Tootie Jane (and any other interested Hounds):
Well, better late than never! It's been Christmas crazy around here. Spent the morning making up four batches of cookie dough, wrapping them, double wrapping them and freezer bagging them. Sure feels good to have them in the freezer, to be baked just a few days before the holiday. Made *Sand Tarts*, an aromatic oatmeal-raisin dough with cinnamon and ground cloves and a double batch of Great-Great-Aunt Josephine's totally yummy sugar cookies. The recipe:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 sticks butter (may use margarine but I never would)
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
Blend ingredients to the consistancy of pie crust (should be crumbly).
Beat two large eggs well and add 1 tsp. pure vanilla to the eggs. Add slowly to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Roll out on lightly floured board, cut out in traditional Christmas shapes (we like trees, wreaths, various Santas, snowmen, bells and stars) and bake in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes. When cool, frost with colored butter frosting (our family's favorite) or Royal Icing in red, green and white, decorate and allow to *set* before stacking.
My Mother used to mix this dough by hand. Omg....what work! This is nearly effortless with a stand mixer. Were she alive today, I'd buy her one!
I saw a *favorite* sugar cookie dough recipe in Sunset's recent Christmas cookie story and just shook my head. It didn't contain cream of tartar, which is the secret ingredient to these flaky, yummy cookies. Are they crazy?
*Sand Tarts* are incredibly easy and always bring raves.
2 sticks butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
5 Tbs. powdered sugar
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
Cream butter, add vanilla and mix well. Sift flour and powdered sugar together and add to mixture, then add pecans. After mixing all ingredients together, form into long rolls, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Slice into thin cookies and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in a preheated 300-degree oven. Roll cookies in additional powdered sugar and cool. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
After a short break this afternoon (to get my laundry done...tee hee), it is on to candies tonight.....rocky road, walnut fudge, orange and bourbon balls, coconut joys, etc.
I was very sick and hospitalized with pneumonia two Christmases ago and didn't do any baking or candy making.......and I heard about it for the whole next year!! Doesn't it just give you immense pleasure to be able to give family, friends and co-workers a plate of homemade *goodies* at the holidays? They are always soooo appreciated, because so few seem to make the effort (or take the time) to do it anymore. How sad. That's why this site is so great!....sharing ideas and recipes with like-minded people.