Some things are a Christmas tradition that have no basis in anything Christmassy whatsoever. For us that would be some of our cut out cookies. We have the traditional bells, trees, stars and snowmen but we also throw in buffalo, doves, pigs (we are in Iowa!), geese and jackrabbits. I am not sure how the animals became part of our tradition but they have been included for a long time.
Christmas is the only holiday that I really take the time to make cut out cookies. They are so time consuming to make as you have to mix the dough, chill the dough, roll out the dough, cut out shapes, roll again, cut some more, roll some more, cut again…repeat…repeat…repeat. It is a process that goes on and on till there is only a tiny little blob of dough left. I am grateful that my husband helps with this process!
While all this cutting and rolling is going on you are also baking cookie sheet after cookie sheet of cookies. I usually try to set the timer for each batch as I always tend to burn some of them. The ones I burn; are typically those on the last couple of cookie sheets. I am not sure if it is because I am too busy with the other cookies or just plain sick of cookies!
After all the baking they still need to be frosted. I will never win a cookie contest for looks with these cookies but they do taste good. Fortunately for me, my husband is more concerned about taste, texture and flavor than he is with presentation when it comes to food of any type.
The recipe I use is one I have used for years. It came from a co-worker from years ago and is always a favorite. The amount of dough may look meager but it really does go a long way.
Cut Out Cookies
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 cup butter (real)
4 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon almond flavor
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cut butter into dry ingredients (like you do with making pie crust)
Add eggs, cream, and flavorings
Chill a few hours
Roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness
Cut with cookies cutters
Bake at 350º till edges are just brown
DO NOT OVERBAKE
Frost with a powdered sugar frosting….I don’t actually have a recipe I follow for this.
I just put a couple cups of powdered sugar in a bowl,
add 1 tablespoon melted butter,
add 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
then add milk a little at a time till you get a spreading consistency.
The only downfall to these cookies is that they do not last! I kind of think I tend to only make them for the holiday because then there are more people around to help eat them. If only my husband and I had to eat them we would probably end up in a sugar coma.
I am glad that my family looks beyond the looks of these cookies. The cookies are a good reminder that it is always good to look beyond what you can see. So many times, in so many circumstances there is so much more than what is visible.
The old saying about not judging a book by it’s cover is still so true today. To paraphrase it…don’t judge a cookie by it’s frosting! And definitely don’t judge people just by what you see.
Let’s take this weekend to really see, hear, and understand people and their circumstances. Let’s give a little grace to those we find hard to understand and let’s show some love to those who frustrate us. Let’s take the time to really taste those cookies instead of just looking at them.
Blessings to you all this weekend!
“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating.
By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil
and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
– William James