Baking Christmas Cookies

There’s a well deserved (but not universally true) stereotype that Mennonites enjoy baking. So, perhaps it’s not too surprising that MCC Cambodia has for many years owned two small gas ovens. I’m not sure of their origins but I know that they are the only household ovens that I’ve seen in Cambodia.

All that to say – we are fortunate to have an oven so we can bake Christmas Cookies!

Crystal lighting the gas oven. The right side has troubling lighting so she had to fiddle with it.

Last night we made peanut butter blossoms. It’s one of the traditional Christmas cookie in Crystal’s family.

Have ready granulated sugar in a dish for rolling.
Unwrap a bunch of Hersey Kisses.
¾ C. margarine
½ C. peanut butter
1 C. brown sugar
2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
Blend together. Roll into balls. Roll balls in regular sugar Bake 350F. for 8 min. Place kiss on top while still warm.

Grandma Rose’s Peanut Blossom Recipe

We were able to find the necessary ingredients with only two substitutions. Duck eggs instead of chicken eggs and butter instead of margarine. Butter is easier to find here than margarine and, in a twist, much less expensive. It does mean that I can’t indulge but the Hersey Kisses are milk chocolate anyway.

We always have to put water in the oven when baking due to the open flame.

We don’t know if it was the humidity, the butter, the oven, or the other ingredients…but the peanut blossoms crumbled more than usual out of the oven.

Crystal and Catherine pressing kisses onto the hot peanut blossoms.
The timing is important here – too soon they melt completely, too late they don’t melt at all!

We won’t be able to do the whole range of Graber/Waltner cookies but the girls were thrilled to bake a batch of Christmas cookies here. We are planning to do a second batch of cut outs with them tonight.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Homer Wood says:


  2. rose graber says:

    Happy memories!

    1. Charles says:

      The kids loved it and it’s a really important tradition to Crystal. 🙂

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