To say my family of origin has a sweet tooth is probably putting it mildly. Better to say we’ve got a whole mouthful of sweet teeth. If we could skip eating dinner, and just go straight to the dessert, fifty percent of the time (and more, if I really admitted it on a gut level) we would. (Dessert at Thanksgiving takes as long as eating the whole turkey dinner.)
Everyone I’ve met seems to fall into two categories – They’re either cooks, or bakers, and my mom was (and is) a baker.At least a couple times a week during her full-time stint as a stay-at-home-mom during my days of homeschooling elementary and middle school she would bake something. Pies, cookies, muffins, cinnamon rolls or cakes, you name it, she baked it. (Using, of course, the ubiquitous Kitchenaid Mixer) Some people are experimenters when it comes to baking, but not my mother, she baked comfort food, the same recipe the same way, every time, and it was wonderful.
Her cakes were works of art, and she liked to say it was in her blood. Her mother, (my grandmother) after all, had baked a cake for the governor of New Jersey! (newspaper clippings to prove it will be furnished upon request.) Watching my mom whip up a batch of icing and then, with what seemed like such ease and finesse, lovingly create a scene, transcribe a verse, or be-flower a cake was awe-inspiring.
But cakes are for special occasions and cookies are for everyday so it was more likely to find us all making cookies in the kitchen. And odds were, we’d be making Sugar Cookies. This was my first recipe, the thing I learned to cook before anything else (even, arguably, before toast). It’s where I learned you can’t add all the flour a recipe calls for into a Kitchen Aid mixer going at full speed, and how to secretly stuff a section of leftover rolled out raw dough into my mouth without anyone suspecting. (Or so I thought.
Since moving out of my parents house ten years ago, I don’t bake nearly as much anymore, and banana muffins are what I bake most often (my son loves them!).
I’ve tried other sugar cookie recipes, but they just aren’t the same as the one my mom used to make. So, over Thanksgiving last week I copied out the recipe from the battered old index card it’s written on, attached to the homemade recipe cardholder one of us kids gave her for Christmas years and years ago.
- I’ll be making a batch this week, and probably dozens more as we go into Holiday cookie season. Hopefully you enjoy the recipe too.