While JJ and I were engaged, I was given the book Rose’s Christmas Cookies for a wedding shower gift. So during our first Christmas as a married couple, JJ and I excitedly pulled out the book and perused through the recipes. When he saw the following cookies, he excitedly proclaimed, “These are my favorite kind of Christmas cookies! We have to make these!” Luckily, they were simple enough for a new bride with little cooking experience to successfully create, and ever since these cookies have been a staple at our home at Christmastime.
What made the discovery of this recipe even more exciting is that no one knew what the recipe was. JJ’s mother did not make Christmas cookies. She was a busy woman who owned her own hair salon, and she didn’t waste time doing something herself when she could buy it already finished. So, every year she bought homemade Christmas cookies from a lady in their small town. These favorite cookies of JJ’s were part of the ones she bought.
They’re simple, easy, and delicious. Just make sure to butter your hands well before shaping the wreaths!
1/2 C. (one stick) unsalted butter
3 C. (30 large) marshmallows
1 1/2 tsp. green food coloring
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 C. cornflakes
2 Tbsp. cinnamon red-hots (candies)
Grease a medium saucepan. Melt the butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows and melt them over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the food coloring and vanilla extract until well blended. Stir in the cornflakes to coat them well. Keep the mixture warm by placing hte saucepan in a large pot or skillet filled with 1 inch of very hot tap water. Replace the water as it cools.
(Emily’s note: I fill a large pan with water while I do the cooking. When the cooking is done, I place the smaller kettle into the larger kettle, so it essentially makes a water bath.)
Working quickly so the mixture does not harden, use 2 greased spoons or lightly greased fingers to drop small (1 heaping tablespoon) mounds of the cornflake mixture onto the wax paper. With lightly greased fingers, quickly form cornflake mounds into wreaths with holes in the centers. Immediately, while the wreaths are still sticky, decorate the wreaths with red-hots.
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen 2-inch wreaths.