Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cookie Tradition

L.G.C. Smith

Throughout my childhood, there was always one day during the Christmas holiday devoted to making cut-out sugar cookies. All four of us kids had to be there, and Mom. Dad did not have to attend, but if he did, he was the quality control engineer. We made mainly stars, bells, and trees. Pretty basic stuff. We had some tricky cookie cutters that were supposed to press in the lines of a teddy bear, a toy soldier, and a rocking horse, but none of us were adept enough to get the cookies out of them in one piece. So it was stars, bells, and trees.

We frosted with old-fashioned butter cream tinted with food coloring dripped from tubby little bottles. The colors weren't great, and Martha Stewart would have cried at the final results. Sloppy, gloppy and bright. But it was tradition. When other Christmas cookie shapes and recipes evolved over the years, the sugar cookies did not.

And now we inflict making them on the small children in our family. They're a good choice for me because I never liked them, and I never eat them. That isn't true of most cookies. I will eat most cookies greedily. Well, as long as they're gluten-free. Now. As a result, I only make gluten-free cookies to send to my niece in Texas since she's on a GFCF diet. Here are some of those.

These are the sort of cookies we made as kids except that these actually look better than any of the ones we made. Sprinkle technology has come a long ways.

That's one of Adrienne's boys and my niece a couple of years ago. I cleaned two and a third cups of colored sugar off the floor at the end of that evening. The kids are getting older. I anticipate less than a cup and a half on the floor this year.

When my nieces were born, thanks to years of watching Martha Stewart and the ability to follow recipes, I figured out how to decorate sugar cookies in a less gloppy fashion.

I kind of like doing it. But there had better not be any kids around when I'm doing this. Except that I'm not good at kicking the Leezlet out, and she's not too bad at dropping decorations onto royal icing if I give her a template to follow. Like on the gingerbread men on these cupcakes. We made them together for her junior kindergarten Christmas party a year ago. This year cupcakes were banned. Kind of scroogey, if you ask me. Bunch of baloney about too much sugar. (Just kidding, people. Well, the cupcakes were banned.)

Wednesday Adrienne and I are going to make the kids cut out and glop up some holiday sugar cookies. I might go basic. Stars, bells, and trees. Vanilla butter cream and sprinkles. No food coloring. There will be no cookies that look like this:

And there will be a lot that look like this. It's tradition.


Sophie Littlefield said...

now *that* (the last pcture) is how christmas cookies should look! hope you guys have a wonderful time on wednesday - i know you will :)

Rachael Herron said...

Gorgeous. YOU know how to do cookies, in all the right ways. So good to see you last night!!

Adrienne Bell said...

I can't wait for Wednesday. We'll have to do an update to show what our kinder did this time:-)

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