Christmas Treats with LeeAnn Sontheimer Murphy

As I celebrate Christmas, one of my traditions is to spend time in the kitchen cooking up traditional recipes, family favorites, making candy, and baking cookies.  The first holiday recipe I learned to make was old fashioned sugar cookies, cut into Christmas tree and Santa shapes.  We always frosted them in bright Christmas colors.  I still bake them but another favorite holiday cookie recipe is my Oatmeal Butterscotch Chip cookies.  As readers enjoy my Christmas titles, Tidings of Comfort and Joy, a contemporary love story fueled with hope and one woman’s stubborn refusal to give up, maybe they’ll enjoy a cookie too!

Oatmeal Butterscotch Chip cookies


¾ cup shortening, softened to room temperature

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

½ cup white granulated sugar

1 egg

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sifted  all purpose white flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

3 cups uncooked Quaker Oats (round cardboard canister)

1 bag butterscotch morsels or chips

Blend shortening, sugars, egg, water, and vanilla together until creamy.

Sift flour, soda, and salt together, add to the creamed mixture, mix well then add the oats and the butterscotch chips.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes in a preheated oven.

Yield: About 5 dozen cookies.


TidingsofComfortandJoy500x750Blurb for Tidings of Comfort and Joy:

They met during the holiday season and married in May.  Jessica savored every moment of happiness with her beloved husband Johnny but their newlywed bliss is shattered when he’s caught in a storm on the lake on the Fourth of July.  First missing, then presumed dead, Johnny Devereaux appears to be gone and everyone mourns him except his wife.  Jessica refuses to believe he could be dead and she steadfastly refuses to give up hope that he is alive and will return.

As the months pass, each holiday is another reminder of his absence and it becomes harder to believe but she refuses to yield to despair.  As his family, especially his brother Tad, struggles to accept Johnny’s death, only his great-grandmother and bride hang onto their hope.  Jessica comes to believe he’ll return to her at Christmas so the holiday takes on new significance as she waits for tidings of comfort and joy.

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