Thanks to everyone who entered and sent a recipe or a story! I put your names into a hat (no, really, the program was called The Hat) and drew one out…
Arinne, who sent me her family’s 50 year old cookie recipe! (The recipe, not the cookies). I received a number of recipes I’ll probably be posting over the next little while here. Thanks again for entering, and enjoy the moonkin, Arinne!
These are Martha Logan’s “Can’t Fail” Christmas Cookies which we have
been making for a good 50 years or so now! The original cookie cutters
have become too frail to use anymore, but luckily we recently found a
site where you can order cookie cutters just like the old ones. For
Christmas Cookies you want the Merry Christmas Set and the Happy Day
Set (contains the snowman cookie cutter) . You can use this recipe
with non-Christmas cutters too of course. The Happy Day Set has a nice
pumpkin cutter for Halloween, etc.
- 1 cup butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup eggs (1 to 2 eggs, depending on size)
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Combine butter, sugar, salt, flavoring and eggs
Beat until smooth and light
Stir in flour
Chill dough for at least 2 hours
Because it is so important to work only with chilled dough for these
cookies, we found it best to pat the dough to about 1″ thick, and wrap
in waxed paper for chilling. This makes it easy to divide into small
portions, also to roll to desired thickness with the least amount of
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Use a pastry canvas and covered rolling pin. Flour both lightly. Now,
take out 1/4 or less of the dough. Always keep remaining dough
chilled. Roll dough to 1/4″ thickness. Flour inside of cookie
completely, but lightly. Tap cutter against hand or table to remove
every bit of excess flour, leaving stippled surface with lightest
coating of flour possible. Place cutter on dough and press down firmly
with fingers all around edges to make sure the entire edge is cut.
Slap cutter down on table or cookie sheet and dough will come right
out. Wipe inside of cutter with a towel to keep it clean. Flour it
each time before cutting. Do not allow small holes in cutter to become
Bake cookies on cookie sheet 12 to 15 minutes. Do not allow to brown.
Remove from cookie sheet and cool thoroughly on cake racks before
Then comes the decorating! You will need:
- egg whites
- red, yellow, green food coloring (other colors optional)
- red, yellow, green colored sugar (other colors optional)
- small decorating items (raisins, silver balls, etc)
- 1 bag of confectioner’s sugar
- 1 stick butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- small, inexpensive paint brushes
Slightly beat egg whites. Divide into 3 cups or small containers. Mix
a few drops of food coloring into each – red, yellow, and green. If
you can’t buy colored sugar, make your own. Own a piece of waxed
paper, add about 1 teaspoon food coloring to 1/4 cup granulated sugar.
As it dries, stir with a fork or crumble with fingers. For decorating
icing, mix confectioner’s sugar with milk, vanilla extract and butter
to desired consistency: a thick paste. Add more milk or sugar to get
the right consistency. Dip a paint brush in colored egg yolk and paint
the area of the cookie you want to color. Then sprinkle the colored
sugar on top of it. Shake off any excess. Use the icing for Santa
cookies (beard, eyebrows, rim of hat), Snowman cookies, etc.