Christmas baking season has arrived at the perfect time; I recently have eased up on the dairy restrictions to allow for butter and other minor milk ingredients, since William does not seem to be having any more issues. In fact he's looking like he could really use a cookie himself these days.
Every year for as long as I can remember my mom has made the cookies that we refer to as simply The Christmas Cookies. The dough is stiff; even my (finally!) repaired stand mixer can't handle all the flour. No problem, because a little kneading turns it into the most wonderful kind of grown-up Playdoh that rolls out better than any other cookie dough I've ever made.
This year I made gingerbread for the first time. Gingerbread has never really been my favorite thing, but Amy suggested it so I found this recipe and we gave it a go. I added an additional half-cup of flour over what this calls for, and still did the rolling between wax paper. Very sticky dough. But it cooperated and she and I had fun with some purchased frosting (which looked quite like a bottle of Elmer's glue), so I'd call the gingerbread folks a success.
Back to The Christmas Cookies. Every year there is the great debate: to frost or not to frost. The Christmas cookies of my childhood were always frosted, but as the years went on Mom took to simply baking them with an egg wash and sprinkles instead. That is how I've done them since, but taking my junior decorator into consideration, I thought we'd have better luck if Amy could just add sprinkles to the frosting as she liked, rather than dumping them all over unbaked cookies.
I did the frosting, she did the sprinkling, and I think they are quite pretty. Of course there never seems to be quite enough of this very favorite cookie of mine, so tonight I whipped off another batch in quiet solitude. I don't even want to think about how many pounds of butter have passed through my refrigerator in the last two weeks, but now we have plenty to share with friends, dinner guests, and of course, Santa!