20 November 2017


the holidays are coming, beginning with thanksgiving in just a few days, and i have been cleaning, prepping, and making lists. when i poll the family about preferences and expectations, the not-so-little-girl reminds me that we alway have cookies for dessert. i guess i have inadvertently made yet another tradition, so tonight and i drag out my old cookbook to make the dough so she can decorate cookies when she comes on wednesday.

the book falls open to the recipe, such a mess is the page it's on. forty-five years of splattered dough, greasy smudges, and messy fingerprints distract me from the familiar words as i follow them to make the dough. after i set it in the refrigerator to chill, after i clean and put away the mixing bowls and spatulas, i sit with choral music and tea to type the ingredients and directions into google docs, my recipe box in the cloud, where all my old favorites these days reside, annotated and ready to share when the time is right. i think to cut and paste it here, where i have not been in a very long time.

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies
From McCall’s Cookie Collection © The McCall Corporation 1965
...these are the sugar cookies we made every Christmas when the girl was a child,
and later at Thanksgiving when the not-so-little girl was young…

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon (or more!) nutmeg
1 cup soft butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 egg
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside.
In a large bowl of electric mixer, at medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy.
At low speed, beat in sour cream and vanilla until smooth.
Gradually add flour mixture, beating until well combined.
With rubber scraper, form dough into a ball. Wrap in waxed paper or foil; refrigerate several hours, or overnight.
Divide dough into 4 parts. Refrigerate until ready to roll out.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet.
On a well-floured surface, roll dough, one part at a time, ¼” thick.
With floured, 2 ½” round or scalloped cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Using spatula, place, 2” apart, on prepared cookie sheets. Reroll trimmings and cut.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire rack; cool.
Makes about 6 dozen (the round 2 ½” ones).

My notes: Pshaw! We never made plain old round ones! We made trees and Santas and reindeers and gingerbread men and stars - and leaves and turkeys at Thanksgiving!! These are very good, especially the ones that get rolled out first - rerolls are not as light. Don’t roll too thick. They taste best frosted and are yummy with eggnog.

Our frosting: 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar and 2 ½ to 3 tablespoons of milk. Beat with wooden spoon, add more milk if too thick. Color with food coloring, of course. Keep a little white for snowmen, and Santa's beard. 

i head to bed now, content in the knowledge that the recipe is preserved for the girl, for her daughter, for posterity. and for tradition. 


Linda said...

How wonderful to see you again! I love recipe books like yours! I write in mine, too. Lots of recipes have my children’s printed name and date where they cooked with me. Now I’m letting the grands add their names and dates.
I have recipe books, boxes and a folder of printed ones I’ve gathered. I am on my iPad so I did a screen shot of the cookie recipe and will print it out later today. The quads are coming on Friday and we just may make cookies! Thank you!
Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Kristin said...

I don't have a lot of "feeds" for things despite my tech-leanings, I just check in every now and then. So happy to have clicked just now on your entry in my list of favorites to find your new post. I LOVE and am inspired by the intention that you apply to so many things in your life. Thank you for sharing with us!