Guest Author - Gillian Scianna
The holiday season is fast approaching with the hurried Thanksgiving to Christmas countdown just entering full swing at our house. It is a time of traditions -- celebrating wonderful friends, close family and great food. This is the time of year when the “old treasured family recipe book” comes out, this book is filled with hand written pieces of paper, magazine/newspaper clippings, computer print outs and any other kind of items that can be considered a “recipe”. It is also in this very book that a special place for Aunt Amanda's Sugar Cookie recipe exists. This treasured recipe is the very one she originally wrote down from an old 1950's Arm & Hammer® Baking Soda box, she then changed a few ingredients to make it her own.
These sugar cookies remind me of Christmas in every way -- all of us sitting around the big table, mixing batch upon batch of cookies, then decorating them with colored sugars and icings while laughing, joking and prodding each other for the bigger, better story of Christmas.
Still to this day when I taste them, they are perfect -- not too sweet, not too crumbly but just right. With each heavenly bite, the memory of those times comes flooding back, the wafting aromas in the air of the holiday season, the laughter and of course -- my dear Aunt Amanda. I would like to share my very treasured recipe with you, follow it closely, it will be good to you. Enjoy the recipe and the lovely memories that are a part of it, every season.
Aunt Amanda's Drop Sugar Cookies
Yields about 5 dozen cookies
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons milk
colored sugar crystals
Preheat oven to 400°F. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. In another large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in the egg, vanilla and almond extracts into the butter/sugar mixture. Then add in the flour mixture. Gradually add the milk and continue beating until smooth. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in the colored sugar crystals. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned, cool on racks.