Christmas sugar cookies have been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. As children, my younger sister and I would always find ourselves in the kitchen around this time of year, making a genuine mess of everything we touched. My mom would mix up a batch of homemade dough and help us roll it out as we got flour all over our cheeks, our hair, and the kitchen table. The cookie cutters we used then and now are the same. The candy cane, sleigh, rocking horse, reindeer, stockings, and tree always leave their mark in the dough.
My mom would let us cut out the cookies, subtly suppressing a sigh when we'd space the cutters so far from one another she'd certainly have to roll out the dough dozens more times.
My sister and I would often tire long before the cookies were finished being rolled, cut, and baked. My mother never said a word when we'd leave her with a mess and run off for an hour while she finished up.
Yet, she'd always call us back to the table, with colorful, newly mixed batches of powdered sugar glaze to greet us. I loved decorating cookies even then, spending extra time to make sure I stayed in the lines and the frosting was just so. My sister loved to cover the cookies as quickly as possible. Often the glaze dripped onto the table long after she abandoned one cookie for another. We were opposite in our decorating approaches, yet our styles complimented one another. She would get the bulk of the cookies done while I concentrated so closely on a select few.
Even as my sister and I have both grown and now find ourselves living in different places, we try to get together to decorate sugar cookies every year, no exceptions. Though the sugar cookie recipe we use has changed and our powdered sugar glaze has been swapped for royal icing, our tradition holds fast. Every year we pull out the same cookie cutters, buried deep in the bottom drawer beneath the straws, napkins, and old party plates. Every year we are reminded that the dough never comes out of the prettiest Christmas tree cutter, rendering it useless. Every year we discover the crocodile cookie cutter hidden in the Christmas-themed assortment and make a few for good luck.
These are the cookies we make every year. These are the cookies that define our holiday traditions. These are the sweet, buttery cookies that bring us closer together.
The winners of the homemade holiday cookie giveaway (and these sweet sugar cookies!) are:
Those cookies look delicious! My most favorite cookie for Christmas are butter cookies and sugar cookies. I have many wonderful memories of making them with my mother and grandmother....now I am creating new ones by making them with my 2 wonderful girls!
Great giveaway idea! My favorite holiday cookies are what my Grandma calls Chocolate Crinkle cookies. The "crinkle" comes from rolling the chocolate dough in powdered sugar before baking - so cute. She makes them every year and they are just simply amazing!
Sometime in the seventies my mother bought a set of number cookie cutters, 0 through 9. On the back of the package were two recipes, one for gingerbread cookies and one for sugar cookies. To this day, we still use those two recipes for our annual holiday baking. They are basic, but they are also the best ever!
Be on the lookout for an email from me, ladies!
In other exciting news, Intervistato.com, an Italian/English website that dedicates itself to interviewing and learning more about fascinating people in interesting fields, asked me to do a short interview! How could I say no? Simply being asked was remarkably flattering.
If you want to hear about everything from my blog's beginnings to food photography and recipe inspiration from my own perspective, tune in!