I love dolling up the house for each holiday. I add decorum, candles, holiday flavors and special treats. October means orange and black tablecloths, windows full of pumpkins, headstones in the front yard, purple twinkling lights—and my famous Black Widow Halloween cocktail. In November my kitchen is flooded with squashes and pumpkins, slowly braised roasts and stews, pots of chilli and classic Thanksgiving side dishes. A cornucopia is filled with fall fruits and nuts, and a large ceramic turkey sits atop a prominent table.
We have rules about Christmas. We are allowed to start playing Christmas music on November 1. As soon as eggnog appears at the grocer, I load our fridge for this holiday treat. Each morning, I enjoy a dollop in my coffee. My large red-topped bins of Christmas decor are thrown wide open the day after Thanksgiving. I tuck away the turkey and fall-colored linens and pull out framed Santa photos of the boys to line our mantel. The velvet stockings are hung, holiday cards purchased and candy canes are stacked on my counter (soon to be made into peppermint bark).
Christmas means: plates full of fancy cookies. No other time of year do I go to the trouble of making so many different kinds of cookies—at the same time. I like to give a plate of cookies that I would want to receive. Over the years I have collected plate-worthy cookies (including my coveted frosted cookies, snowball cookies, candy cane cookies and wreath cookies). And no plate would be complete without red and green m ‘n’ m cookies:
M ‘n’ M Cookie Recipe with Pecans
2 sticks butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups m n ms
3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
Oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars. Add egg, vanilla and mix. Add flour, salt and soda and stir to blend. Mix in M ‘n’ Ms and pecans. Place in spoonfuls on tray and bake 10-13 minutes. Happy Holidays!
M ‘n’ M cookies are extra special: they can be easily adopted to any given holiday (thanks to M ‘n’ M’s coming in holiday colors). I have made them for Easter and Valentine’s Day, Halloween and even the Fourth of July. No matter the holiday, these colorful M ‘n’ M Cookies with Pecans are a welcome treat (in my opinion: it is the pecans that make the dough extra special).