December 15, 2010

Yes, that’s right. Someone is going to receive a box of cookies. Two of each of the cookies and confections I’ve made this season, packed in a pretty tin and mailed to you just in time for Christmas. I can’t wait to share these treats.

I’m going to make this, my first giveaway, ridiculously easy.

Just leave a comment here. Tell me about your favorite holiday cookie. Or your experiences making the cookies I’ve been putting here on the blog. Or just introduce yourself. I can’t wait to get to know you all a little better.

I’ll use Randomizer to choose one commenter at 10pm Thursday, 12/16.

I’ll announce the winner on Twitter and Facebook, and, presuming I can get the winner’s address right away, I’ll mail out a cookie box on Friday, 12/17.

(Sorry, I can only mail to the continental US.)

I won’t lie, it would be nice if you would also

Tweet: I just entered to win a cookie box from Mrs. Wheelbarrow. Click this link to enter.

and/or “Like” my Facebook page – Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen.

It’s nice to have the baking all finished and have the rest of the month to just kick back and enjoy the holidays. I’ll wrap the few little gifties I got for Dennis, and the mountain of gifts I’ve got for Louie and Beans. I’ll read some books and catch up on the stacks of magazines gathering dust. I’ll Skype with friends near and far. See some movies. Walk the dog. Gaze at the tree.

I hope you’ll do the same.


PS Here’s one more cookie. It’s easy and really delicious.


Almond Ginger Florentines
makes about 5 dozen cookies

1 lb. sliced almonds
1 c candied ginger
1/2 c dried tart cherries
1/2 c golden raisins
1/4 c flour

2 oz unsalted butter
2/3 c heavy cream
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Toss the nuts, ginger and fruit with the flour to coat.
Bring butter, cream, sugar and salt to a boil in a saucepan.
Add to the nuts and fruit. Stir well.
Chill for 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
Line baking sheets with parchment. Preheat the oven to 325°.
Make mounds of dough about the size of a ping pong ball. Press down with the heel of your hand to form the cookie.
Bake for 12 minutes until golden and bubbly.
Cool completely, then peel off the parchment. The cookies are quite fragile, so be careful.
Store between wax paper sheets, keep cool, and the cookies will remain fresh for three or four days.


93 Responses to “a cookie box giveaway!”

  1. Allison @ Novice Life


    I enjoy making my grandmas recipe for Spritz cookies over the holidays….and I enjoy eating half of those I make 😉

    I am hoping to try your recipe for Candied Citrus Peel soon 🙂

  2. Julia

    Are you kidding me? Yes, please! I would love to win these cookies, because I’ve been reading about your cookie making prowess with admiration! I’m awestruck by your dedication. Thanks for the chance!

  3. Valerie

    I think my favorite cookie has to be oatmeal cookies with cranberries, almonds, and chocolate chips. I make the best ones 🙂 but I bet you could make a really great one too. And I can’t wait to try out some of your cookie recipes!

  4. Misti H.

    I think one of my favorite cookie for the holidays is the Mexican Wedding cookie. That and the cream cheese kind that you put pie filling in, I am not sure what that is called but yummy!

    I have 6 kids all in their busy years (is there anything else?). As a girl, I canned and juiced a few things with my grandmother, that raised me, but I wish I had a mom or sister to help me during the canning season. With my big family we are trying hard to grow our garden and be able to can from it. I have done a little, here and there.

    I am thankful for your sight to help keep me motivated and be that sister in the kitchen that I wish for. Thank you so much.
    Merry Christmas!

  5. hillary

    Yes, please to the cookies! My favorite christmas cookie is, without a doubt, the seven layer variety. But, I’m dying to try the mint chocolate grasshopper squares.

  6. lauren regardie

    These look delicious!! I made caramels for the 1st time and they came out great. They are quite addictive to have around. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

  7. Gin

    We tried something a little different this year–we made classic chocolate chip cookies, but instead of chocolate chips, used Andes mint chips–yummy! We’ve also made a bunch of family classics–my great-gran’s icebox cookies, no-bake cookies, sugar and spice cookies.

  8. merry jennifer

    I would LOVE to taste the cookies you make – they look amazing! My favorite holiday cookie is probably a decorated sugar cookie. Of course, I won’t say no to shortbread.

  9. AmandaL

    It’s not a cookie story, but it is a Christmas-food story. My husband’s family has very different eating habits than we (my husband and I) do, with lots of canned soups used and frozen tater tots and the like. One of the first times I went out to spend Christmas with his family we made caramel corn, and when I mentioned that I had never made it before (despite having shown a certain ability with cooking), my fella’s mom started talking to me very slowly using mostly words of one syllable: “watch. out. that… is. HOT. CORN. SYRUP. Do you know what boiling looks like?” Still makes me laugh every time I think about it.

  10. Margaret Batten

    Happy Holidays! I’d love to be entered to win a cookie tin! Thank you!
    I usually give baked goods for holiday gifts, but this year I “discovered” home preserving and made jams out of everything we picked this summer; so I’m giving jars of summery fruits for gifts…. You’ve inspired me to try new combinations and I’ve specially bookmarked “Apricots in Vanilla Syrup” and “Sour Cherry Pie Filling” and put them at the top of the list for next summer.

  11. Alice

    Every year I make gingerbread boys and girls with a 3″ cutter and simply decorated with a red-hot drop for the mouth and raisins for eyes and buttons. My cookie tray is not complete without them! I first made these with my mother about 40 years ago and have done it every year since. Your cookie box is an inspiration – thanks for sharing!

  12. iEatDC

    Hi! Your cookies are beautiful. My favorite holiday cookies growing up (to make and eat) were my grandmother’s sour cream twists. 5-inch strips of pastry dough, twisted and dusted with sugar, then baked to perfection. I see cookies that look like them in bakeries but they are always hard and break apart (meant for tea). These were buttery and soft on the inside.

  13. Renee

    my favorite Christmas cookies, since I can’t choose just one, all have something to do with chocolate. However, as I’ve gotten older and my tastes have matured I do appreciate thumbprints and all the complex flavors of the gourmet cookies I’ve been seeing in this wonderful blog community.

    I must confess, your grasshopper is calling my name. Having said that, if I win, I want you to mail them to my mother, she is very deserving.

    Kisses to you for knowing how to appreciate this time of year!

  14. JenniferA

    What a lovely giveaway! My new favorite is Cranberry Sandies by my friend Tracy at They are easy, delicious and festive!

  15. Meg D.

    Christmas cookies are a big tradition in our family. I think I get more enjoyment out of baking them with the family than I do eating. I do like Mexican Wedding Cakes.

  16. SBristow

    I am a equal opportunity cookie eater. My two favorite christmas cookies are peanut butter blossoms (pb cookie with hershey kiss in the middle) and reese cup cookies (pb cookie surrounding a mini reese cup). They combine cookies AND candy!

  17. Jess

    Okay, I am in the middle of law school finals, and NOTHING would make me happier than a tin of Christmas cookies! I have been bookmarking cookie recipes since Thanksgiving, which will all have to wait until I get through finals, but I can’t wait. Many of yours are on my list, but I have to go with some of my standbys as well – rum balls, milk chocolate fudge, and incredibly dense snickerdoodles always show up in my kitchen around the holidays.

    I only discovered your blog a couple of months ago, and as a Washington, DC local, it has been so much fun to follow. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  18. Katy

    My favorite Christmas cookie is a ginger snap from an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I’ve been eating these every Christmas for as long as I can remember (and sometimes in between). My mom made them, and now I make them with my kids. We changed the recipe to use butter instead of the shortening that the original recipe called for. For Grandma for Christmas this year, we’re going to send her a batch, with a gift certificate for 6 more deliveries of cookies throughout the year – I plan to use some of your recipes for some of those care packages! Oh, and we’re local to the DC area too!

  19. Mrs. Larkin

    Hooray for cookies! Cookies = love. And, in my book, it’s not Christmas without some decorated cut-out sugar cookies. Or Sarah Bernhardts. Or biscotti. Or pecan balls. Or……

  20. Ben S

    First cookies that came to mind were the ones my grandma makes with the peanut butter cups inside

  21. Charlotte

    I absolutely love fruitcake cookies – they are sooo much better than the cake. I am going to make gingerbread biscotti this weekend. I have loved and tried many of your canning recipes. Thanks for sharing, wish I was closer to take your classes. Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.

  22. Olga @ MangoTomato

    cookies! Yum! I haven’t baked any this season (yet?), so of course I’d love to win a box of yours. I love sugar cookies with dried cherries and macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips or double chocolate cookies with pecans!

  23. Rivka

    My favorite holiday cookies are the date swirls on my blog. They’re made with a cream cheese dough, which — in rugelach, in pie or tart crust, wherever it appears — I simply can never resist.

  24. Jenn

    Thats a better giveaway than Oprah! I have to say baklava is my favorite holiday cookie. Although ginerbread men and egg nog are holiday classics as well!

  25. Puddintane

    I would love a tin of your wonderful cookies! I am terrible at making cookies. I can make a killer bouche de noel but for some reason I can never get my cookies baked correctly. I have always admired people who can bake wonderful cookies.

  26. David/Ocean Pines, MD

    My favorite cookie is a family recipe from a wonderful Aunt who always baked lots of tasty cookies at the holidays. They are a small one bite cookie, rolled in crushed pecans and garnished with 3 small chocolate drops. I make them every year now and have continued the family tradition. I have added several of your cookies to my list this year – thanks Cathy for a wonderful Blog!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! David

  27. April

    My mom makes delicious fruitcake cookies! I think fruitcake gets a bad rap (wrap? rapt? how exactly do you spell that?). I heard you on NPR and have enjoyed reading your blog ever since.

  28. Sara

    I got a terrific Mandelbrot recipe that I make with chocolate chips, cardamom, and almonds. Especially good for those who are allergic to dairy!

    Love your blog–thank you for the giveaway option.

  29. Laura

    three cookie recipes stand out, each taught to me by an influential woman in my life. My nana and her pizzelle cookies. We always had a small pizzelle factory going at christmas time with ragu simmering away in the background. My mama and her borrowed recipe for kolachky cookies that had french vanilla ice cream in the dough. She, my brother and I spent a lot of time making dozens each year ~ everyone wanted some. My other half’s mom and her mamoul recipe. Ever since trying my first one, I love love love mamouls and it was another one of our bonding experiences in the kitchen.

  30. Dana

    Always loved those simple peanut butter cookies sprinkled with sugar and a kiss plopped down in the center. This Christmas the only cookies I’m making are 5 flavors of meringues, though, to go with all sorts of other baked goodies. How nice of you to give away cookies when you’re already making so many!

  31. Jennifer

    My favorite Christmas flavors are cardamom, almond, and chocolate. Growing up, my mom made these cardamom-flavored Scandinavian cookies that were fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. They had whiskey in them, too. I remember that because my parents never drank, and it was a big deal to go into the liquor store and buy whiskey just for these cookies.
    It’s zero degrees (not counting the wind chill) this morning in Anchorage, Alaska, as I prettied up some jars of cherry pie filling for each of my kids to take to their teachers for a Christmas gift. I used the recipe from your site. The cherries come from my parents home in Haines, Alaska. I live in Anchorage, but for some reason cherries don’t grow as well here as they do in Southeast Alaska. Looking forward to visiting there this summer to pick their bountiful cherries and wild blueberries and my mom’s wonderful raspberry patch! Love your site so I can can to my hearts content!

  32. Sarah Decker

    I haven’t had time yet to start trying your cookie recipes, but I sent your beautiful cookie basket picture onto a friend who is a master cookie baker and she LOVED your cookies and is going to try a few of your recipes. I would share your cookie box with her, if I win. Cook on!

  33. Kelly

    Hi, @thepeche turned me on to your blog – and it’s great! I’d love to win these cookies. I have a hard time picking any favorite Christmas cookies since there aren’t any bad ones, but I LOVE anything with almonds.

  34. Carole Penner

    I love all the Christmas cookies – I’m a cookie monster! I’m looking forward to trying the mint chocolate grasshopper cookies. Mint and chocolate are yummy.

  35. Joey

    One of my favorite holiday cookies is an Almond (buttery) thumbprint with a raspberry filling found, of all places, on a butter box. How I’d looooovvve to win a box of cookies!

  36. Lisa Kress

    I also just finished my cookie project this morning. Nearly 100 dozen cookies just waiting to be plated and given away — 15 different cookies, plus marshmallows and caramels and 30 lucky recipients. It would be hard to say which is my favorite of the bunch, but here is what will be on my cookie plate: Rugelach, Brazilian coconut chews, Anisette cookies, Egg Nog, Checkerboards, Orange sables, chocolate crackles, toll house, ginger-molasses crisps, peanut butter & jelly bars, Praline bars, lime meltaways, blueberry jam filled poppyseed thumbprints, chocolate drizzled caramel hazelnut squares, coffee spiced shortbread topped with sweet coffee glaze and candied ginger.

  37. Denise

    COOKIES………………Me want COOKIES!!!!!!
    Just made the Pistachio Sand cookies……………..FAB U LOUS!!!!!
    Keeping my cookie monster paws crossed to win!

  38. Shae | Hitchhiking to Heaven

    I have been lurking around your blog all week, admiring your cookies. What a great giveaway! Every year, I bake with a friend. We started when her first daughter was two years old, and now she’s applying to colleges! We do classic frosted cookies, and I’m definitely planning jam-filled cookies this year, but Mary makes a perfect gingersnap. Utterly perfect. It may be my favorite.

  39. seedless grape

    I’ve made a bunch of Spekulatius with my German boyfriend, but I hope to make some chocolate peppermint cookies this weekend. Love the peppermint!

  40. Marci Gluck-Stewart

    I am new to your site. I am a non-baker but a huge cookie eater! Maybe I will step outside of the mox and attempt to bake some cookies with my kids during the next couple of weeks. Isn’t that what moms are supposed to do?!? I would LOVE to win those cookies….. 🙂

  41. Kristina

    Yummy! Years and years ago (when I was in high school) I found a recipe for two cookies – a lightly spiced cookie, and a sugar cookie – that were made into a box and cute little bears to put into the box. I’ve never made the box, but I’ve made the bears almost every year sincee, including a three-eyed bear for my now-husband, at his request, the first year we were together.

  42. Michelle in Colorado

    Right now my fav. Cooke is pinwheels with cooked down cranberry sauce in the middle.

  43. Maria

    I love to make rosquillas (a Spanish anise cookie my grandmother used to make). Last night my sister and I sat down at the kitchen table and rolled out 5 dozen of them! Fun bonding experience for us both.

  44. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    I love making my Grandma’s recipe for Pecan Butter Balls. I love them; I love her (though gone for THIRTY years!) – it’s the best of both worlds. Taste and memories.

    I love you too. (Pander, pander).

  45. Dana Spot

    This morning I started the process of candied fruit. I used clementine rinds. They look beautiful soaking up all the syrupy sweetness. Thank you for all the recipes.
    I’ll start on those florentines this aft.
    Happy Holidays.

  46. Jenny

    I love and every one loves this fudge filled pastry type cookie that I saw on a Food Network special many years ago.

  47. Leslie

    My favorite cookie to make is a Rainbow Cookie. It is comprised of 3 layers of thin cake, each colored a different color and flavored with almond paste. The layers are sandwiched with jam and coated with chocolate ganache. Lots of work but great yield and delicious.

  48. Winnie

    Such an awesome giveaway Cathy!!! I don’t want to enter (cuz I’ve already sampled your fab cookies and someone else should get a chance to)…just wanted to let you know that you rock!

  49. heather1

    We always make fudge around the holidays. I have never figured out way we don’t make it any other time of the year.

  50. BB

    While I admire Winnie’s restraint and thoughtfulness toward her fellow cookiemen, I harbor no such things! I would eat your cookies with a fox, on a train, up a tree….

  51. Kelly

    I love your blog. Started following after I heard you on NPR. I was so amazed by your explanation of your cookie boxes that I’ve sent a link to it to all my best friends. Look forward to the little one by your blog each and every day.:)

  52. Domenica

    My sister’s raspberry jam-filled linzer hearts are one of my favorite cookies. The dough is extremely tender and fragile and tough to work with (it’s based on an old Silver Palate recipe). It requires lots of chilling, rolling, chilling, cutting, chilling…you get the point. And at times the cookies crumble as we dip them in powdered sugar. But that’s the fun part–eating all the mistakes. HAPPY HOLIDAYS, AND ALL THE BEST IN 2011!

  53. Janet

    My favorite holiday cookie is the decorated sugar cookie. But that’s because we have a ritual of letting the kids do the decorating!

  54. wm

    I’m expecting in two weeks and have not have a single holiday cookie yet (though I plan to bake some this week). I would definitely appreciate these!

  55. M Kellogg

    My fav Christmas cookies is authentic German Lebkuchen. I lived in Germany in the 80s and they bring back so many memories. I buy them at a German deli.

    I just “liked” you on Facebook. I love keeping up with my fav bloggers via FB.

  56. Susan

    My favorite Christmas cookie is called Anise Drops and is very simple and old fashioned – just eggs, sugar, flour, and anise seed. You beat the dough for 20 minutes, drop them out, let them sit overnight, then bake. They rise like little mushrooms – so neat, but difficult in dry climate I live in now. They are hard to make well, but yummy little morsels when they turn out right. Would love to win your beautiful cookies!

  57. Art Gray

    Love your site! Heard you on NPR this fall talk about canning, and have been a huge fan ever since! Cookies! Mom always had home baked cookies in the house. Back in what I call my “Little House on the Prairie” days in Western Pennsylvania in the early 1970’s, mom did not drive, so snowy December weekends were all about COOKIES! Me and my two older sisters would line up on the kitchen table and help mom bake. My ALL TIME FAVORITE were “GOBS”. Very interactive for kids. They were big chocolate cake like cookies, we would then slice in half and add a creamy white filling, then wrap each one up separetly in wax paper and store them in the freezer, kinda like big “home made Oreos”. Yum ! It would take us all day to make a few batches, My favorite all time Christmas memory with mom and my sisters! Happy Holidays!

  58. Marcus

    Not a cookie, but last year I made sea salt caramel candies. They were great and I plan to make some more this year before Christmas rolls back around.

  59. SallyCan

    This is great~I love everyone’s cookie stories! Once, when I was about nine, I ate a whole batch of chocolate peanut butter swirl cookies, thinking that I was leaving plenty for everyone else, as they looked just like the date swirl cookies (and I left plenty of them)! I didn’t really get in much trouble for it, though now when I make the tricky things I always think of my mom and those cookie tins stacked high in her pantry! My favorites, though, are gingerbread men made from a cookie cutter that she had a tinsmith make of a running ginger bread man, because, as she said, that’s what he did, “Run, run, run, fast as you can…”

  60. Brittney

    My favorite Christmas cookie is a chocolate, oatmeal no cook drop cookie. It is absolutely delicious. Full of butter and sugar and all good things.

  61. Emma Castro

    I’ve never baked cookies from scratch for the Holidays. Reading your website has inspired me this Holiday season. Thanx, Ms. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen!

  62. Jeannie

    I’m torn between the Candy Cane sugar cookies from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book that my mom made while growing up and the fun little Teddy Bear Butter cookies from the Land o’Lakes site that my kiddies loved baking when they were growing up as my favorites..I think of my mom each Christmas as I bake these cookies..soul food for sure! :0)

  63. The Turnbulls

    We live in Canada but just couldn’t help responding. Your cookie gift box is so beautiful, so much work, and probably one of the most wonderful gifts of the season! Matt is the baker in our household…this year he’s making short bread cookies with some of our homemade candied orange and grapefruit peels for that little bit of “something ~ something”

  64. Marcia Brown

    I like making almond butter cookies that you roll out, cut out, bake and then decorate. I hadn’t had time in the last five years until this year to make them again. I posted photos of them on my blog. Love to win your cookie assortment!

  65. Mary

    I’m all about spitzbuben – a short butter cookie sandwiching raspberry jam. Now if I could just find the time to make them!

  66. Cheryl

    I love Sugar Cookies!! A recipe passed on from my great grandmother.. So amazingly delicous and full of traditions.

  67. KJ

    My favorite xmas cookies are peanut butter balls, or I think some people call them buckeyes. Could eat a whole tin of them, easy

  68. Mike G

    Well my favorite Christmas cookie is usually a Peanut Butter Kiss, but this year I tried out Chef Lee Anne Wong’s Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookie and I am a total convert. They are delightful.

  69. Ginger

    Hi Mrs. W,
    Well, I’ve made the apricot balls, mints, lemon gumdrops and rumballs and so far my favorite is the lemon gumdrops- fun to make. Oh, also the candied orange peel. Everything has turned out great—now I just need to find some people not phobic about eating candy and cookies!

  70. Amy Michel

    Hello! I am amazed by the sheer number of cookies and candies you make 🙂 My favorite cookie is a recipe that came from my grandmother, Sour Cream Cookies. They are a spoon-drop cookie normally, but add some extra flour, and you’ve got the perfect dough for rolling and cutting holiday shapes, which is what we always did. Once iced, they last for at least at least a week, and stay soft.

  71. Bridget

    What a good idea for a giveaway! This is my first year making cookies for gifts, and it’s a lot of fun. My favorites are gingersnaps (Joy of Cooking recipe) and Chinese almond cookies which call for lard, which is not so popular these days, but makes these cookies wonderful.

  72. Tom M

    Just liked you on FB 🙂

    Favorites are an old sand tart drop cookie recipe my mother got from her priest’s mother some 60 years ago. I still make and share them every year in my mother’s honor, since she’s no longer here to bake them for us.

  73. mary elizabeth Kimbrough

    Hard choice! My own version of Florentines are done with candied orange peel and blanched almonds, and no Christmas passes without them. A new cookie I have made for the past 3 years that has become a favorite is brown sugar shortbread with fleur de sel! Happy Holidays!

  74. AntoniaJames

    I’ve been enjoying so much reading your posts about your cookie and candy-making. And I’ve learned so much, too! So hard to say what my own favorite is . . . . but this year I made Nut Crescents (very similar to the pistachio recipe you have) with pecan pieces that I chopped coarsely and then toasted, before stirring them in. An ordinary recipe — there are so many similar versions of it out there — made really special by the pre-toasting of the nuts. Am also making Lebkuchen, plus my own oranges and lemons (St Clements) cookies, plus peanut butter pinwheels (with the hope of working up a variation on that). Been working 12 – 14 hours per day on Q4 deals, so the dough was made early on Sunday morning and the rolling out for the first tranche for delivery to other area codes will take place late tonight and late tomorrow night. I also made candied orange peel. And will make 2 kinds of truffles. And a Kentucky Whiskey Cake for my dear old dad. Thanks again for all your great recipes and tips!! ;o)

  75. Cathy

    Congratulations, JenniferA – you’re the winner of the cookie box! Please send me your mailing address as soon as possible so I can get these goodies in the mail to you.

    Thank you everyone for your great notes and messages – and all sorts of ideas for next year’s cookie box.

    Have a very happy holiday season!

  76. Marilyn

    I grew up with only two kinds of holiday cookies, sugar cookies and gingerbread me. Both recipes came from the Betty Crocker cookbook which was my mother’s baking bible. I was amazed to discover all the other wonderful flavors of cookies as I grew up. But when I make cookies for the holidays it’s either sugar or ginger using the same recipe my mother did. I feel so connected to her when I’m baking.

  77. Kandace

    I found your blog through the piece NPR did on you and canning and now read often. Thanks! I plan on making your peppermint patties tomorrow.

    As for cookies, I love them and have made them for years. givng out varities to friends. One of my best holiday recipes comes from an old Gourmet magazine. It’s a gingery shortbread base topped with a frosting using Lyle’s Golden Syrup (had to import my first tin of it), ginger and powdered sugar. Really fabulous!

  78. Renee

    well Mrs. Wheelbarrow your first giveaway was a hit! and Jennifer I am jealous, enjoy! Just wanted to say again how much I am appreciating your blog, Merry Christmas.



  1.  Tweets that mention My first giveaway – a box of cookies! (and a recipe for florentines.) --
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