Gooseberry Patch Christmas Cookies

Luckily for me, the next two cookbooks pulled from our shelves were Christmas editions from the Gooseberry Patch franchise. Luckily in that they are Christmas themed, and I had been wanting to bake come cookies.

Yes, in a moment of strange desire I had purchased three Gooseberry Patch Christmas books from a used bookstore in Tennessee. They have languished on the shelf ever since.

I can see why these books are popular. The recipes are homey and very easy to make. No complicated ingredients. In fact hardly any ingredients at all. One thing I don’t like is that many recipes call for processed mixes. I don’t want to eat all the junk that’s in processed foods. But I still found some recipes to try. I’ve made three recipes over the last week with varying results from fabulous to yuck and in between.

Let’s start with the best – Cranberry Cookies from Book 6 published in 2004. Let me just say right now stop what you’re doing and make these right now. They are soft and gooey and have a wonderful Christmas flavor. Here’s the recipe:

  • 3 c. cranberries
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 c. walnuts, chopped

Steam the cranberries for five minutes and then coarsely chop (while trying to keep them from flying all over the kitchen!  And yes, the cranberry juice temporarily stains your hands so it looks like you’ve cut yourself or killed the Christmas Elf on a Shelf. But I digress.)

My hand with cranberry juice after chopping!

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together

Cream butter and two types of sugar together until light and fluffy

Beat in egg, milk and lemon juice

Stir in the flour mixture bit by bit (the dough is quite dry)

Add the cranberries and nuts and mix

Drop by the teaspoonful on a greased cookie sheet, 1 inch apart

Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes until firm and golden

Remove to racks to cool

Makes about 7 dozen so be prepared to share!  These are great Christmas cookies and I encourage you to try them.

    Emboldened by my success, I tried another recipe from this cookbook. They sounded so great: Aunt Libby’s Eggnog Cookies. But what a disappointment! Many were overcooked and became too crunchy and crumbly. After I reduced the cooking time these came out a bit better, but there isn’t much flavor. What flavor they do have is overly sweet and nothing like eggnog. So I will not burden you with the recipe.

Undaunted, on Friday I decided to try a non-dessert recipe. This one was from Book 8 from 2006. I tried the ABC Winter Time Soup. One of the reasons was I could use up those pesky half bags of things like split peas, lentils and barley. In fact, I used up a lot of things in my cupboards.

The recipe was actually on of those you make as a mix, store in a mason jar and then give as gifts for Christmas with the instructions.  Since I knew I wasn’t going to be doing that, I decided to cut the quantities needed in thirds. Even then I have lots and lots of soup which will be frozen for later.

Here’s the recipe that I modified using what I had and dividing their measurements by thirds:

  • 4 oz. dried split green peas
  • 1/2 c. long cooking brown rice, uncooked
  • 4 oz  macaroni (I used egg noodles)
  • 4 oz dried lentils
  • 4 oz pearled barley
  • 6 c. water
  • one onion, chopped (they called for onion flakes – yuck!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 1/2 c. cabbage (I didn’t have, but I added some kale I had in the fridge)
  • 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 24 oz can V-8 juice (I didn’t have this so I added the equivalent in water)
  • 1 lb ground beef, browned (Also didn’t have so mine is a vegetarian soup)

I just dumped everything into a big soup pan, brought it to a boil and then let it simmer for 1 1/2 hours. It’s a bit bland so we are adding some hot sauce before we serve it depending on our taste.

It certainly isn’t the best thing I’ve made, but I’ve also made worse. We will eat it and know its healthy and best of all used up lots of leftovers.

Meanwhile my Gooseberry Patch books will be regifted for the Library book sale. One thing I know for sure, the two women who started Gooseberry Patch must be doing very well for themselves. I do commend them for that!  Do let me know if you’ve had successes with the Gooseberry Patch recipes. I’d love to know more.

 

 

One Response to “Gooseberry Patch Christmas Cookies”

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  1. Bev Duell-Moore says:

    I think I’ve made one thing from one of their books and we didn’t like it.

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