Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent Calendar - Ma's Cookies

Earlier in the year I wrote a lengthy post about Ma's (Nellie Cox Beyersdoerfer) sugar cookies. They have been an absolute favorite and permanent Christmas tradition for at least four generations. The recipe is simple but when cooked to proper perfection (done on the bottom but taken out before browning), they are light, soft and chewy, with a wonderfully light nutmeg and Cinnamon essence. The picture I have included is their traditional round form, but the various forms they can take are endless. With this round form, we have dressed them up for Christmas with red and green sugar sprinkled on top. However, it really wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't use some of our old cookie cutters to make things more festive. When shapes are used, we have added the tradition of a light confectioner's sugar icing on top - which can be tinted to any color you prefer. Uber delicious!

I have included the recipe again below. The image of that cook-stained original clipping from Ma's kitchen is one of those wonderful pieces of heritage genealogy that I adore most of all. In fact, it is so precious to the family, that whenever anyone gets married, we make a color copy on photographic paper and then frame it to give to the brides. A surefire way to implement an old tradition into a new household!
In my previous post I included a lot about Nellie and my memories of her cookies on the kitchen table, but since this cookie tradition was started in her home, I've decided to include some photos we have of the home place which was torn down just a few years ago.
This precious photo, as faded as it is, has a caption on the back: Christmas 1936. This was taken on the front porch of Nellie and John's home. All of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren grew up visiting Ma here, and sneaking more than one cookie during their visit. Nellie is the woman center front. Travelling to the left is her mother, Oleva Ellen Mockbee Cox, and the young woman on the far left, trying to hide, is one of the daughters (my Grandmother), Freida Beyersdoerfer Watts. This is the house a few years fore they razed it.....but no one has lived in it for years, and with no indoor bathroom facilities (there's another memory I have from childhood!), I'm not very surprised. It sat on a hill in northeastern Pendleton County Kentucky. Each time we make these cookies, we picture this place, and the warm, loving woman inside working to make her family welcome and comfortable.
Be sure to give these cookies a try! You'll be glad you did!


Greta Koehl said...

Absolutely one of the central secrets to good sugar cookies - not overdone! And I'm always experimenting with different sugar cookie recipes, so I'm going to have to check this one out.

Nolichucky Roots said...

Beautiful post! The pictures of the recipe, your family and that gorgeous no-longer existing old home are wonderful. Can't wait to try the recipe. Thank you for sharing it.


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