Sunday, December 20, 2009

'Tis the Season: Grandma Sophie's Cutout Cookies

While all my food blogging friends have been all awesome and getting ahead of the eight-ball when it comes to baking (ahem, Renee!), I have to admit that I have to be in a certain mood when it comes to preparing holiday fare.  Forget holiday music, that mood is usually sheer panic as in "oh shit, I need to finish those cookies for my husband's coworkers!" 

The other day I bought some beer (very conducive to baking) and a ton of groceries.  The recipes you'll see this week are going to be "gifts" that will be given to family, friends, etc.  There's even liquor involved, beyond the beer I drank to create these treasures ...

Thank you all for reading. Thank you to the food bloggers who inspire me and to my family members who share recipes with me.  I hope that you all have a blessed holiday season ...

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I think the biggest connection that I have to my family and to those that I've lost over the years are the recipes that get handed down from generation to generation.  I do not remember a time (except when my mom fooled my dad and I with cutout cookies from U-Bake ... she claims it was dad who got pissed off at the substitution but I kinda remember throwing an absolute hissy fit that year ...) that these weren't a part of my mom's Christmas baking repertoire.

This recipe comes from my grandma Sophie.  Unfortunately for me and for the rest of her grandkids, Grandma Sophie was only with us for a short time and passed on in 1984.  Sometimes it is hard for me to remember what she looked like, but when I think about my grandma I think about cream soda, homemade Play-Doh, kindness and when I make these cookies, I let myself think that she's in the kitchen with me and probably shaking her head from the time in my novice cooking experience when I substituted butter for margarine.  Don't do it.  Just trust me.

Believe it or not, my favorite way to eat these cookies are plain ... don't need icing, don't need dusting sugar. Just give me stack of stars and I'll be a happy camper.

Sophie's Christmas Cutouts

4 cups flour                      
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt                                       
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup butter (no substitutes!)                 
1 tsp. soda
4 egg yolks                                           
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the flour, salt and butter like piecrust.  Next cream egg yolks and sugar together.  Mix soda and sour cream, add to second mixture.  Then add to flour mixture.  Roll out and cut.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes until just brown on edge and set in middle.  Cool and frost. 

The following notes are from my momma:  "Have Joe and Cody up to shake on the sugars. (Those are my nephews ... they're a treat.)  I use powdered sugar frosting, but you can use white frosting already prepared too.  there are no better cookies in the world HOWEVER I did fool your dad one year and used u-bake cookies ... he was really pissed when I broke the news to him ... shit happens and I'm short on time."

I love you ma - as far as I'm concerned, you're the best cook in the world. :)

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