I know it's "too early" to be talking about Christmas (ha! not for Byzantines!), but I was very strongly reminded of it today. We're having some friends over for Thanksgiving this year and I decided it would be fun to make sugar cookies to have for dessert.
I made the dough yesterday (being careful not to sample any--darn food allergies!) and stuck it in the fridge until this afternoon. I wasn't expecting to be brought back to my childhood holidays. But there I was, remembering all the many times we'd made sugar cookies at Momma's house.
We'd make dozens and dozens of cookies, all shapes, all sizes, and for all the holidays. We'd have turkeys and pilgrims and leaves and pumpkins. There would be stockings and santas and Nativity figures and Christmas trees and presents and reindeer and sleighs. There would be snowflakes and snowmen and bells and stars and gingerbread men (and women). Then we would spend countless hours decorating them (with all different colors using only spoons and toothpicks!) for all the different holidays. There were always sugar cookies around from November through January in our house. It was beautiful :)
So go ahead, siblings, try it. Make some sugar cookie dough, close your eyes, and smell it. Then take a small taste, and you're in Momma's kitchen, elbows propped up on her butcher block table, kneeling on the bench, waiting to pick away (and devour) more scraps of sugar'd cookie dough. Next thing you know, you'll be wondering where the sprinkles are so you can shake the sparkle-colored sugar over the lovely cookies before Momma puts them in the oven. I can already taste the powdered sugar frosting she used to decorate them.
Momma's sugar cookie recipe
Cream in mixer:
--3/4 c crisco (or other solid shortening; using butter makes the cookies come out pretty soft, and more prone to breaking when you decorate them)
--1 c sugar
--1 tsp vanilla extract
Sift together and add to liquid ingredients:
--2 1/2 c flour
--1 tsp baking powder
--1 tsp salt
Refrigerate dough for at least 4 hours (I did it overnight--it keeps a few days). Roll out on to floured surface and cut cookies out. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees.