It’s true that certain tastes and smells bring on vivid memories. Who hasn’t walked into a room and experienced a vaguely familiar scent of perfume or cologne and been reminded of an old girl or boyfriend? Or… sit down to a bowl of yummy beef stew and immediately be transported to a crisp winter day when you were a kid and had been out playing in the snow all day. It’s as if you can see your mom standing at the stove and telling you not to track your wet boots across the kitchen floor!
Well, that’s what Christmas cookies do to me. They bring back memories of Christmases past. I used to love sitting around the kitchen table when my mom was baking, waiting to decorate the butter cookies that were shaped like bells, candy canes, stars, Santas, reindeer, and Christmas trees. She would supply my sister and I with bowls of icing in various colors and all different types of sprinkles. And there were always a few broken ones that just had to be eaten then and there. (My personal favorite was the reindeer – there was always an antler or two breaking off – accidentally of course!)
So, now I’m planning my first weekend of baking. I’ve got my menu of cookies that I’ll be giving as gifts, as well as treats for The Dude and I (and anyone who happens to stop by the house). First on deck for the weekend are the following:
- Neapolitans – a layered cookie with one side chocolate and espresso, and the other side orange, almond and dried cranberry. A lovely, crisp cookie that reminds me of my Grandma Philomena and my Sicilian heritage. Perfect with a nice little cup of espresso!
- Russian Tea Cakes – little buttery snowballs, loaded with hazelnuts and coated in layers of confectioner’s sugar. My Grandma Smith used to make these and I could never get enough of them with a big glass of ice cold milk!
- Spritz – I love that Spritz cookie gadget! I remember my mom taking her’s out of the cupboard every Christmas and whipping up those cute little almond flavored Christmas trees. I felt like I arrived as an experienced home cook when I bought my own Spritz cookie maker.
So, that’s what I’m baking this weekend. As I finish each batch I’ll post some photos and the recipe of course. Check back in for some really yummy recipes! So get in the kitchen this weekend and make some of your own memories – you won’t be sorry!