It’s Christmas. The season of giving! And in honor of that, I want to give you a cute set of cookie cutters.
Maybe you enjoy the task of rolling out sugar cookies and stamping elves and angels into them. Maybe you can work wonders with a set of nesting cookie cutters. I am thinking linzer cookies. I am thinking cookie decorating shindigs with adults and with small children and lots of sticky, colored frostings and sugar sprinkles. I am thinking you are going to work some cookie cutter magic, here.
So how can you get your hands on cookie magic, you wonder? Simple. Answer a question that is near and dear to my heart: what is your favorite Christmas/holiday cookie, and why?
You have until Sunday, December 11 at midnight to comment. I will read the answers and select my favorite (ahem…I like charming baking stories). And because, as I suspected, a grand total of two people took me up on my cookie cutter offer, both Stephanie and SmartyHarley are winners!
In the meantime, I will tell you about my favorite (and least favorite) Christmas cookie: candy canes.
I can remember the first year my mom made these cookies…I was juuuust beginning to become interested in baking. My mom found this recipe in one of her cookbooks and decided to try it out, and she asked me whether I thought she should use mint extract in the cookies, like the recipe said, or change it out for almond extract instead. We were really big into almond extract at the time…
So she made these cookies, which are basically sugar cookies in the shape of candy canes, and I was in love. I probably ate half of them myself that year when no one was looking. I gave Santa two candy cane cookies that year, to make sure he would be rewarded with the best.
And so, my mother, who loves to give people the foods they love, began to make candy cane cookies every year.
I honestly don’t even know why I like them so much; sure, they are very tasty, but I think the best part about them is the shape, and the fact that the two different colors are wound together. I liked to try to break the colors apart so I was only ever eating one color at a time. Yep…I was a weird kid.
Little did I know what a labor of love these cookies really were. The dough is so soft that it is almost impossible to work with, and each cookie has to be rolled and shaped individually. Since I moved out and started making my own Christmas cookies every year, I have botched so many batches of candy canes it’s almost silly.
My mother should probably be nominated for sainthood. Now that I’ve moved away she actually vowed never to make them again, which definitely makes me feel all the more loved for the years that she spent slaving over these cookies just because I thought they were the best thing since sliced bread.
I think that knowing how frustrating the process of shaping these cookies really is has actually endeared them to me more. But now, every Christmas, I both dread making them and ecstatically look forward to them. This year, my husband had to do a little encouragement dance for me before I made them to remind me how happy I would be once the baking part was over. Yeah.
For me they are worth it. Christmas is incomplete without the torture and bliss of candy cane cookies.
So what’s your favorite?
Stephanie Skelton - December 11, 2011
Mini pecan pie tarts!! I tried to make them a few years ago and accidentally dumped a full mini muffin pan into the bottom of the hot oven. It was pretty terrible. 🙁
smartyharley - December 11, 2011
I love gingerbread men. It reminds me of my childhood, decorating them. 😀