These cookies are very near and dear to my heart. Isn't that funny? How a baked good can mean so much to you? Every year, since the beginning of my remembrance, we have made these cookies at Christmas. My favorite part was to eat the dough that was left over after we had transferred the cut out cookies to the sheet. When Joel and I got married, my mom hand wrote this recipe for me in a little cookbook. She also added in a little history of these cookies. Here is what she wrote :
"The Christmas Cut-Outs and frosting have been a tradition for as long as I can remember. Little Nana, Grampy, Nanny, me and now you. You're the 5th generation, that I know of, maybe more, to make these cookies traditionally."
That's why these are so special to me. My great great Grandmother (for whom I'm named) made these...her son, my great grandfather, made these...my Nanny, my mom, me...and my children with me. And now, we're sharing this sweet family recipe with you. I hope you enjoy!
1 C butter
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 T milk
5-6 C flour
1 1/2 tsp. anise extract
Preheat oven to 400*
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, milk, and anise. Combine well. Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Gradually add them into the butter mixture and combine.
Roll out, rather thin. Cut out with your favorite Christmas cookie cutters. Bake for about 6-8 minutes. They should just begin to brown. We like ours on the thin side...just a tad crispy. If you like your cut out cookies a little thicker, just bake them for about 8-10 minutes or so. Let the cookie cool completely, then frost.
|The girls frosting the cookies Christmas 2011|
1 pound powdered sugar (4 3/4 C)
1 T butter, softened
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. anise
not quite 1/2 C milk
Using 1/4 C of the milk, beat all ingredients together. Add more milk, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency. You want to be able to spread it, but not have it too thick.
The anise is what really makes these cookies! They are a special treat...and we look forward to making them together every year!