Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Wishes

by Kimberly Quinton

Happy Holidays Everyone! Christmas is my family’s favorite holiday and we tend to do it up big. I love the way my house looks decorated with lights, the tree with so many memories, my few village pieces and all the decorations I make my poor hubs pull out of the attic. As a reward and because the weather makes me crave it—I bake our traditional favorite treats. Cookies, cookies and more cookies plus a few quick breads thrown in.
In my Christmas novella, Her Wish Before Christmas, Genny Ridgeway is the family baker and sells her cookies in her grandmother’s antique store. One of the cookies I put in the story was an experimental recipe I fell in love with. Orange-Clove-Cinnamon, three of my favorite holiday flavors all rolled in to a beautiful, white, sugar coated ball of yumminess.
I thought I’d share the recipe with you since it is not in the book. I hope you love it as much as the customers at Camilla’s Collectibles do!

Orange, Cinnamon and Clove Snowballs
(a variation of Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, Pecan fingers or Snowballs depending on where you are from!)
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
2 tbsp orange zest
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup ground walnuts (can use almonds, pecans or a combination)
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup confectioners sugar, plus extra, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar.

Beat in orange zest, ground cloves, cinnamon, ground walnuts, and salt.
Slowly blend in the flour with the mixer on low speed until all of the flour has been incorporated and the dough comes together.
Shape dough into 3/4- to 1-inch balls (I use a small melon baller or cookie scoop) and place on prepared baking sheet.The smaller the balls, the less time they need to bake so watch the first batch.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies just start to brown.If you make them big, add a minute and test. Depending on the size of the nuts, they may be crumblier than others (The finer the grind, the more they stay together, but some people like chunkier nuts).
Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes and move to a cooling rack over a cookie sheet and sift a layer of powdered sugar over warm cookies. Let cool another 10 minutes and then toss lightly in a bowl of more powdered sugar. I like to get a layer of icing-like sugar on them before they are completely cool and tossed in the last layer of sugar. Even with all this, they are not that sweet and are great with a cup of Coffee or some hot cider!
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 2 1/2-3 dozen cookies.

Her Wish Before Christmas

Loss and love bring her home…. 
Genny Ridgeway left Laurel Cove with a broken heart, vowing to never get wrapped up in wishes and gypsy fortunes again. Returning awakens old feelings, old longings, and wishes for long kisses beneath the mistletoe. 
Broken promises and hope for the future draw him back…. 
Connor O’Rourke finally has the home he and his son have wanted. The only thing missing is the woman he let walk out of his life twelve years earlier. He’ll do anything for a second chance at love. 
It’s Christmas time in Laurel Cove…. 
Surrounded by the spirit of the season and with a little posthumous help from her gypsy grandmother, will Connor be the man Genny has always wanted to grant her wish before Christmas?

“Are you the one leaving bloody footprints in the store? Your grandmother’s going to have a heart attack.” The man stared down at her, holding the door open with one arm, the lamp base in the other. He rested the plastic appendage against the doorframe and took a step closer, his face clear in the light of the workroom.
“Let me have a look.” He knelt and grabbed her foot and held on tight when she tried to tug it back.
“Ouch.” She pulled her foot away from his prodding.
“Sorry. Cut’s not too deep. A Band-Aid and some Neosporin is all you need.”
Connor O’Rourke? The Connor O’Rourke? Twelve years hadn’t changed him much. Except he turned into a man. And one fine man at that.
Jesus, did he grow after college? His arms and chest sure had.
Heat blazed a fire across her cheeks when her roaming gaze met his. Same cocky grin. Embarrassment couldn’t stop her from comparing this Connor with the then Connor. His hair was cut shorter, but the rich chestnut color hadn’t dulled. No hint of gray at the temples, no balding either. So that night of drunken cursing for him to grow fat and ugly didn’t take. Figures. What’s the use of gypsy blood if my curses don’t work?
“I didn’t know you were in town,” she asked, proud she had kept the hysterical out of her voice.
“I wasn’t until this week. I’m setting up a practice at the new clinic down the street.” He stood and helped her up from the floor.
Connor F’ing O’Rourke back in town and looking too delicious by half. She licked her lips and swallowed at the sudden dryness in her mouth. The hurt and anger returned with a swift jab to her heart rivaling the sting of glass in her foot. The feelings so fresh, like she was eighteen again and waiting for the proposal that never came. Don’t go there. You’re over him.


Valerie Mann said...

Every year I try a new cookie recipe or two. I'm adding this one to my list! Yum!

Unknown said...

I hope you love them! It's one of my favorite recipes!