Christmas Cookies Vignette by Ashley, Meta Street Cafe
My mom’s handwriting fills the little, quilted journal cookbook she made me. Blue felt-tipped ink outlines her best recipes, including her personal notes for each and a few food stains from lying open on the kitchen counter. Many recipes are Amish in origin and include main dishes, soups, salads, breakfasts, breads, & desserts. The cookie recipes make giant batches, four pans. Enough for a cookie swap….
Every guest brought four dozen cookies and left with a mixture of four dozen different cookies. We made our family recipes for shortbread and gingerbread cookies with raisens for eyes & buttons, glued with piped frosting that, also, outlined the clothes, faces, hair, & shoes of the gingerbread cookies.
Our diningroom table was a French, antique table that ran the length of the diningroom, and smelled like furniture wax. Friends from church, school, & the neighborhood used the heavy, iron knocker to let us know they were there with cookies to place on that ancient wooden table. The children viewed the cookies at eye level. It smelled like Christmas.
The season of swapping & giving is always welcome. Happy Holidays!
Gingerbread Cookies by Ashley, Meta Street Cafe
Shortbread Cookies by Robyn, Plum Cove Cottage
Every year my mother would gather my sister and I into the kitchen to make gifts for all of our family and friends. And every year we made a family Scotch Shortbread recipe and filled festive plates wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon. We softened butter and mixed it with plenty of sugar and flour and a dash or two of vanilla extract and rolled and cut and pricked with a fork. I can do it in my sleep we made so many each year.
I continued the tradition with my own girls adding gingerbread boys and girls, and other Christmas treats. But the core of it all is the shortbread that melts in your mouth. So this year I got a longing for some shortbread and made a batch myself for family and friends. And this year I sprinkled them with some cinnamon sugar which was quite nice!
Shortbread Cookies Recipe
Cream 1 lb soft butter and 1 cup sugar until consistency of whipped butter
Add 3 – 3 ½ cups flour, one cup at a time mixing after each addition …keep dough soft.
Add 2 tbl vanilla
Roll ½ inch thick and cut into squares
Place on cookie sheet – or spread all dough in jelly roll pan and score to cut
Pierce each square with fork and/or decorate
Bake slow 250 degrees for 20-30 mins
Do not brown….
Makes 50 cookies
Almond: ¼ tsp almond extract, roll in finely chopped almonds
Cinnamon-Chocolate: replace ¼ cup flour with ¼ cup cocoa, 1 egg,
Roll in cinnamon sugar, press flat and bake
Lemon: 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest (or ½ tsp lemon extract/or lemon oil) and 1 tsp lemon juice, roll in granulated sugar, press flat and bake