Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories December 14, 2015
Christmas Cookies: Post # 14
From now until Christmas Eve, I will be participating in the 2015 Edition of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories by Thomas MacEntee and the Geneabloggers. If you would like to know more or even join in, please see This Link. I’d like to personally thank Dawn Williams-Kogutkiewicz of Dawning Genealogy for sharing this idea on Genealogy Bloggers.
Any other time of the year, a cookie is a cookie – even homemade ones. But during Christmas, well a cookie is a special treat. Whether it is a Snickerdoodle or a Peanut Butter Blossom or perhaps decorated Spritz cookies, we all have special memories about Christmas cookies.
My Memories: I never had Christmas cookie recipes until I married, mama never baked at the holidays; she was a good cook, but not a baker. That’s probably because she doesn’t like to follow directions or as she says, “I can’t follow directions” – and when you’re baking, you must be exact in following measurements.
My mother didn’t need to bake cookies or cakes at Christmas – she was a beautician with customers who brought every type of cookie and cake to the shop at the holidays; Divinity comes to mind when I remember the sweets that came home. When mama dated my father, she made him Divinity once, but only once – someone had told her how to make it. Mama reminds me that it was the best ever, but she was never able to duplicate it again.
I would have to attribute my early Christmas cookie recipes to my mother- in-law. She was a baker of cakes and cookies – many of her cookie recipes quickly became my favorites.
My first Christmas in Connecticut was spent learning how to bake cookies, and after helping my mother-in-law bake, and after much sampling… I soon had many favorites. There are two that I always bake first – just in case I get lazy; it ensures I have my favorites.
Favorite No. 1 is Cherry Winks, which also happens to have been her favorite. It’s a little time consuming, requiring more preparation than your regular basic cookie, but it’s worth it. I soon learning all about baking cookies and it didn’t take long before I acquired a recipe box – over-flowing of cookie recipes.
Through the years there has been one cookie that stuck with me, and as I bake less and less, it’s often the only one I bake at Christmas; sometimes I share with my daughter! Nothing better than a cup of coffee and a few Cherry Winks to dunk. Yes I’m a Dunker!
My husband brought home a small cookbook last year he found in his mother’s basement. He thought I’d enjoy looking through it as it was produced by the Kellogg Company; probably one of those send-a-way type deals. Years ago you saved box tops or UPC’s, sent them in, and they in return sent you a free cookbook. I don’t seem to see those type offers anymore.
I flipped through the pages and laughed at some of the recipe names like Martha Washington Pie and the side-bar perforated coupons for 7 cents off their Kellogg products. By the way, all coupons were still intact so that told me my mother-in-law had not been a coupon clipper!
Had she baked any of these recipes? The smooth touch of the pages told me she probably had not. I soon answered my question on one of the last few pages. My eyes quickly caught the title – Cherry Winks – there was her recipe on the top of page 55.
I know you’re asking, so where’s the recipe – don’t worry it’s just below; maybe it just might become one of your favorites. Be sure and let me know!
I now know where her cookie recipe came from; Cherry Wink DNA is definitely all over that page! Doesn’t your recipe card feel different after you’ve had it too close to the mixing bowl? My personal cookbook, which my daughter has laid claim to, wears much recipe DNA; she says it adds character.
Doesn’t everyone have a close second favorite cookie recipe? Mine would be Thumbprints – also another recipe from my mother-in-law. Her kitchen was really the only one I spent time in; I wasn’t interested in cooking when I grew up. One suggestion I have on making Thumbprints is – use pecans, not walnuts! Believe me, there is a difference in taste and the toasted pecans on the outside of this cookie will yield the best taste. And if you don’t believe me… well you’ll learn.
I’m sure you’ve already learned, but always freeze a few of your favorites to enjoy in January!
My Husbands Memories: I never gave much thought to recipes in growing up – I just ate whatever my mother baked. Christmas cookies weren’t of much interest to me, I’m strictly a Chocolate Chip Cookie man and my mother never made those at the holidays. If I was lucky, one of my aunts would have my favorite on her cookie tray, along with Anginettes, an Italian cookie favorite of everyone.
The original Anginette’s were made with orange juice in the batter – and while they were good, they don’t hold a candle to my mother’s Ricotta Anginettes. No one made them as well as my mother, except my wife, but now I’ve perfected them since I began making them.
It was more my wife who paid attention to Christmas recipes and baking in years past; she soon acquired all my family cookie recipes. She loved all their cookie recipes – the very ones I never liked.
I’ll share my mother’s Ricotta Anginette’s here – with my directions!
Like to read more ~ Click on 2015: Advent Calendar of Christmas
© 2015 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco