheryle on Condensed Tomato Soup for Canning
  • And for some reason I didn't see the responses above which give ideas. Thanks for those!!
    User AvatarCassie on Recipes Using Kefir
  • I recently started making kefir because I was told that it is good for dogs who are sick. I have my uncle's dog (uncle passed away)and he is skinny and ...
    User AvatarCassie on Recipes Using Kefir

Latest on the Forum

The Farmhouse Table

  • Anyone baking today ? by Staci Lynn
    Mixed Berry Cobbler - making do with what we have on hand, not wanting to go into town unless it's absolutely necessary. I hope everyone is doing well...
  • Anyone baking today ? by mamajhk
    While I am not planning on doing any baking today, I am staying in for the most part.  We have been for awhile.  Hubby and I are just getting over som...
  • Anyone baking today ? by Joelle
    Hello everyone. I hope everyone  is doing alright during this trying time.  We have not gone out for nearly a month now. I was I'll and diagnosed with...
  • What's on your kitchen table? by apilinariosilvia
    I have a Pizza Dough on my kitchen table right now and I am going to make a Chicago Pizza. I will be taking this recipe idea from ilFornino and also I...
  • What's for Dinner? by leandjean
    I used both the slow cooker and pressure cooker for dinner tonight.  I put pork country ribs in the slow cooker with an asian sauce.  Cooked rice in t...

The Canning Pot

  • Using Frozen Peaches by Junebug
    Hope somebody can give me some info.  I have several bags of frozen sugared peaches and am wondering if I can use them like can peaches.  Would I thaw...
  • What are you canning today? by Miss Judy
    Made some strawberry/cranberry jam last week from Florida strawberries and frozen cranberries. I am planning on making some apple pie jam today if my...
  • What are you canning today? by TonnyFillet
    brookdale said Just finished canning 4 jars of apple jelly made with organic apple juice from the store. Jam  and apple butter are the only things I h...
  • What are you canning today? by brookdale
    Just finished canning 4 jars of apple jelly made with organic apple juice from the store. Jam  and apple butter are the only things I have canned. Sti...
  • What are you canning today? by TerryMcC
    Tried something new, just got done canning 6 qts. of French onion soup.  Now on a cold winter day all I have to do is open a jar, heat it up top with...

Thanks for being part of our community!