My mother wasn’t much of a baker. In fact, I’m fairly certain that she really didn’t like to cook at all. That being said, if she ever baked Christmas cookies, I don’t remember her doing it.
Both of my grandmothers, however, were excellent cooks, and did quite a bit of baking for the holidays. But I don’t remember there being many cookies. Pies, yes. Divinity, yes. Quick breads, yes. But if there were cookies, they didn’t make much of an impression on me because I don’t remember them at all.
When I got older, I started doing some baking on my own. Each Christmas, I would make fudge, rum balls, and various quick breads (banana, date, pumpkin) to give as gifts or to help pack on the calories at home. I would also bake one of my favorite cookie recipes: Snickerdoodles. While not specifically for Christmas, they do taste wonderful, and with a few red and green sprinkles tossed on before baking, they look very festive on your holiday table.
This year, I’m hoping to start a cookie-baking tradition with my 3.5 year old daughter. She’s fascinated by watching me work in the kitchen, so this seems like as good a time as any to get her involved. I’m thinking of making up some sugar cookies and letting her “help” decorate them, but if you have any suggestions for fun cookies (or other baking projects) that a little one can help make, please let me know!
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsps sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375⁰. Grease a cookie sheet. Stir together flour, soda, cream of tartar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Beat butter for 30 seconds; add the 2 cups sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla; beat well. Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture, beating until well combined. Form dough into 1-inch balls; roll in a misture of the 3 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon (and sprinkles, if desired). Place balls 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet; flatten slightly with the bottom of a drinking glass. Bake in a 375⁰ oven about 8 minutes or until light golden. Makes about 66.
(From the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, Ninth Edition, 1981, p. 162.)