Spinach pasta with basil and feta.
Lisa M Baragiola

Holiday Cookie Magic

It’s All About the Cookies

Can you believe it’s almost the end of 2023? This has been an exciting year for me as a first-time blogger. Our owner, Scott Phillips, has allowed me to pave my own way, which has been rewarding and fun. One of his favorite questions, is “are you having the best day ever”, so I decided the last blog of 2023 should make you smile. This leads us to a favorite holiday subject, dessert.  As I mentioned in my January blog, life is too short to never have a cookie.

How Did the Cookie Begin?

One story states this tradition started in the 1700s, when German settlers in Pennsylvania brought over the traditional unleavened, easy to store treat from Europe. Historians believe making and leaving cookies for Santa began during the great depression. It was a way for parents to encourage their children to give every year. The first cookies were sugar or spice.

Holiday Baking Traditions

No matter where or what you celebrate during this time of year, cookies are most likely on the menu. Do you have special memories around this delightful dessert? I remember making them with my gram, sisters, and cousins. Sampling raw batter against all recommendations happens annually as well as burning one tray of cookies. The best part is the wonderful aroma that fills the house for at least a day or more. Have you turned it into a family holiday activity? It’s a fabulous way to teach baking skills and at the same time create lasting memories.

Do You Have a Favorite?

Maybe you’re not partial to one type but love them all. I’m a fan of the old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie made from the Nestle® Toll House® recipe. Some people decorate elaborate sugar cookies or make gingerbread houses. Have you used the recipe with corn flakes and red hots to make Christmas wreaths?? Whatever you choose, make it from scratch and enjoy the magic of a time-honored tradition. Try chef Ken’s family recipe Chocolate Jumble Cookies dating back to the 1900’s in his hometown of Schoharie, NY. We wish you a very happy holiday season and a peaceful and prosperous New Year!!

Chocolate Jumble Cookies

Ken Foland, Executive Chef, Events by FSC
Iced Chocolate Cookies
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 6 hrs
Course Dessert
Servings 2 dozen


  • 1 each large whole egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine the egg, molasses, vanilla, shortening and water in a stand mixer and mix on low speed.
  • Add all the dry ingredients. Mix well, scraping the bowl often to ensure the shortening is incorporated well.
  • Cover dough and refrigerate for 5-6 hours.
  • On a well-floured surface, roll out dough in small batches to 1/4" thick.
  • Cut with a floured cookie cutter and place on a lined baking sheet. Save the dough scraps for later use.
  • Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes, until tops are slightly dry and small cracks have formed.
  • Remove cookies from tray and allow to cool completely.


  • Mix confectioners' sugar and small amounts of whole milk together until firm.
  • Ice cookies and allow to harden.

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