Guest Contributor Athena Demel is the women’s ministry director at Verndale Family Life Church (Verndale, Minnesota), volunteer administrative assistant, and part of the events coordinator team. Her husband is the active Youth Director at their church. They are expecting their second child – a boy! Hazel is their first, and she will be two on Christmas Eve. They had no hope of having a child, and Hazel’s pregnancy was high risk, but God gave her to them on 12/24/11 as a gift. Their son’s pregnancy has had no problems. She is a firm believer that God has healed her body.

I had five miscarriages before my daughter was born. I sat through the Mother’s Day service at church after the last miscarriage, not even thinking twice about it, when my friend Val Schmitz came up to me after the service. She said, “Even though you do not have any live children, you have five waiting for you in heaven — you could have stood when they asked all mothers to stand,” she said. Her statement still rings in my ear.

These cookies were originally made by Val, a special person in my life and one of the first people in our church to truly reach out to me in a way I’m not sure just anyone could. I would always go to pot lucks around the holiday season and they would be there; I just couldn’t get enough of them! I just love Val, so when I found out that she is the one who made these amazing cookies, they became a staple in my holiday cookie stash.

These cookies were made for me a few times before I actually got the recipe, and I adjusted them to make them peppermint, as that is my favorite flavor of just about everything.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 large cookie sheets.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and peppermint extract until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until smooth.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with assorted snowflake cookie cutters and place two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake for ten minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Let cool for two minutes on baking sheet. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • A couple drops of any food coloring (optional)
  1. Mix all ingredients together until smooth. If too thick, add more corn syrup.
  2. Fill piping bag and decorate as desired.

Optional: I add crushed peppermint candies on top for an extra yummy treat.

Psalm 86:12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.