One of my favorite Christmas memories is baking cookies with my mother. I cannot believe how patient she must have been with three of us but every December, she'd flour up the old Hoosier and we'd spend a day or two rolling out cookie dough, scattering flour everywhere and madly pressing her single set of cookie cutters into the dough.
Even though the most memorable baking experiences involved dough and cutters, the most memorable cookies we made were bright green wreaths concocted of marshmallows, corn flakes and red hot candies. They were the star of every cookie plate and quickly devoured with only green tongues to prove that their existence.
I've continued to make the holly wreaths into my adult-hood and I gathered the ingredients this December to share the tradition with my children. As he stirred the sugared mass of marshmallows and butter, my oldest mused "I remember this" and so he does. I believe we made them last year and possibly the year before.
Be warned, there is nothing green about these cookies but the color. I did my best and used organic corn flakes bought in bulk - and hence without the packaging. We substituted Skittles and mini M&Ms for the red hot candies. Both of those were bought in bulk for the gingerbread house project we did at my son's birthday party earlier this month. If I hadn't had them, I would have purchased some fair trade, organic Sunspire M&M knock offs.
As my second contribution to the Farmer Daughter's Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap, here is my mother's recipe for Holly Wreaths:
1/2 cup butter
30 large marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon green food coloring
3 1/2 cups corn flakes
Red cinnamon candies (or other red candies)
In a large saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows over low hear, stirring constantly (that's where the kids' help comes in handy). Add vanilla and food coloring and stir until blended. Fold in corn flakes. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto waxed paper; shape into 2 inch wreaths. Decorate each with candies. Do not freeze.
These can be very sticky. I don't use shortening or grease - just wash my hands frequently. If your hands are damp, the corn flakes won't stick as much as they are fashioned into wreaths. Once the cookies have sat for an hour or two, they become less sticky.