This is a sponsored post on behalf of Shriners Hospitals for Children®, All opinions expressed here are my own.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is baking in the kitchen with my kids.  I grew up spending endless hours in the kitchen with my Nana making all her delicious Italian sweets, and now I enjoy teaching my own children how to make these recipes.

 One of our family’s most loved holiday treats is my Nana’s Italian Cookies.  These cookies are so soft and yummy with the perfect level of sweetness that allows for you to eat way too many at once.

The recipe is easy to make, luckily because in my family we are always making a second or third batch, before the cookies have even hit the oven.  I have so many vivid memories from my childhood of me and my cousins sneaking balls of this dough when my Nana would turn her head, add to that the fact that she was sneaking her own scoops into her mouth when she thought we weren’t looking.  Now I laugh as I sneak to the laundry room to hide the dough I’m eating after yelling at my kids to “stop eating the raw dough!”

Nana’s Italian Cookies

3/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
3 Eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups Gold Medal Flour
5 Teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar

Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl and all wet ingredients in a second bowl.  Once both bowls are well mixed, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient bowl while mixing.

After about half the dry ingredients are mixed in, the dough will become thicker so I then shut off my mixer and begin to kneed the rest of the dry ingredients into the dough until all the flour is absorbed by the butter.

Grease a cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll the dough into 1-2 inch balls to bake for 9-10 minutes.

Optional: Once finished baking I drizzle them with a mixture of 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar and 2 teaspoons of water.

Be Burn Aware

While I adore cooking with my children, I am aware of the dangers that exist with having them around the stove.  I try to take every precaution I can, but I know accidents still happen which is why Shriners Hospital for Children is such an important and amazing hospital.

Shriners Hospitals for Children has been a global leader in pediatric burn treatment for decades.  Since the 1960s, Shriners Hospitals for Children has provided critical, surgical and rehabilitative burn care to children, regardless of the families ability to pay.  Shriners Hospital knows that the best treatment is prevention so they have come out with the Be Burn Aware campaign to remind families of simple safety tips that could save lives!

Holiday activities can increase the risk of house fires and burns due to more cooking, open flames, and decorations.  These tips are simple but often overlooked.

  1. Don’t leave lit candles unattended.  27% of U.S. adults surveyed admit to leaving lit candles within reach of children.
  2. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to keep them out of a child’s reach.  25% of Americans surveyed reported that they don’t take this simple action.
  3. When you’re cooking, keep a lid or cookie sheet nearby to put out a potential fire.  47% of the people who took the survey skip this simple tip.
  4. Water fresh-cut trees daily. 45% of Americans surveyed do not water live Christmas trees every day, even though 70% reported they knew they should. A dry tree can ignite in seconds making this one of the deadliest types of fires!
  5. Keep trees away from heat sources like fireplaces, heaters, and candles.
  6. Inspect your lights.  Replace any that have kinked or frayed wires.

Go to Shriners Hospital for Children to test your safety knowledge with a five-minute quiz.  You may be surprised!

Shriners Hospitals for Children goes beyond traditional medical care to provide social and emotional support programs that encourage children to reach their dreams and has transformed the lives of over 1 million kids!  Check out Shriners Hospital for Children for resources available to keep families safe.

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