Come December, the Backyard Sisters take to the kitchen. We buy pounds of flour, sugar and butter and rummage through the pantry for chocolate chips, food coloring, sprinkles and other various ingredients. The main objective – cookies, and lots of them. There’s nothing like the sweet buttery scent of sugar cookies in the oven to put one in the mood for elfish activities. This month, we are sharing some of our favorite cookie recipes, photos and stories from our great cookie bakes. Closer to Christmas, all the sisters and cousins who are in town get together for the annual great Christmas cookie bake. Energized by Christmas carols and each others’ company, we sift, mix, dance, roll out dough, laugh and decorate the day away. Just about every year there is one batch that doesn’t come out as planned – like the year the snowball cookies came out resembling hockey pucks more than snow balls. . .
still not sure what happened there. Or, the time the fudge turned out powdery; prompting careful monitoring of the second attempt.
Usually, though, things go smoothly.
And after a day filled with rotating cookies sheets in and out of the oven and ending with a delicious artistic expression. . .
we produce a platter over-flowing with the sweet, crispy, tasty, fruits of our labors. ( Note the usual snowball cookies front left.)
At this backyard sister’s house, the first batch to kick off the season is sugar cookies.
These are crisp and delicate with a hint of vanilla.
For many years, the youngest backyard daughter and her friend have made a batch to sell in front of the house, along with cocoa, to the many people streaming through our neighborhood to enjoy the light displays, but, most importantly, the “Big Guy” likes them too.
From our house to yours:
Extraordinary Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter 4 1/2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup powdered sugar 1 tsp baking soda
1 cup oil 1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs 1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
Cream the butter and sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in oil and eggs. Beat well. Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and extracts. Mix until well blended. Chill the dough. Roll about heaping teaspoon size amount of dough into a ball and roll in sugar (can mix colored sugar in with granulated sugar) then flatten with bottom of glass dipped in granulated sugar. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.