Christmas Cookies Chapter 1

I decided to bake cookies tonight to send to my dad.  I try to send him a variety of cookies each year for the fun of it, plus I think he rather enjoys the cookies and delights in eating one or two a day.

Tonight was staples night with variations.  The peanut butter blossom was an easy choice.  He likes peanut butter and chocolate.  I remember as a kid during Easter time he would eat his lunch, a tomato and lettuce sandwich and then for dessert he would break off a piece of a chocolate rabbit and spread peanut butter on it.  Then there’s the basic cookie dough batter (think chocolate chip cookie dough without the chocolate chips) and I mixed in white chocolate, craisins and walnuts.  The chocolate cookie is a thick fudgy base with snowcaps (the candy) mixed in to give it even more chocolate goodness.  Then the anglettis differ with their taste.  One dough used almond extract (chocolate sprinkles) and the other dough I used anise extract (snowballs), which reminds me of my dad’s mother.  She used to make these cutout cookies using anise extract and to this day I am unable to replicate them, but they were absolutely delicious and were a Christmas staple.  Every Christmas holiday my Grandma would make hundreds of them stacked between sheets of wax paper and white bread slices to keep them soft and perfect.

I put them together, each batter in its own bowl, patiently waiting its turn in the oven.  The trick to perfect cookies is simple:  no shortcuts, a cookie scoop, your hands (rolling cookies into perfect little balls of goodness, and one sheet baking at a time in the oven.  It prolongs the end result but its worth the extra time, so don’t cheat here or you’ll have half done cookies and they just won’t present well.

It’s only December 5th.  Take your time.  Enjoy the season with friends and family.  And for crying out loud, just eat the cookies and run later.

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