Saturday, December 14, 2013

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories*: December 14 - Christmas Cookies

When our children were younger, I would go on a baking frenzy Thanksgiving weekend.  No fighting the malls for me.  While everyone else in the family was watching all the football games, I was happily baking Christmas cookies to store in the freezer until Christmas break.  

I usually made seven or eight different kinds of cookies, including favorites for each family member. My personal favorite was one I called "Sugar and Spice Cookies".  It was based on a recipe found in a cookbook I purchased years ago during a visit to Old Salem in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.(1)

Sugar and Spice Cookies

3 sticks butter
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Combine flour, cream of tartar, salt, soda, and nutmeg.  Set aside.  Cream butter and sugar in large mixing bowl; stir in eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla, lemon, and almond extracts and beat well.  Gradually add flour mixture and blend thoroughly.  Place in greased bowl and chill overnight.  Roll out on floured pastry cloth and cut with cookie cutters.  Place on greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 325 until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

Makes 5 dozen cookies

NOTE:  The cookie dough can also be rolled into logs, wrapped tightly in waxed paper, and refrigerated overnight.  The cookies can then be sliced from the logs and baked.


*The Advent Calendar of Christmas memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family's holiday history twenty-four different ways during December!  Learn more at

(1) Cooking in Old Salem.  Williamsburg, VA : Williamsburg Publishing Co, c1981.

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