The temperature this morning read -18 degrees, but we're warm inside, listening to Christmas music and enjoying the view of our neighborhood blanketed in snow. Having grown up in California, every morning I wake up to snow on the ground is as magical as it is for A Christmas Story's Ralphie on Christmas morning. It's a beautiful experience to see a place transformed to white, to walk in the stillness of snowfall, watch the lamp lights illuminate the delicate descending flakes, and make the first steps in the newly fallen snow.
So when I was trying to decide how I wanted to decorate my annual Christmas sugar cookies, I was drawn to the idea of white on white glittering snowflakes. I've dreamt my whole life of a white Christmas, so my cookies celebrate that I now live in just such a place. I enjoyed decorating each one while watching Christmas movies late into the night, and I love how the way the snow glitters outside in the sunshine looks just like the sprinkles on my cookies!
As much as we enjoy this winter wonderland that neither of us got to grow up with, it does mean that we're not with family this holiday season. Making these cookies was a way to feel close to them and to make it feel like home. From childhood, these cookies were made for me by my aunts, grandma, and mother, shaped for Valentines, Halloween, and Christmas. They would lovingly make and roll out dough, cut out individual shapes, and frost each cookie, a real work of art and labor of love. And according to family lore, Grandma got the recipe from her mom who got it from her mom, my great-great grandma Farnsworth. I love thinking of such a treasured tradition going back so far and being shared by generations of women.
My Great-Great Grandma Farnsworth is on the far right with my Great-Grandma standing just in front of her (1900). My grandpa sent me this picture and said this may be where the sugar cookie recipe originated, in Sun Valley, ID. I can't imagine what it must have been like making our cookies in that cabin, but I love the idea of those sweet children enjoying these same cookies.
The recipe hasn't changed much in my life, but the technique has improved over time, and I have often joked that I wouldn't feel like a real woman if I could not master the art of the sugar cookie! I make them often, and always to share- It's not worth it to keep them all to yourself when you've put so much love into them! And so this year I thought of my family as I made the cookies, both the women who made them before me and the people who would be enjoying them so far away.
The packages are sent, and my fingers are crossed that the cookies will survive the journey! And of course I kept some for friends and neighbors and stocking stuffers. I made a double batch, filling my KitchenAid to the brim, and I still wish I had more to keep and share!
Frosted Sugar Cookies