Cookie Worship Marco’s churches share Christ’s message and a cookie N o food conjures up thoughts of the holidays, hearth and home better than Christmas cookies. Childhood memories of the sweet smell of cookies baking and time spent with family serve as a reminder of God’s love and most importantly the birth of His son Jesus. In honor of these traditional festivities, Marco churches shared a favorite Christmas cookie recipe. But the request came with a catch; it must include an inspirational message. The cookies range from pretzel logs dipped in chocolate from a stay-at-home dad, to a generations-old Norwegian cookie recipe; recipes are listed by denomination. By Kathleen Tuttle Photos by Leigh Tahirovic & Lexy Swall MARCO | 15 Baptist John Golec, member of the Family Church—Marco campus makes Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Logs with his three children; both for the holidays and as special treats on school early release days. There is no real recipe, so the family simply melts milk chocolate in the microwave, dips the pretzel rods in the chocolate and then rolls them in sprinkles and chopped nuts. The logs also serve as a mini teaching moment. He referenced Matthew 7:3 to illustrate his point, and prefers the way it is written in the New Living Translation: “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?” “Oftentimes we get wrapped up in what others are doing or thinking or exhibiting and we don’t have a clear understanding of our own challenges,”said Golec, of the passage’s underlying message. “I think of that often.” MARCO | 16 Joey and Jenna Golec Catholic Nancy Fine The San Marco Catholic Church cookies were a collaborative effort from three members of the congregation. Hilda Brosky, church liturgist, shared the message, while Vera Carlucci procured the candy cane cookie recipe and Nancy Fine baked. Brosky knew that she wanted a cookie that pointed to Jesus, as without Jesus there would be no Christmas. “The red is for the blood Christ shed for us,” she wrote in an email. “The white for His sinlessness and purity. The shape is like the staff of the Good Shepherd and inverted it is the letter ‘J’ for the name of Jesus.” Candy Cane Cookies ¾ cup butter or margarine softened ¾ cup sugar 1 egg ½ teaspoon vanilla ½ teaspoon peppermint extract 2 cups flour ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon baking powder 1/3 cup flaked coconut 1 teaspoon red food coloring Instant flour Cream butter and sugar; beat in egg, vanilla and extract. Stir flour with salt and baking powder; stir into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Stir coconut into one portion; blend food coloring into other portion. Chill dough for 30 minutes. Divide each section of dough into 30 balls. Dust hands with instant flour and roll each ball into 5-inch rope. For each cane pinch one end of the red and white rope together; twist ropes together. Pinch ends. For best results keep half of dough in the refrigerator while forming the canes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet; curve to form cane. Bake 375 degrees about 10 minutes. Makes 30. MARCO | 17 Church ofGod Nanny’s Date Filled Sugar Cookies Filling: 1 cup dates, cut up 1 tablespoon flour 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup hot water Cook filling while baking cookies. Mix in ingredients while cooking until thickened. Cool then add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 cup chopped nuts. (Nanny used black walnuts, but Mcculley thinks English walnuts or pecans would work.) Daryl Mcculley, wife or New Life Community Church of God’s Pastor Thomas Mcculley, submitted her Nanny’s Date-Filled Sugar Cookies. “Christmas and cookies just go together,” explained Mcculley. Her grandmother, whom she called Nanny, always made delicious cookies, but Mcculley’s personal favorite were the filled cookies. “They weren’t much to look at mind you. They were lumpy and the fork crimping was never perfect, but ohhhhh sooooo yummy.” Cookie: 1 egg 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup shortening Pinch of salt 3/4 cup milk 3 cup flour 3 level teaspoon baking powder Mix cookie ingredients together; then add a little more flour and roll out. Make an equal number of circles. Mound the filling on one circle and place another circle on top. Crimp around edges with a fork. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake on greased cookie sheet until slightly browned on edges. Cool. MARCO | 18 Daryl Mcculley Episcopal Lana Fitzgerald Holiday Sugar Cookies Cookie dough 1 cup oil 1 cup butter 1 cup sugar 1 cup powdered sugar 2 eggs 4 cups flour 1 teaspoon cream of tarter 1 teaspoon soda Mix oil and butter, add sugars. Beat in eggs and dry ingredients. Mix well until smooth and fluffy. Roll dough in balls. (She uses a cookie scoop.) Place dough on greased cookie sheet. Flatten cookies a bit with a sugared fork. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10-12 minutes; frost with colored frosting. (Christmas: green with sprinkles; Valentine’s Day: pink with heart candy; Halloween: orange with candy pumpkins.) St. Mark’s Episcopal Church member Lana Fitzgerald shared her Holiday Sugar Cookies recipe. “A melt-in-your-mouth, fresh-baked Christmas cookie is a special gift to share with family, old friends and new,” explained Fitzgerald of her recipe. “The arrival of the first plate of Christmas cookies is a tradition, it’s the beginning of the Christmas season, and it’s the time to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus with a little taste of heaven.” Fitzgerald shared the following verse from Hebrews 13:16a “And do not forget to do good, and to share with others...” Frosting 1 cup butter 2 lb powdered sugar, approximate ¼ cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla Food coloring of choice Beat butter, powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. Gradually add additional powdered sugar and milk until light and fluffy and desired consistency. Add food coloring of choice. Frost cooled cookies and decorate. MARCO | 19 Pat Jansem Lutheran Marco Lutheran Church member Pat Jansen shared an authentic Norwegian recipe that has been in her husband’s family for generations. “This recipe is really simple,” she said, which her family bakes while singing Christmas carols. Jansen’s family says a Norwegian prayer before eating the cookies, which is recited first in Norwegian and then in English. Here is the translation: In the name of Jesus we sit down at the table. To eat and drink in accordance with thy words. To God’s honor and to our blessing Then we shall eat in the name of the Lord. Amen. MARCO | 20 Krumkake 3 ounces butter ¼ pound sugar 2 eggs ¼ pound flour 1 teaspoon vanilla Cream the butter; add the sugar, two eggs, flour and vanilla. Put a teaspoon of the batter on a special krumkate iron and allow it to bake for 30 to 40 seconds and roll it up on a pencil. A krumkate iron is similar to a waffle iron with both sides of the cookie baked simultaneously. Love Cookies Jean Cholka Methodist “Who doesn’t love cookies, right?” wrote Wesley United Methodist Church member Jean Cholka in an email. “I suspect you will love these Love Cookies that are a favorite for Christmas or anytime in our family.” They don’t look like traditional Christmas cookies, but it wouldn’t be Christmas for her without them. Jean baked with her grandmother every Saturday and her grandmother taught her a lot about baking and even more about love. “I always felt loved unconditionally by my grandma,” she added. “Christ’s main lesson and message for each of us is about love; His unending love for each of us — no matter what. Our ability to love Christ and each other brings us more satisfaction than anything else on earth.” She shared a favorite Bible verse from the New Living Translation. “Three things will last forever — faith, hope and love — and the greatest of these is love. Let love be your highest goal!” 1 Corinthians 13:13-14:1a 1 cup butter 1cup brown sugar 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 2-1/2 cups oatmeal 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts 1 cup dried cranberries 6 ounces milk chocolate chips 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips Cream butter and sugars; add eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder; add oatmeal, nuts, cranberries and chocolate chips, one ingredient at a time. Drop heaping teaspoon dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for six minutes. MARCO | 21 Bonnie Seigfried, left, Elaine Buch, Jo-Ann Garvin and Cheryl Petrich Presbyterian Marco Presbyterian Church member Cheryl Petrich shared a recipe from the church’s cookbook. They are a church favorite for both its delicious taste and ease of rolling. Women in the church have baked and decorated hundred’s of the Christmas Butter Cookies for church events. Members of the Women’s Ministries leadership team baked and decorated high heel-shaped cookies. They chose high heels to go with this year’s Women’s Ministries theme. Petrich shared the following verse: Micah 6:8: “He has showed you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” “It’s really not the style of the shoe that’s important,” said Petrich. “It’s the feet that wear them that’s important.” And what are the lessons of the Christmas cookies? Don’t get wrapped up in what others are doing. Focus on Jesus and let your hearts be filled with the Holy Spirit as you do good, share with others and give thanks for food and fellowship. Let love be your highest goal as you walk humbly with your God. MARCO | 22 Bonnie’s Christmas Butter Cookies 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup margarine 2/3 cup sugar 3/4 tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla Exactly 1/2 cup eggs (about 2 eggs) 3 cups sifted flour Mix butter, margarine, sugar, salt, vanilla and eggs together until smooth. Slowly add the flour. Chill the dough at least 2 hours or overnight. Roll out on flour board until 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Bake 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Do not let the cookies brown.
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