Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Maybe you are all ready with a day to go, maybe you are so not ready and you are reading my blog when you should be wrapping or baking or, heaven forbid, shopping.  Take a deep breath.  Put on some Christmas music and either get to it, or let it go.  There is no way you haven't done enough already.  That is unless you just remembered you didn't buy your sister-in-law a present and you are in the van on the way to Cleveland and opening presents as soon as you get there.  This actually happened to me a few years ago.    Oops.  Unfortunately (or fortunately as most everyone in the know sees it), she's no longer part of our family.  Coincidence??

It's Christmas Eve, eve and finally I could pull the extra Christmas cookie dough out of the freezer and Kelly and Sara could continue the decorating tradition.  My girls create some very interesting cookies.  I just roll and re-roll dough to maximize the batch.  And, I take pictures.  This Christmas my babies are 18 and 20.  Honestly, tears spring to my eyes just writing those words.  I need to put on some cheerier Christmas music (so many of them are pretty depressing, why is that???).  As hard as it was to imagine when I was 18 or 20, apparently my reason for being is just to be "Mom".  Nothing else has ever worked out so well.  And if you know me, you know even the Mom-thing has had it's epic moments of failure along with all the little and big moments of absolute happiness.  It's true enough that marriage has worked out pretty well for me too.  Might have a bit to do with why motherhood has been so great.

Ahhh, the little ones want enchiladas and I want to get this post done so the pondering is going to have to come to end for today.  If you haven't baked your cut-out cookies, give this recipe from my excellent mother-in-law Becky, a try.  It's a Hallmark recipe.  My in-laws owned Hallmark stores for years which contributed greatly to our ornament collection and to their lovely condominiums in Florida.

action shot

Kelly's first tray of 2010


Hallmark Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
(1/2 tsp almond extract, optional)
1 egg
1 C unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda

Cream powered sugar, vanilla, (almond extract if using), butter and egg.  Mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar (I usually add a tiny pinch of salt too).  Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough about 1 C at a time to an even thickness (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick).  Dip cutters in flour (at least the first time you use them).  Cut and place on un-greased cookie sheet (parchment paper is a good touch if you hate to clean pans).  Dough scraps can be gathered and rolled out again.  Decorate with sprinkles and colored sugars.  Bake until very lightly brown on the edges (8 minutes or so).  Cool on pan for a couple of minutes then remove from pan and finish cooling on a cooling rack.

Save a few cookies for Santa!
Note:  I still put out cookies on the Santa plate and the girls think I am nuts.

action shot from 2006

Sara's tray from 2004

No comments:

Post a Comment