Every year (since I was old enough to help in the kitchen) I've made Christmas cookies with my family. Not just any Christmas cookies...MeeMaw's Sugar Cookies. And, not just my Mom and sister...but my extended family as well. MeeMaw, my favorite Kansas Aunt and cousins, and for the last 11 years, my handsome hubby. A few days before Christmas, we'd all huddle up in MeeMaw's tiny kitchen ready to crank out dozens of those things. Then, we'd spend HOURS decorating each cookie with colorful icings and sprinkles. Absolutely one of my favorite things to do each Christmas! It's insanely fun.
Usually, the whole cookie baking/decorating tradition would go off without a hitch, but during the Christmas cookieing of 2000, things got a little out of control.
Mostly just for me.
We were finishing up the decorating of all our cookies. The kitchen was full of icing laden dishes, sprinkle remnants, and 6 warm bodied people. The oven had been working hard for hours, so the kitchen was HOT. Of course, us kids hadn't noticed. We were too busy making a mess, licking icing, and trying to compete with one another on who could make the most ridiculous looking cookie. Normal day in my family. All of a sudden, I start feeling a little queasy. I just chalked it up to eating too much icing...but I warned my Mom and she told me to go to the bathroom and splash some water on my face. So, I walked to the bathroom and did just that. On my way back from the bathroom is where things started to go wrong.
This guy knows what I'm talking about.
I felt hot. My limbs felt tingly and heavy. I started hearing a soft ringing in my ears and I felt the uncontrollable urge to sway forward. From my Mother's perspective...she thought I just up and decided to start running. In reality, it was the weight of my body propelling me forward. Why? Because I was in the process of FAINTING. Right in the middle cookie decorating time. I got overheated in that hot, hot house and blacked out mid walk back to the kitchen. Yep. The first time I had ever fainted in my life. Luckily, the black out only lasted for a second because a BRICK WALL broke my fall. Yeah. I FACE PLANTED into a brick wall due to the centrifugal force of my walk-fainting. Did I say luckily? I meant unfortunately. Unfortunately a wall was there to catch me.
In short, cooking decorating was over for me that year. I spent the rest of the day laid up on the couch with tissues shoved up my bloody nose. Every year, when Christmas cookie making rolls around, I am reminded of my running fall into the wall. Thankfully, I've never passed out during cookie baking since, but it sure does make this Christmas tradition hard to forget!
Since D and I live now live Germany and aren't going home for the holiday's for the first year ever...sad, I know...we knew it was going to be important for us to make Christmas feel as "normal" as possible (normal minus the passing out part). To do that, D and put our heads together and picked out a few of our favorite Christmas traditions to carry on from afar. Christmas cookies totally made the list and we got down to baking and decorating a crap-ton of them this week!
Here's the recipe (it's ridiculously simple):
Roll Out Sugar Cookies
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 Tbs. vanilla
Enough all-purpose flour to make a soft dough (I know that's super vague, but just add the flour until the dough is no longer sticky and pliable enough to roll out without falling apart or getting stuck all over your rolling pin)
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Once a soft dough is made, flour your rolling surface and rolling pin, divide dough into smaller portions, and roll out. Then you're ready to grab those Christmassy cookie cutters and get to cuttin'!
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes...or until they start getting brown around the edges. Let cool, then decorate!
This is so easy and practically fool proof that I don't even have accurate measurements for you. Just add a little confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) to a bowl and drizzle in a little bit of milk. Stir together until it forms a semi-thick glaze. If you want to jazz it up like we did, put icing in separate bowls, add a few drops of your favorite food coloring and make fancy colorful icing!
Mmm Mmm...nothing like a good lookin' man who knows his way around a rolling pin. :)
You've got a bit of dough on your chest, babe.
(Waiting for the baking to be done was THE worst.)
We spent ALL afternoon Sunday baking. It was no easy feat with a tiny German oven that fits only one cookie sheet at a time. We were also short 10 hands compared to the 14 we'd usually have helping cut and decorate. Ugh. 8 DOZEN sugar cookies later...we were done! And pooped. So, we saved the decorating for Monday night.
Time to decorate!
We basically had every color of the rainbow. It was awesome.
Plain Jane sugar cookies transformed into beautifully colorful (and tasty) cookie masterpieces!!
Now, here's the short list of our cookie HITS & MISSES.
(Uhh, Hi Mr. Betty Crocker?! Where did all this awesomeness come from?! Seriously, my man's decorating skills have improved leaps and bounds since 2009. I'm still in shock!)
(Umm maybe I spoke too soon. That purple thing...yeah...D calls it a ghost. He was trying to demonstrate his knowledge of good and evil in the world of cookies. And that green snowman...well he just plumb gave up on that one.)
(I'm especially proud of my angel and snowman with his snazzy blue scarf!)
(A wonky candy cane, a rainbow train(s), and a Smurf? Let's just say I was tired when those particular cookies came to fruition.)
Don't worry. We don't plan on eating all 96 of these cookies ourselves. We've got cookie deliveries to make to our fabulous landlords, a neighbor, and our trusty mailman on post. D and Peter (the mailman) have gotten to know each other pretty well with all the sending and receiving of packages these past few weeks!
And of course, we'll save some for that jolly 'ole man in RED! Only 5 more days folks! Have you been naughty or nice?
P.S--IT SNOWED! Like 4 inches overnight last night! Our first German snowfall! Pictures to come! Oh and link up with Becky at From Mrs. to Mama and Aly at Analyze This to show off your holiday traditions!