November 30 Newsletter
When I was growing up and many mothers were of the stay-at-home kind, December was the time to bake a variety of cookies. And luckily, we got to help.
The festive cookie cutters were hauled out from the recesses of a kitchen cabinet to make the shapes of bells, santas and ornaments. Icing was applied after baking which was colorful but not terribly tasty.
My mother also had a metal cookie press where a die could be changed out to make three dimensional shapes of wreaths and Christmas trees to be decorated with dragees, those little round decorative balls.
Other treats were fried strips sprinkled with powdered sugar and pecan shortbread but my favorite were acorn cookies because the preparation involved—chocolate! And you can guess who had that smeared on her face and fingers by the time they were finished.
Here’s the simple recipe for ACORN COOKIES
1 cup melted butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ¾ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
Mix butter, sugar and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder. Shape the dough into a tablespoon and flatten the top surface. Slide out onto a cookie tray, flat side down. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. When cool, dip the rounded end of each cookie in chocolate and then sprinkle with chopped nuts. Lick fingers.
Sadly, the days of massive baking seem to have waned, although my niece, Michelle, does her part to keep the tradition going and sends me some each year. Years ago, when more women got into the work force, someone brilliantly invented the cookie exchange party, so you only had to create one type of treat. You brought a large tin and took a sample of everyone else’s thereby having an assortment. The last exchange I attended lost its sparkle when—the horror—someone appeared with store bought cookies.
Here’s to a sweet holiday, however you celebrate.
And Happy Reading,