Saturday, October 25, 2008

'Tis The Season (Almost)

Growing up, my remarkable mother always starting baking Christmas cookies every weekend sometime in November, so by Christmas there was a freezer filled with various tins of scrumptious cookies. Now, there was one small glitch to this scheme of hers, and that was my two brothers would often raid those tins in the freezer, thus come the holiday season there weren't quite as many cookies as my mother had planned on.

We could always depend on a number of consistent cookies each year with a few new ones thrown in the mix. There were snowballs (my father's favorite), English tarts, orange slice bars, Nanaimo bars, and the most wonderful cut out sugar cookies. These were a special treat in my book as not only were the frosted so beautifully with the help of all us kids, but my mom made angel cut outs for each one of us. The amazing thing is, she still makes these angel cookies to this day for each of us, our spouses, her grandchildren and now this year, her first great-granddaughter. They are always frosted with blue dresses, blond hair (too bad about the dark haired members who have joined our family over the years) and faces painted on with food coloring. She also pipes each of our names on them with frosting so they are uniquely ours.

These angel cookies are always a lovely ending after our traditional English Christmas dinner of prime rib and Yorkshire pudding and even though my brothers, sisters and myself are all in our 50's, I think we all revert back to our childhoods a bit as we take the first bite of our special angel. Thank you mom so much for this beautiful tradition.

Now that I have wiped the tears from my eyes, I will tell you that I decided to bake cookies this year and give each of my family a basket of treats at Christmas to share and hopefully enjoy. The next few weeks of my blog will be devoted to this effort with the first recipe to begin now with a Swedish cookie called Split Seconds. These were super easy and I think they will make a nice, colorful addition to the Christmas cookie baskets.
Split Seconds

2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup preserves or jelly (I used cherry preserves)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; blend well. Add flour and baking powder, mix well.
Divide dough into four equal parts. On a lightly floured surface, shape each part into a 12 inch roll; place on an ungreased cookie sheet approximately 3-4 inches apart. Using handle of wooden spoon or finger, make a depression down the middle of each roll, approximately 1/2 inch wide and 1/4 inch deep. Fill each roll with 2 tablespoons of preserves.Bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool slightly. Cut each baked roll diagonally into 12 cookies. Cool on wire racks. Yields 4 dozen cookies.

1 comment:

whack patti said...

Cookie-O-My! You've been baking....Christmas cookies no less! I've been sleeping. If I had those cookies at my house right now they would be gone in a split second! When a certain someone expresses their distaste for Christmas I will not longer believe!