Sunday, December 03, 2006

This may not look like sacrifice, but...

If you read back a couple of posts you'll see that I wrote about 'Christmas spirit' and what does that really mean. Well, I am working on that. I really am. To be honest with you, baking Christmas cookies with my kids does involve sacrifice. I can put you in touch with my friend, Rachael, who was here to witness this event firsthand. She'll tell you that my kids were about as annoying as they come today.
Yes, I'm talking about my own kids...they definitely had issues (whining, crabby, not playing nice, not listening, and just generally getting on your nerves kind of stuff) for most of the day. Somehow we managed to bake cookies together. Which I will post pictures of at some point this week. The cookies pictured here have already been eaten up- all gone- finito. I decided that each time I post a picture of cookies that I bake this year, that I will give you the recipe too. That way you can add to your holiday favorites. Or start a Nitty.Gritty. Christmas cookie recipe book from the ground up.
With a Scandinavian heritage and name, 'Sandbakelser' (I've always pronounced it 'SUN-bock-els'...but I may be wrong), these cookies are baked in little sandbakelser molds- hence, their given name, I guess. I grew up with these as among the 'signature cookies' that my Mom baked, year after year at Christmas. While I'll never be able to pull off the Christmas Open Houses that she did- hosting 40 people (kids too!) two or three times a year, it's a wonderful thing to be able to recreate some of the shapes and flavors that I so fondly remember. My mom had a knack and still does, for throwing the warmest, most inviting meals and get-togethers in her home. She has a gift for hospitality, and while I may be able to design scrap pages and letterheads and business cards, she takes top honors for creating the best times around the table or in the kitchen- hands down! I have learned from one of the I can only hope to pass on a bit of her holiday goodness to my own kids.
It's called "tradition"...and it is definitely a part of Christmas spirit, if you ask me. And it most definitely involves sacrifice of one's self. I am beginning to understand it all too clearly this time of the holiday season- year after year.
Recipe for Sandbakelser- as written in Better Homes & Garden Cookies for Christmas (circa 1985)
If you don't have the tiny molds for these 'sand tarts', shape the dough into balls and flatten for an exceptional butter cookie.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
Directions:In a small bowl beat butter til softened, add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolk and almond extract and beat well. Slowly add flour and beat till well mixed.
Place about 2 teaspoons of dough into center of seasoned mold. Press dough evenly and very thinly over bottom and up sides. Repeat with remaining molds and place on cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or till edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool in molds (if you used molds). To remove, invert molds (that means turn them upside-down, Andy.) and tap lightly. Loosen with a toothpick- if needed. Makes 24-30.
Expect your kids to eat them up in a day or two. =)


Anonymous said...

Oh my, Jody. I think I would've thrown in the kitchen towel and said, "Forget it! Go to your room!" LOL! I may just try to do this on Tues. nite with my girls.

Anonymous said...

Dang! That was me above.
mary h.

Anonymous said...

Jody! My Mom makes sandbakelsers EVERY year at Christmas!!! I even have my own set of tins that my sister found at a yade sale when I first got married.
I haven't made them for my family in years but hope to make some this year.
Thanks for the reminder!

jen said...

man! they look good!! maybe i'll have to try them this year!!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh the joys of parenting. The good, the bad, and the cranky. LOL.

Anonymous said...

THanks for the recipe! I think a holiday cookbook is in order! Great idea!

Baking those cookies is something they will always remember! Of course, I am sure they will snicker when they are older "remember the year we kept giving mom trouble?" then they will argue about which year it was and who was how old etc, and smile thinking of it while they did for the recipe to make with your grandkids :)

Sarah said...

Yum!! Thanks for the recipe!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Jody, I have so been there. I hate when my kids are having one of those days.

It always harkens me to Romans 5: suffering produces character, character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint. (I know I am paraphrasing)

Take care!

Jamie said...

Jody- You are a brave brave woman, LOL.. and I sent you a VERY long email through the blog...