If you could spend Christmas in any European country, which one would you choose?
The Francophile in me wants to say France, but I think Austria would be pretty magical for Christmas.
Well, I’m now in Houston to visit Micah’s family! I have a thought for you today by Martin Luther.
The angel said to them, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people; for there is born to you this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
The Gospel teaches that Christ was born, and that he died and suffered everything on our behalf, as is here declared by the angel. In these words you clearly see that he is born for us.
He does not simply say, Christ is born, but to you he is born, Neither does he say, I bring glad tidings, but to you I bring glad tidings of great joy. Furthermore, this joy was not to remain in Christ, but it shall be to all the people. This faith no condemned or wicked man has, nor can he have it. Christ has a pure, innocent, and holy birth. Man has an unclean, sinful, condemned birth; as David says (Psalms 51:5): “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Nothing can help this unholy birth except the pure birth of Christ. For this purpose Christ willed to be born, that through him we might be born anew.
O, this is the great joy of which the angel speaks. This is the comfort and exceeding goodness of God that, if anyone believes this, he can boast of the treasure that Mary is his rightful mother, Christ his brother, and God his father. For these things actually occurred and are true, but we must believe. This is the principal thing and the principal treasure in every Gospel. Christ must above all things become our own and we become his. This is what is meant by Isaiah 9:6: “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” To you is born and given this child.
I also have another cookie recipe to share today – this one is for Candy Cane Cookies, another Bennett favorite.
1 cup butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Mix butter, sugar, egg, and flavorings. Add flour and salt and combine to make dough. Divide dough in half and blend the red food coloring into one half. Refrigerate the dough for two hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Using approximately 1 teaspoon of dough, roll a 4-inch strip from each color. Place the strips side-by-side, press lightly together, and then twist the strips like rope. Crook the top to make a candy cane shape. Complete cookies one at a time or the dough will become too dry to shape. Place on parchment-covered baking sheets.
Bake 9-10 minutes, until lightly browned. While still warm, sprinkle the cookies with a mixture of peppermint candy and granulated sugar.
Makes 3 dozen candy canes.
From the kitchen of Sally Bennett, 11-9-10