Share Your Light: A Christmas Cookie Tradition

This holiday season, we’ve set out to highlight how women in our amazing community share their light. Read on to see how our friend Shannon Monson shares her light (and find her delicious Holiday Gingersnap Cookie recipe below!)

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My mom makes the best cookies in the world. I know what you’re thinking… everyone says that. But mine really does.

Every year around the holidays my mom’s kitchen turns into a cookie-making, frosting-covered factory only rivaled by Mrs. Claus herself.

We’re so serious about cookies in my family, that we’ve even talked of opening a bakery and calling it “Brooks Bakes”. One year my sister’s best friend competed on “So You Think You Can Dance” and mom overnighted cookies from Atlanta to LA for all the dancers. That’s how serious the Brooks family is about cookies. Brooks girls do cookies.

I have the best memories growing up of dancing around the kitchen with my sisters waiting for cookies to come out of the oven, rolling out dough and cutting out little candy canes and gingerbread men and mini santas… staying up late giggling and eating more cookies than we actually decorated…

And then about 200 cookies or so later, my mom would pile them all up on paper plates with chocolates and candy canes and wrap them in plastic wrap to give away to everyone we knew–our friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, the mailman–she literally made a plate of cookies for everyone.

I always thought she just *really* loved cookies (also that making a triple batch was normal and store-bought dough was an actual crime)… but it wasn’t until recently that I realized just how much my mom’s excessive cookie baking has inspired me.

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My mom loves to bake. And she’s really, really good at it. And she easily could have baked cookies for her five daughters (yes, there are five) every holiday season and called it good.

But my mom knew that when you find something you love, something that inspires you and lights you up, the more people you share it with, the deeper and truer your joy.

I feel the same way about my work as a nutritionist and business coach as my mom feels about baking cookies.

But I don’t think I’d ever be sharing it–sharing my message and my voice–in the way that I am right now, with you, if it wasn’t for my mom and her cookies.

Which, if you think about it, is pretty cool that a plate of gingerbread men could have that kind of power 😉

My kids are still little, and I have no idea if their dreams of becoming a school bus driver and a snow princess like Elsa will pan out the way they want them to…

But whatever they do with their lives, I hope they remember grandma’s cookies and share their light as generously and passionately as grandma shares her cookies.

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Holiday Gingersnap Cookies

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. molasses
  • 1/4 c. egg whites (whites from 2 eggs)
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Cream butter and sugars together. Add the molasses to the creamed butter, then add the egg whites until combined. Add the dry ingredients slowly. Roll dough about ¼” thick and cut with gingerbread cookie cutters. Place onto parchment paper lined baking tray. Bake 8-10 minutes.

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Photo credit: Lauren Carnes Photography | website // instagram

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