Secret Santa

Exodus 30:23  “Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty,

For the last eight or ten years the adults in my family have been doing a Secret Santa for our gift exchange.  The first year we did it, we just drew names.  Now what?  I didn’t have any idea what my Secret Santa might like, want or need.

The next year we added a “wish list.”   Everyone got a recipe card and listed a few ideas for their Secret Santa to use as a guide.  The wish list was just a guide.  You might or might not get anything on your list. Or, you might get everything.  It was just a starting point.

The last three or four years we have done a better job with our wish lists.  Adding in specifics like sizes, colors or even the store to find the item.

This year on my list I included websites and a couple pictures!!  Who doesn’t love a visual?!!  The name I drew also listed two or three websites with a description of the items so I could find the perfect gift for my Secret Santa.

Proverbs 20:12  Ears to hear and eyes to see, both are gifts from the Lord.

Christmas Day is when we do our tree and find out who our Secret Santa was, unless you had figured out who everyone else had based on little clues.  I didn’t know who had me.

One item on my wish list was an embossed rolling pin with snowflakes, trees or reindeer for the design.  I’d seen the rolling pins come up on FB advertisements several times while scrolling and thought it would make unique cookies.

My Secret Santa found one.  It has reindeer and Christmas trees on it.  It also came with a set of three cookie cutters.

The cookie cutters are like my old ones I have that were my grandmother’s.  Only new and shiny instead of old and a little rusty!!  Who doesn’t need a little iron in their diet?!!

With my gingerbread table runner, I might have to make gingerbread cookies!!


1 Peter 4:10  As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

My friends from my Lubec years and I still exchange Christmas gifts.  This year they must have read my mind.  When I got home from our family day, I opened their gift.  It was three embossed rolling pins!!  One with packages, one with reindeer and one with snowflakes.  I need to get baking!!

Google is great isn’t it?  I googled some recipes for the embossed rolling pins.  My Home Ec sense was that any recipe using leavening would end up disappearing as the cookies rise and distorting the designs.

I decided I needed a recipe that was basically a shortbread.

I changed my mind.  I decided to make gingerbread cookies.  The recipe was one that I googled and the writer also mentioned little or no leavening in the cookie dough when using an embossed rolling pin.

I decided to make the recipe and chill my dough.  I wrapped it in two logs rather than balls because I’d be rolling it out in a rectangle.  I like using Saran Wrap because that way I don’t touch the dough.

Success!!  I rolled a small amount of dough at a time so not to get too much extra flour in them to make them tough.

It said to press the embossed rolling pin quite a bit.  Then I used the small cookie cutter.

Half a dozen perfect cookies and a couple Snubbers.  I didn’t want tough cookies from rolling the dough out again.

Here’s the recipe I used.  Pretty much, I added more spices.

Embossed Gingerbread Cookies
(makes 2 dozen cookies)*

2 cups flour (plus more for rolling and dusting board and all rolling pins.)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

3 TBSP butter, softened

2/3 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

1 tsp vanilla
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the sugar and the butter until fluffy.  Beat in the egg.  Add the molasses, vanilla and lemon zest and continue beating until everything is well combined.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Using your hands, knead the dough into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).  Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

On a generously floured surface using a standard rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/4 of an inch thick.  To emboss the dough, place the embossed rolling pin at one end of the dough and roll slowly and firmly to the other end.  Using cookie cutters, cut out cookies so that the pattern on the dough is centered within each cookie.

Use a thin spatula or “cookie lifter” to carefully transfer the cookies to the parchment-lined pans, leaving and inch or two of space between the cookies. Continue rolling and cutting the dough until you’ve used all the dough.

Bake the cookies, one pan at a time, for 7 – 8 minutes until the edges of the cookies just begin to darken slightly.  Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.  The cookies will harden as they set.

The embossed cookies came out great for the first batch.  I put the rest of the dough in the freezer for later.  I’ll have to try the other rolling pins!!


© Jeanne Bugbee and The Lord Supplies, The Nose Bump Blog, 2017 to date.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jeanne Bugbee, The Lord Supplies and The Nose Bump Blog.  The Nose Bump blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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This blog is designed to help others that may be going through the same 'nose bump' or basal cell carcinoma, that I am going through and provide inspiration along the way.

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