Twas two weeks before Christmas

And all through the house

Mommy was madly baking cookies

With her child and spouse…

I really look forward to the holidays each year as it gives me the perfect excuse to inject a little bit of American tradition into our ever consuming Irish country life. As a child, I grew up making delicious cookies and candies with family and friends during the holiday season. Pfeffernüsse, Snowballs, Peanut Butter Kisses, Spritz, Snickerdoodles, Peanut Brittle, all so yummy. But my all-time favorite Christmas cookies have always been the sugar cutouts. It was always so exciting to be able to get to roll out the dough, use the cookie cutters and then frost and decorate each of our masterpieces.

Over the years, I have tried many recipes for these simple sugar cookies and always go back to the one that we always used at home. It calls for sour cream, which makes it more cake-like and creamy. It is absolutely necessary to leave the dough in the fridge overnight or it will become too soft when rolling and cutting. Be sure and use loads of flour on your rolling surface as well to prevent the dough from sticking.

This year I drizzled Royal Icing instead of using a buttercream frosting, both are gorgeous tasting, but the Royal Icing is perhaps more decorative.

I thought it would be fun to gather a bunch of candy cane cookies,place them in mini milk pails tied with a festive red tag and ribbon bow. They make lovely little hostess gifts.

Nollaig Shona Duit,

Imen

Photo by Imen McDonnell, assisted by Master Geoffrey McDonnell.

Pail from IKEA, Ribbon by American Craft Elements Co. Tags from local craft shop.

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