Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Once upon a time, there lived two charming little girls, Em and Zee. They lived with their mother, who was a would-be novelist, and their father, who was so cool that he sometimes took them on hobo picnics.

They had a big, shaggy, enthusiastic dog named Rosie to complete their family, and they were very best friends with the lady next door, whose grandchildren lived far away. When the girls visited her, they knocked on her door first but if she didn't hear them, they clambered through the flap of the dog door and presented themselves, asking if it was yet time for tea. They were especially good at "please" and "thank you." As I said, they were charming girls.

One day, another kindly old lady who lived up the street invited them to come to her house to make Christmas cookies and to stay for a tea party afterwards. This kindly old lady had a plan - to get Em and Zee out of the house so their mother had a few hours free to finish her first novel and their father could fill out some important papers that he had been saving for just such an occasion - and to bake some Christmas cookies for presents.

The charming little girls made the cookies you see in this picture and decorated them, too. The kindly old lady baked them and put them into cookie tins lined with real waxed paper for the girls to take home. Em was happy to see real waxed paper and planned to recycle it in a project she was making for school. Em was in second grade; apparently, they were learning about recycling in second grade.

After the cookies were baked and cooled, they all sat down with a cup of lemon tea and tasted the fruits of their labors before going for a long walk with Rosie to work off some of the sugar the charming little girls ladled into their lemon tea. As they left, the girls said, "Thank you! Thank you!" and blew kisses to the old lady and waved as they bounced and cavorted back down the street, still full of energy.

Then, the kindly old lady went to her bedroom and pulled a patchwork quilt over her legs and had a nice, long nap.

Ann's Sprintz Cookies

These little almond-flavored, bite-sized cookies are delicious year 'round, but they look particularly pretty when decorated for the holidays.

3/4 pound of butter (I used unsalted)
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly (I use a food processor with the metal blade in place). Add egg and extracts and pulse to mix. Add the rest of the ingredients.

Using a cookie press, press out decorative shapes close together on a cookie sheet. Decorate with colored sugar or sprinkles. Bake at 325 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.

This dough can also be rolled into a teardrop shape and baked, then when cooled decorated as a mouse with sliced almond ears, icing "fur" and chocolate icing piped through a fine point for eyes, nose and tail.

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Blogger namastenancy said...

I think that your blog could also be a novel - after your nap, think about it. The adventures of the beloved, Cora and Zoomie in a little town by the bay. Add recipes and you've got a best seller. This is a charming story and it even has an ecological message.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010  
Blogger Greg said...

I think cookies are my gateway drug.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

I felt like I was reading a children's book. That's how you were thinking, wasn't it?
Cute cookies.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Nancy, that's funny! Would you do the illustrations?

Greg, who doesn't love cookies? You'd have to be a meanie not to like cookies in some form. Butter, flour, sugar - what's not to like? ;-)

Cookiecrumb, yep, you got it.

Thursday, December 02, 2010  

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