Celebrating Holiday Memories with a Cookie Recipe {+ A Look at The Nutcracker and the Four Realms In Theaters November 2}

**This is a sponsored post written by myself on behalf of Grace Hill Media. All thoughts are 100% my own.
The countdown to Christmas is ON.

With less than two months until that highly anticipated Christmas day, I so often find myself thinking about all the holiday traditions in my own family. As a child, we always celebrated with gifts at home on Christmas Eve. There wasn't always a lot, but it was always an exciting time. Before we went to sleep that night, we'd turn off the tree lights and set out some treats in preparation of Santa's arrival. We would know that he'd made it there when we awoke to the lights lit and gifts left behind. After opening those gifts Santa left behind, we would head to my Grandpa's to spend the holiday with family. Cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles.... those were some of my greatest memories of the holiday season. Playing with my cousins, enjoying the banter between my aunt, uncle, mom and grandpa, my great grandma's reminding us girls to 'not get our dolls mixed up' before we even had the chance to open them. There was never an abundance of gifts-- just one or two each-- but my great grandma felt that every girl needed a new doll for Christmas.

More than anything though, I remember the food. Between my grandpa and my great grandma, there was always a delicious assortment of sweets to indulge upon. Of course, the pumpkin pie was always the greatest hit. Though I use my grandpa's pie recipe every year myself, it never quite tastes as good as his. He always used to tell us that he dipped his finger into the mix, for extra sweetness.

Another favorite for me was a cookie that my great grandma called 'Dishpan Cookies'. They weren't one she made every year, but it was an immediate love when she did! As I think about them, I think about the story that was told that first year. She had made them for my mom and her siblings as children, and my uncle- who made it quite known how much he despised coconut- could not get enough. That is until he discovered they did in fact have coconut! I still smile thinking about the laughs around the table that Christmas as the story was told.

I still love these cookies and make and gift them some years. Today, I'm sharing this recipe from my family to yours:



Great Grandma Hartloff's Dish Pan Cookies
(Makes 10-12 Dozen)


  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 4 cups cornflakes
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut


  1. Cream sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla well.
  2. Mix in remaining ingredients gradually. If dough is very stiff add a small amount of milk. It should be dry, but hold together.
  3. Roll in small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with finger.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees for about 9 minutes.


Isn't it amazing how food can invoke those memories of family and holiday? It's just one of those things that is just so classically Christmas. Like Christmas carols, holiday shopping, The Christmas Carol or the Nutcracker.

This year, Disney is bringing that other favorite Christmas classic to life in a beautiful new way. Check out this look behind the film, 'The Nutcracker and the Four Realms':




All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Disney’s new holiday feature film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale.  “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” releases in theaters on November 2.
My daughter and I absolutely cannot WAIT to head to the theaters November 2nd to see the holiday magic come to life in such a beautiful way! Can you?



For more information, please go to:  https://movies.disney.com/the-nutcracker-and-the-four-realms

What are your favorite holiday traditions/recipes? How will this new film fit into the festivities this year or beyond?

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