Tahlequah Daily Press

December 6, 2013

Area residents enjoy making holiday treats

By TEDDYE SNELL
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Now that Old man winter has official made his first frosty visit to Cherokee County, area residents are gearing up for the Christmas season by making holiday treats.

For most folks, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without the standard parade of cookies, candies, sweet breads and Chex mix.

Renee LaCombe will be making a time-honored favorite.

“My favorite cookies have been indispensable every Christmas of my life,” said LaCombe. “We call them ‘strawberries,’ but I think they’re commonly known as skillet cookies. Every Christmas, without fail, the time would come for the strawberry cookie assembly line. The hub of colorful, sugary deliciousness was Grandma’s kitchen. She placed a pan of warm, sticky cookie matter before us, and immediately we went to work creating the cookies that would surely be first to disappear from the platter.”

LaCombe’s job was to form a lump of cookie stuff into the shape of a strawberry.

“Michelle rolled the cookie into red sugar, then Little Kenny dipped the top into green sugar and placed it on the plate,” said LaCombe. “With sticky hands and red and green food coloring covering our tongues, teeth and lips, we worked as Grandma stirred up the next batch. Of course, the pay for creating these tiny masterpieces was well worth the effort: About one cookie in the mouth for every six we completed.”

Olga Hoenes makes holiday treats the simple and easy way.

“I buy Christmas cups, a big bag of those thick German pretzels, and white chocolate bars,” said Hoenes. “I melt the chocolate, dip half the pretzel in and let it dry. Then I put a bunch in a cup and ho, ho, ho!”

Teresa Girdner spent the frost-laden day Thursday getting her goodies together.

“I’m making chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal cookies, drinking hot chocolate and putting up the tree,” said Girdner.

Former Daily Press writer Betty Ridge enjoys baking, and has already started her holiday treats.

“I tried a new recipe today that I’ve been wanting to make: butterscotch chip spice cookies,” said Ridge. “They were good, but I’ll make a change next time and not roll them in powdered sugar before baking them. They were sweet enough without it.”

Tammy Brown, wife of State Rep. Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah, is well-known for her  baking skills. Staff members at the Daily Press, as well as county and city employees, are annual recipients of goody platters from the couple, which include a variety of sweet treats. The platters always contain fudge and bonbons, as well as sweet breads and other confections.

While women traditionally make Christmas confections, more and more men are getting into the act.

“We’ll will be doing pies, cookies and if I get off my lazy [backside], some fresh breads,” said Tony O’seland. “If the power goes out, all we’ll have for heat is the stove, so it’ll get a workout.”

The fruits of John Yeutter’s labors will be donated to the Thompson House Victorian Christmas to raise money for maintenance of the historic site.

“I’m making - snow or not - coconut cream ‘pot’ pies for the Thompson House [Victorian Christmas],” said Yeutter. “There’s no real pot, and no artificial cannabanoids, either, in the pot pies. I don’t know why they are called that.”

Reasor’s Video Manager Shane Perry is making candy.

“I will be making peanut clusters,” said Perry. “My reasoning is they are awesome!”

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

To view a list of several popular holiday treat recipes, go to tahlequahTDP.com

tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com