Friday, December 2, 2011
Magic Window Cookies
I was up bright and early to begin today's cookie. This recipe is one I haven't tried before, but was the first recipe I thought of when I began putting ideas together for this project, coming from the first cookbook I purchased after Terry and I were married back in 1982, "Betty Crocker's Baking Classics." The book itself is falling apart from all the use it has seen over many years.
I used cookie cutters that originally belonged to my grandmother Elizabeth Faulkner, who passed away in 1971. This cookie was a bit challenging- I found the dough easy to roll out (as long as the rolling pin was well floured) but I learned to crush the candies a bit finer to get the best looking result.
Hanging them in my window to get a decent photo was interesting-my daughter laughed as I found myself speaking to the cookies, trying to get them to stay positioned properly!
When I started throwing the ingredients together it occurred to me how wonderful the act of baking is for my soul..... with some recent stresses in life (something we all have) and knowing not all life's problems can be easily figured out, taking a recipe and putting it together gave me a sense of peace, kept my mind off my problems, and helped me to see some things do make sense ( follow the directions and there is an expected result). Having my Christmas music (thank you Trans Siberian Orchestra!) ringing in my ears also helped! It was a great way to start my day.
Here is the recipe:
Magic Window Cookies
3/4 c. shortening (part butter, softened)- I used 1/2 c butter + 1/4 c shortening
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla or 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
About 6 pkg. Lifesavers candy (use wild cherry, tangerine, Fancy fruits, five flavors, crysto mint, or butter rum for best colors)
Mix shortening, sugar, eggs, and flavoring. Blend in flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, chill at least 1 hour. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured, cloth covered, board. Cut into desires shapes, using cutters of two sizes to obtain cutouts or design your own. Place cookies on foil covered baking sheet. For larger cookies, transfer to baking sheet before cutting out design. Place whole lifesavers in cutouts. Small cutouts may require pieces (place lifesavers between paper towels and tap lightly). Fill cutouts until candy is just level with dough. If cookies are to be hung, make hole 1/4 inch from top with plastic straw. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookie is lightly browned and candy is melted. If candy has not spread within design, spread quickly with spatula. Cool completely on baking sheet. Remove gently and place on waxed paper. Or remove entire sheet of foil with cookies and reline.
Like most women I play a variety of roles, all of which I love. Mom of six great kids, lover of food magazines and baking, gardener, photographer, and in recent years, especially, writer. Writing is enabling me to find my truest self, and inspire others to do the same. I am also a deeply spiritual person who sees God through the lens of Christianity, though I am open to learning from many different faith backgrounds.