Castro Valley Library

The Best Christmas Ever by librarianmama
Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 9:44 am
Filed under: Books, Children | Tags: , , , ,



Cookies and Books

There are few nicer things to do in winter, at least to this Librarian’s mind, then curling up with cookies you made with family, a warm drink, and a good book. So let’s all bake some cookies together and find some perfect books for the season!

The Book:

The Worst Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson is a hilarious story about finding new perspectives on familiar events and people. The Herdman kids are famous in town for their rudeness, bad behavior, and roughness and now they’re the stars of the nativity play. Can the small town survive a little girl angel who likes to beat people up, three wise brothers with their own ideas of proper gifts, and the toughest meanest girl 5th grade has ever seen as Mary? The book will certainly turn conceptions on their ears. At times uproariously funny and other times sincerely sweet this book makes a wonderful book to read as a family or a great book for fourth and fifth graders to read alone. This is a treat for the holiday season.


The Cookies:

A book about bad kids doing good things deserves a perfectly dark and sweet cookie that’s so good it is bad for those kids who act bad but are good. This is a great treat for using up extra nuts, dried fruit or chips from other recipes and fitting personal tastes.

Coal Cookies (with all regards to King Arthur Flour)

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Prepare two baking sheets or trays for the oven.

1/2 cup unsalted butter (make sure to take it out the night before so it is easier to work with) 1 1/3 cups brown sugar 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs 2/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour (Do NOT pack it down) 2 cups (12 ounces) of filler which can be dried fruit, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, crushed candy canes or a mixture of all the above.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Add the eggs, beating until smooth. Slowly to avoid spraying the material stir in the cocoa powder, then the flour; the dough will be stiff. When fully integrated mix in the filler.

Drop the dough in tablespoon blobs onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes they’ll look not-quite-done in the center. That’s what makes them coal. Remove them from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool for about 10 minutes. Gently squeeze and shape the cookies into uneven balls, to resemble chunks of coal.

Makes a delightful 3 dozen to have with milk or coffee and an excellent book.

Note: Cookies stay fresh at room temperature no longer than a week.  For extended storage, bake & freeze immediately to serve later.

CSV_Children’s Services Staff_DF

Holiday Cooking by danie333
Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 11:28 am
Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , , , ,

The holiday season is here!  It’s full steam ahead with all of the shopping, entertaining and cooking so many of us do during such a busy time of year.  For some of us (like the young lady I helped at the information desk the other day), it’s our first time hosting the family’s holiday bash.  Others are “old hands” at this holiday entertaining thing, but they want new recipes for their upcoming parties.

The cookbook section in our library is one of the most heavily used sections.  Our cookbooks are shelved starting in the 641.5 call number range in the adult, children’s and new books areas.  Feel free to browse – and of course if you can’t find exactly what you need, ask a librarian at the information desk.  We’re always happy to help.

To get you started here are some great Holiday Cooking titles for you to check out.  Clicking any of the pictures will bring you to the library’s catalog entry.

Do you yearn for a holiday meal that’s not the typical turkey or ham?  Daisy’s Holiday Cooking gives your menu a Latin spin, and includes tips for easy entertaining.  (641.598 MARTINEZ)





This children’s cookbook talks a little bit about different holiday traditions around the world, basic kitchen safety, cooking tips, and a glossary.  Most recipes include a preface that tells budding young cooks about the holiday that particular recipe celebrates.  Countries and regions represented include Italy, Africa, Poland, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam, Russia and more. (J641.568 HOLIDAY)



Looking at the recipes in this book is making me hungry!  Menus for easy “down home” cooking are included for every month of the year.  Do you need ideas for Super Bowl Sunday?  Or maybe a new baby is coming home?  The Neely’s have ideas for you! (642.4 NEELY)





The editors of American Profile Magazine asked their readers to submit their favorite holiday recipes.  More than 250 cherished recipes and memories are included in this book.  (641.568 HOMETOWN)

%d bloggers like this: