Thursday, December 4, 2008

Day 4, 25 Days of Christmas Tips

4) Grandma Trudy's Snickerdoodles
My grandma was an amazing woman with an equally amazing life story. She grew up in Nazi Germany and met and married my grandpa when they were 16, and he was fighting with the American Resistance in WWII. He brought her back to the US on a Navy ship when the war was over, and they lived in New Buffalo, MI from then on. Much of her household had a German influence from her cooking to her decorations to her traditions. One of her favorite things to do was to bake cookies. My aunt made a cookie jar in an art class for her when she was in high school which my grandma proudly displayed on her kitchen counter. And it was ALWAYS full. Even when she got sick, she made sure that there were at least store-bought cookies filling that jar. At Christmastime that jar was filled with dozens of different kinds of her special Christmas cookies. She made thumbprints, snowballs, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, sugar cookies, etc. She even made traditional German Apfel Kuchen and stollen each year. A few months before she passed away I called her and asked her for her recipes since many of them were not written down. It is absolutely not Christmas without her snickerdoodles in my heart. I have had them every single year since I was born, and I am so blessed to have the recipe to continue to bake them every year. I thought it would be fun to share it with you.

Grandma Trudy's Snickerdoodles
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 unsifted Pillsbury flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar + 2 Tbsp cinnamon
In a mixer, combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. (I always use Mexican vanilla and double the amount any recipe calls for) In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salk. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients mixing after each addition. Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
When the dough is firm, roll into 1 1/2 inch balls, then roll in sugar and cinnamon mixture to coat. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes at 375. Do not overbake! The cookies should be very lightly browned around the edges only.
I hope these become a Christmas tradition in your home too!

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